We flew from Ende to Kupang, the capital of West Timor part of the greater archipelago: Nusa Tengarra Timor. Kupang is usually used for transit or a stop over, so there wasn't that much to see or do, but we had a pleasant time looking around the city and catching the crazy bemos that make up the public transport network blasting crazy loud awful music none the less. We stayed for two nights in the motel Maliana and on the first night the owner invited us to his nieces pre wedding dinner that was taking place at the front of the motel. We thought 'why not?' How very kind of him to invite us! So we got a yummy free dinner and sat and listened to some speeches by a man we are assuming the father of the bride. The groom was nowhere to be seen, maybe he does not attend the prewedding dinner, or the wedding was about to turn pear shaped. West Timor is predominantly Christian, so the actual wedding will be in a nearby church, and also we caught our first glimpse of Christmas trees in local shops!. Exciting!
We'd decided Kupang had served its transit purposes and duly caught the public ferry to a nearby island called Rote and then got a bemo to a placed called Nemberala. Nemberla is a true seaside village and had very little there, just one restaurant and no supermarket or substantial shop. There were a few hotels (we believe, none had signs), all of which offered full board, everything seemed blissfully quiet, maybe during peak season it could be different but for us it seemed like we had the whole place to ourselves. We stayed in a homestay called Ti Rosa where none of the family could speak English, but it didn't really matter, lots of smiling did the trick. All meals were included so we sat round a table with other guests, however there were only two other people staying there, and one of them was a miserable so and so. Our little detached bungalow was the last on the row so nearest to the beach, we were practically on the beach! The homestay was full of coconut trees where you could hear the occasional thud of coconuts dropping to the ground (therefore you should never sleep under a coconut tree!) and goats roaming around.
What was even funnier was when we went for a walk on the white sand beach, was the number of animals roaming free. Pigs, goats, dogs, cows just milling about minding their own business. Apparently the deal on Rote island is that animals are not penned in, they roam where they please, talk about free range! The animals have a little label or brand on their ear so it is known which animal belongs to which farmer. How they find them across the island, I have no idea. It was quite a site to see pigs shuffling their snouts into the sand, with about 8 piglets close to their mother and then scampering off every time we came near. Very cute.
Nemberala is a popular spot for surfers due to the legendary t-land left break unfortunately when we were there there was little swell leaving just a few surfers on the island, including the two other guests at our homestay at a lose end and not sure what to do. Olly and I had never surfed a reef break before so were not too bothered about surfing there anyways and we had time to hit the waves when we hit Bali and Lombok again. Instead we rented a moped and rode along the coastal road to see what we could find. We found beautiful, pristine, empty beaches! Getting a moped was so much fun, I had never been on one before so left the driving to Olly, I was happy being the passenger. Rote was so HOT; it's he most southern point of Indonesia, so going on the moped was the only time we got to cool off with a strong breeze on us. We had a little explore along the coast passing through villages full of kids shouting after us and demanding high fives off the bike and along with perfect powder white sand beaches found some limestone caves and sheltered from the sun with a book. blissful.
(Just because I didn't ride doesn't mean I couldn't have a photo pretending I did...)
Some more vibrant sunsets. Sigh. So tough having to watch this every evening...
One of the coconuts that crashed to the ground, we decided to see if we could open it, but proved impossible.