Charming Ruteng

This is the furthest east we will go to arrive at Ruteng, a small mountain town on the island of Flores, about 4 hours and 100 km away from Labuan Bajo. The roads on Flores are terrible with huge potholes and not to mention twisted turns, which makes sleeping on the bus impossible. We wanted to go to Ruteng to escape the stifling heat and to be near mountains. The town is simply laid out with a traditional market and is predominantly Catholic evidenced by chruches, nuns walking around, and Catholic schools. Our time was spent by walking around town visiting a church, and a traditional village with two conical-shaped homes with a buffalo horn medallion adorned on the roof. The remainder of out time was spent taking in some walks around town and sampling some local treats at a nearby bakery. We ate Dadar (green rice wrapped around palm sugar and coconut), sticky rice covered with palm sugar, Kopi (strong Indonesian coffee), and other delicacies.

We flew back to Jakarta a few days later and visited Masjid Istiqlal, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. After a nice tour of the mosque, we also had a chance to perform prayers. The masjid was built over a span of roughly 16 years and has a modern and minimalist appeal. It poured non-stop our last night in Jakarta so much so that it caused the streets to flood. Sabeen was wearing sneakers and had to walk barefoot through the mucky ankle deep water to reach back to our hotel.

Now we leave for China.............

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