What do you know about Ruteng, East Nusa Tenggara?
The small city is located just few hours from Dintor, the village nearby Wae Rebo that I told you in previous post. We made a gas stop in Ruteng when we went back from Wae Rebo to Labuan Bajo. We discovered that this small city has many things that you may miss from urban life when you are on your adventure in Flores. It has gas stations (among the few in the island), stores that sell usual products you need on the way, they even have some bakso stalls and warung padang. But don’t expect they taste the same like in Java. Even when they put the brand “Bakso Solo” or “Bakso Ganesha”, the bakso tastes different to accommodate the local taste. It’s not so bad but I personally prefer their local cuisine than the bakso 🙂
Forget what I said, this friend of mine said the bakso was good (even though you can’t find chili sauce in the place) 😀
Being called the city with 1000 churches, there are literally churches in almost every road in Ruteng. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore any of the churches but they look so pretty already from the outside (with lovely mountain view in the background!).
After filling the gas that felt like forever (you won’t believe how long the queue was!), we managed to make a stop in spiderweb-rice fields. About 15 minutes from the city, you can see the famous rice fields after a short hike up from a nearby warung. You can drink local coffee in the warung and interact with local people before / after start your hike. The lady in the warung did not put the price for the coffee, but we need to pay small amount for the hike. She also sold home-produce arabica coffee that smelled really good for IDR30K per 250gram.
What I like the most from this place was that they really just want to make business but not ripping of the tourists. It really showed their good heart and my heart was really melted because of that. I paid a bit more than I should, like really really a bit, and they gave me 1 pack of arabica coffee for free!
Back to the rice fields, unfortunately we couldn’t see the green fields we imagined because they were already cropped. But we still can see the spiderweb-form and it looked pretty nevertheless.
Keep posing even though the fields were not green 😀
I wish I can go back one day and explore Ruteng more (and continue the road trip to the east). One of the highlights of Ruteng that you may want to check out when you are around is Liang Bua, or also known as the hobbit cave. I really really really wanna check this place next time! It is a prehistoric cave where the fossils of homo florensis were found (have I told you that I am an archeolog and historian wanna be?) 😀
Other highlights include Rana Mese lake, Goro Curu, Poco Ranaka, and Poco Ngandonalu. Hope I can come back and explore all of these places and share with you guys! In the mean time I will enjoy and study the surroundings of Flores from this discounted map I bought in Jogja airport when I was heading to Labuan Bajo 😀
Till next time! xx