Flores, Ende To Maumere
What to See
Ende to Moni 55 Km, 2 Hours, Moni to Kelimutu Car 1 Hour and Walking 30 Min, Moni to Maumere 90 Km, 3 Hours.
Mbuliwaralau Beach stretches along the south coast of the Ende district, close to the fishing village with the same name. The beautiful panorama of pandanus, coconut trees, and big pebbles gives this beach a special charm. If you take the route from Wolowaru to Mubliwaralau, you will pass beautiful rice fields, and also a small and charming monkey forest.
The area around the beach is inhabited by fishermen who are Buginese by descent. Sometimes, the friendly local people offer their delicious young fresh coconuts to visitors. If watching the spectacle of the waves hitting the shore is not enough, you may enjoy having a swim at the beach. Be careful though, because the waves can get pretty rough and currents can be strong.
How to get there
Pemo and Woloara Traditional Villages
If you want to get more out of your day in the Lio area after having visited the Kelimutu crater lakes, you can add a pleasant hike from Kelimutu, passing through the villages of Pemo and Woloara.
Pemo, a small village situated on the slopes of Kelimutu, is the first stop during your hike from Kelimutu to Woloara. It only takes about a 1 1/2 hours walk downhill to reach Pemo from the Kelimutu National Park parking area.
Walking down the main street, take a shortcut through the national park’s arboretum, where you can learn more about the local vegetation of Kelimutu. When you are back on the main road, take a right turn at the signpost that reads ‘km 11’. The small footpath leads you through refreshing scenery with a gorgeous view to Kelibara, the ‘white mountain’ – as its peak is often covered by clouds.
After about one hour, you will get to marvel at Pemo’s displays of Lio culture. Have a look at its two ceremonial houses and the village’s ritual center, consisting of the tubu, an erected stone, in the midst of musu mase, a group of smaller stones surrounding the tubu. The sao ria, the ‘big house’ which is thatched with a mix of wooden bricks and alang-alang grass, and still inhabited by one of the mosalaki and his family.
Pemo also hosts a neat keda kanga, a wall-free traditional house standing on stone pillars, which was constructed without using one single nail. This storage place for the ritual drums and gongs, as well as the bhaku – the encased ancestral bones – is looked after by the village’s highest adat leader, the ria bewa. As in many places in the Lio area, the Pemo villagers produce their own distinct ikat. Continue your hike to Woloara Village for another 5km on an easy-to-walk-on road and enjoy the wealth of agricultural land, including neat vegetable gardens.
Woloara Village offers you another view of a sao ria standing on impressive stone pillars, and a keda kanga which is decorated with pretty carvings of popular Lionese motifs such as snakes, horses, people, and plants. In Woloara, you may add a short loop walk on foot to a natural, fresh water spring, which is spiritually meaningful to the local people. Here, many rituals are held during the major Lionese traditional ceremonies. With the new-gained energy from your spring excursion, enjoy the last part of the hike (about one hour) which will finally take you to the Murundao waterfall right before arriving back at the main road to Moni.
Moni is a small settlement at the foot of the volcanic Mount Kelimutu on the island of Flores in Indonesia. It is a good base for a trip to the coloured lakes of the volcano.
Moni can be reached by minibus from Labuanbajo. It is a cramped trip but the scenery is breathtaking. It is also possible to hire a car and guide to take you across the island. Do let us know if you’re interested in it.
To get up to the volcano it is possible to hire a minibus, or you can simply hike. Try taking the bus up and then walking down through the gorgeous villages.
Ikats weaving is one of the most attractive to see in the area of Moni, Take a walk to Jopu villages where you can see how the process of Ikat weaving. Along the routes between Moni and Jopu is the most beautiful view on the area, take walk all the way to Jopu and on the way back take a bus ride from Jopu to Moni.
Kelimutu National Park
Click to Enlarge !
Maumere is the largest town in Flores and is a port in the north of the region. Its equidistant location between Ende and Larantuka make it an excellent stop over location with an interesting and different attraction from most of the areas. Firstly Maumere has been for a long time the center for divers in the area and offers some excellent diving and snorkeling particular within the Maumere bay. here there area corals and fish that attract all manner of divers, snorkelers and other people interested in marine life and conservation. true to be said the the close by region of Flores offers much more diverse and incredible diving in terms of exclusive and large creatures but Maumere offers much safer conditions and beautiful seabed scrapes of colors and texture that make for some very pleasing and enjoyable diving.
Unfortunately, due to the disaster of the 1992 earthquake and tsunami destroyed some of the best diving in the area leaving areas of greatly stunted reef life that will take centuries to re-grow and perhaps longer to reach its former glory. It is certainly not just underwater that this disaster as left lasting scars, large areas of the city remain in damaged conditions, some areas resemble a war-zone scene with crumbled and destroyed buildings still left standing. There has however been some recovery and certainly more than enough to deem the area visitable, safe and enjoyable. The lasting scars act as a symbol of the disaster and provide some kind of idea of the horrendous event that this town endured only 14 years ago. This alone is a sobering and worthwhile experience to witness the natural instability of Indonesia and also the unique way in which the culture can pull through ban situations with a positive outlook.
Maumere is also famous for its particular style of Ikat cloth and fabrics, the style here is the distinctive patterns of maroon, white and blue geometric patterns in horizontal rows over either a dark blue of black background. like many of the villages and towns of Flores, weaving and fabric making is a rich part of the culture. There area a number of conservation projects going on at the moment in Maumere as well as research under the sea. Active attempts to stop dynamite fishing and other destructive practices that are damaging this particular area and many others in the world. It is these local battles that actually make stand to make differences to the current methods and provide answers to many of today’s problems effecting the global biosphere. Maumere is a place that you are likely to pass through if you are traveling the classic route or if you are diving and is worth a stop off to experience the diving, culture and impact of the area.
Watublapi Traditional Ikat Weaving of Sikka East of Maumere
Watublapi is a small community in the Sikka district well known for its fine traditional ikat weaving. Whereas many other local weaving communities switched to industrially spun yarn and chemical dyes for the sake of saving time and money, the weavers of Watublapi still use the traditional, handspun yarn made out of local cotton, as well as local natural dyes.
In the 1980s, the villagers – along with the assistance of the German priest, Pater Bollen – established a cultural cooperative called Sanggar Bliran Sina with the goal of preserving and promoting local dance, music, ikat weaving, and other handicrafts.
Under the enthusiastic leadership of Daniel David, a young man from Watublapi, Bliran Sina has turned into a well-established cooperative of more than 40 members, who support each other in financial, educational, and health issues. Furthermore, Bliran Sina’s outside orientation and collaboration with Fair Trade organizations, such as Threads of Life, make it possible for Watublapi ikat to find their way to collectors all over the world.
Visitors to Watublapi who register in advance can be sure of a warm welcome by the members of Bliran Sina with traditional dance and music performances. If you dare, you can even taste the famous sirih pinang (betel nut chew) which is part of the Sikkanese tradition for welcoming guests. Believed to strengthen the teeth and have a stimulative effect, it is very popular among elderly women. Do not worry though – the red stain on your teeth disappears within a few hours.
Bliran Sina also gives you the opportunity to observe all different steps of the traditional ikat weaving process, from dyeing the threads through to the final product. As well as the cotton, all the dyes used in Watublapi are handmade and come from plants in the villagers’ own gardens – giving the ikat its distinctive local touch of blue, yellow, red, brown, and green.
Visitors with a profound interest in ikat weaving will have the opportunity to join an ikat workshop in Watublapi. The Bliran Sina weavers will teach you to the skills of this fascinating handicraft.
How to get there
Sikka Natar Village in Southern East of Maumere
The village of Sikka (natar means ‘village’ in the local language), with its pleasant sea view on the south coast, is one of the first places of Portuguese influence and Catholic missionary activity in Flores. Therefore this is a place to take a leap into the past and learn about Sikkanese history, such as the colonial era.
The former center of the Kingdom of Sikka features a big church, which was built with the support of Jesuit priests in 1899. Its inside walls are nicely decorated with local ikat motifs. During the rule of the Sikkanese royal palace, the church was not only a place to hold Holy Communion, but was also used for the inauguration of new kings.
If by any chance you happen to be in Sikka Village at Christmas, you may witness a lasting example of Portuguese influence in the church: Toja Bobu, a dance-drama which was brought to Sikka by the Portuguese, and that is traditionally performed on the 26th of December. In brief, the story is about a beautiful, young princess being courted by many men with all kinds of occupational backgrounds who all eagerly want to marry her. For the luxury loving, spoiled princess, however, these wooers are not wealthy enough; so she finally marries a rich nobleman. Unfortunately, the performances are rarely held nowadays. The Sikkanese Sanggar Gere Bue, a cultural workshop group, tries to fight the loss of this old cultural tradition by reviving Toja Bobu and interpreting the performance in a modern way, without losing its originality.
Sikka Village has been, and still is, one of East Flores’ most important and famous weaving centers. Be prepared to be beleaguered by women who, of course, would like you to acquire a piece of their artwork. As in other villages, visitors to Sikka also have the opportunity to see – by pre-arrangement and for a fee – the complete steps of ikat-weaving, including the dyeing of the threads with natural colors.
How to get there
Blikon Blewut Museum in Ledolero of Maumere
If you want to get a glimpse of Florenese cultural and natural history, prehistory, as well as browse through unique and sometimes curious objects of art and daily life, Maumere’s Blikon Blewut Museum is the place visit.
Blikon Blewut Museum is situated on the campus of Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Katholik Ledalero, which is a well-known Roman Catholic seminary. The museum’s origins are strongly linked to the activities of the international order of SVD (Societas Verbi Divini) missionaries in the early 20th century. As many SVD missionaries were experts in the fields of history, linguistics, and anthropology, they started to explore the hidden treasures of Flores’ cultural past.
As for Blikon Blewut, Theodor Verhoeven SVD from the Netherlands was the starting point. Arriving in Flores in 1949, the missionary and linguist with strong interests not only in contemporary culture but also in prehistoric issues, conducted numerous excavations as well as anthropological fieldwork on the island. His local expedition team, consisting of several seminary students, supported him with enthusiasm. A diligent collector, he stored the constantly accumulating fruits of his efforts in Seminary Todabelu in the Ngada district, where at that time the objects got relatively little attention.
By the mid 1970s, the objects were moved to Ledalero Seminary in Maumere, but it was not until 1983 that Blikon Blewut Museum gained significance: one of Verhoeven’s former expedition members, Piet Petu SVD, had in the meantime become a lecturer in cultural history at Ledalero Seminary. Thanks to his initiative, the objects gathered over the years by different SVD missionaries were presented and exhibited in a small building in the Ledalero Seminary in a structured way so that the collection could finally be called a museum. It was also Piet Petu SVD who suggested naming the museum Blikon Blewut. The name is derived from an ancient verse of the Sikka ritual language about the creation of the universe. As many of the museum’s exhibited objects reach back deep into history, the name fits the museum perfectly.
The exhibition, spread out over only 99m², hosts innumerable testimonies to Florenese history, not only originating from the island itself, but from all over the world: rare ikat, stone age tools, local pottery and carvings, musical instruments, ceramics originating from China, as well as traditional weapons and black-and-white photos taken by missionaries during the early decades of the 20th century.
Whilst exploring the exhibition, don’t miss the bronze kris, a special dagger found by Father Mommersteg SVD in 1952 in the Naru area, Ngada, where it was used for traditional ceremonies. Originating from the Vietnam-centered Dong Son culture that lasted from about 1,000 to 1 BC, this dagger is unique to Indonesia. To this day it is a mystery how it made its way to Naru.
Unfortunately the space of the museum is very limited; so only parts of the collection are exhibited, and many objects are still waiting for the museum to expand so they can be exhibited.
How to get there