Bajawa – Moni

Five weeks ago in the early morning the bus to Maumere picked me up at my hotel. My breakfast was not yet finished, but I could get it on the go. The bus was in the end driving the 3 kilometres to the junction of the main road…just to wait there for another 40 minutes. I’ve no idea, if there was another passenger joining us. Surprisingly this was the most modern bus I had in Indonesia, maybe less than one year old and the seats had enough space for my legs, which I never had before. In the morning we drove through the mountains while the villages were still covered by a bit of fog. The road was winding its way down to the sea shortly before we arrived at Ende, and from where we could spot also the small island of Ende. After lunch in Ende we followed a steep valley up into the mountains again. On the highlands the rice paddies seemed to be already ready for harvesting. In the afternoon I arrived in Moni. To my surprise…well not really, I get some information before, that’s a bloody tourist village. I tried to get a room, but everything was pretty expensive. My first try was a negotiation from 200k to 150k per night. It looked pretty nice and clean, but still I found it too much. The next one was definitely fucked up, but they wanted for this hole 200k in the beginning, without breakfast, which was not even worth 60k. Even the room near the ferry in Sape was in better condition, than that one. I negotiated 100k, but my stomach said, no I don’t want to stay there. The third option was again 200k, and there was no negotiation possible. I just thought, you won’t make any money today, but they didn’t seem to care. So I left. When I was looking for another bungalow, the man told me, he has some at his own, but wanted also to have 200k. As I told him that’s much more than the usual price and you only take that from white people, he got really angry and threatened to call the police. This was ridiculous, the police would not come at all for this, and because of what?!? Anyway, I left the scene and returned to the first place where I still could negotiate included breakfast for the 150k. Later I found Santiago Backpackers which offer dorm rooms for 65k rupiah. I’ve no idea how they look like, but at least it’s good to know there’s still a good option. I mean in the end, who could blame them for behaving like that? For example Zermatt evolved in the last 200 years also from a (probably) poor mountain village to an expensive mountain resort, where the main income is tourism. The old lady, the owner of the property, is always grumpy and looking for money. In the end the hotel made her rich, as you can see in her open living space. But I couldn’t feel a warmly welcome in the hotel, as I had so often in different places around Indonesia. When I asked for WiFi, they said they don’t have. Well, but I can see your SSID, do you think I’m stupid 🤨. Then it was claimed it’s broken. Well this I can’t verify. In the evening I opted for some Bakso for 13k in the only local restaurant, instead of the ridiculous 50k Gado-Gado in one of the tourist places.

Our modern bus waiting at the bus terminal of Bajawa
Driving in the morning through mountainous area…
…will let you some decent views.
Surprisingly enough space for my legs, without the need of a three-dimensional optimisation
Passing some villages where coconuts are processed
View to Ende (town) on the left as well as Ende Island…it is like it is
After Ende we’re driving up the mountains again
The rice paddies seem to be already fully grown
Small settlements shortly before Moni

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