When we first got to Bali we met a local guy named John who told us about his family home on the island of Flores. “It is very remote and hard to travel”, he told us, “Very few tourists go”. At the time we didn’t even know where the island of Flores was and definitely had no intention of going there.
Our original plan after our Komodo cruise was to do a day or two of diving then fly back to Bali but when some new friends decided to do a road trip to the other side of the island we jumped on board.
After four days of not so luxurious travel on the boat we finally got to ride in style. We hired two private drivers for our group who set-up an itinerary for our four day road trip across the island. Along the way we had many stops in small local villages. We got to see rice fields, Arak distilleries, volcanic beaches, historical villages, and natural hot springs.
Our last stop was in the town of Moni where most people stay before their 4:00 am journey to the Kelimutu volcanic lakes. Luckily for us the night before our early morning wake up call was the night of the biggest town festivities of the year.
As the whole area was catholic they were celebrating first communion. Each family puts on a huge party for their child. For the wealthier families this involves hosting drinking and dancing all through the night. We were invited by the owner of our homestay to join her in the party rounds.
Maumere was our final destination in Flores and one of the best values we found. We spent three nights in private beach bungalows for $8.50 a night. It was so nice to be in the middle of nowhere and have a couple days to enjoy the ocean and stunning surrounding islands.
Our boat trips to dive or snorkel near the surrounding islands were amazing. The water was crystal clear and filled with corals. Watching the flying fish soar above the water along side our boat for 150 feet was a real highlight.