Mount Trekking – Rinjani Mountain – Lombok Island.


MOUNT RINJANI LOMBOK

RIM TREKKING :

 
 

Day 1.Senggigi-Base Cam I,II & III
Pick up from your hotel at 6 am, by car to SENARU (601m), arrive at SENARU village at 8 am we`ll give you quick light breakfast. 
After register at park ranger office then at 8.45 am we start to walk. The first hours of the trek climb steadily through thick tropical forest rich in flora, bird life and variety of butterflies. You might see orchid, the long- tailed grey macaque monkey kera and, if lucky, the rare black ebony leaf monkey, known locally as lutung. Rusa 
( deer ) are forest dwellers are occasionally seen along the trek trail. The smaller barking deer or kijang has an alarm call with a distinct dog – like bark. Rest stops are taken along the way, and in pos 2 Montong satas shelter (1,500 m) where village stories and local legends are related by your guide.

Features include the banyan tree bunut ngengkang that looks like someone standing with their legs apart, and the Batu penyesalan stone. Depending on your preference and weather conditions, the nights camps is made either in the forest at post 3 Mondokan Lolak (2000 m) after about five hours climb from Senaru, or continue the ascent for another couple of hours through grassy meadows to plawangan 1 Senaru crater rim at 2641 m. from the crater rim are sweping views across the lake Segara Anak lake (2000 m) to the summit of Mt.Rinjani. within the crater,Mt Baru (2,351 m) is an active, last erupting dramatically in 1994.on a clear evening the Gili Isles, Bali and Mt.Agung can be seen to the west.

Day 2. Base Cam III-II & I-Senaru-Senggigi
Sunrise at the crater rim is a memorable start to day 2, enjoyed after a pre-dawn two hours climb for those camping at Pos 3 Mondokan Lolak. After enjoying the view., descend down the trail down to Senaru village through first grassland then back into the shade of the tropical forest. After about seven hours from the rim, the trek ends at Rinjani Trek Centre at the road head in Senaru and transfer back to your hotel in Senggigi.

MOUNT RINJANI LOMBOK

LAKE TREKKING :

Day 1st. Senggigi-Senaru-Senaru Rim.
Pick up at your hotel at 06.00 am then  by car to Senaru, arrive in Senaru village around 08.45 am We’ll give you quick light breakfast and  Register at Rinjani National Park ranger in senaru then we begin our trekking.

The first hours of the trek climb steeply through thick tropical forest rich in flora bird life and a variety of butterflies. You might see orchid and, if lucky, the rare black ebony leaf monkey, known locally as lutung. Rest stops are taken along the way, and at Pos 2 Montong Satas shelter ( 1.500m ). Village stories and local legends related by your guide.
 


Features include the banyan tree bunut ngengkang that looks like someone standing with their legs apart, and the Batu Penyeselan stone. Depending on your preferences and weather conditions, the night’s camp is made either in the forest at Pos 3 Mondokan Lolak ( 2.000 m ) after about five hours climb from Senaru, or continue the ascent for another couple of hours through grassy meadows to Plawangan 1 Senaru crater rim at 2,641 m. from the crater rim are sweeping views across the lake Segara Anak ( 2.000m) to the summit of Mt. RInjani. Within the crater Mt. Baru ( 2.351 ) is an active last erupting dramatically in 1994. on a clear evening the Gili Isles, Bali and Mt. Agung can be seen to the west.
 


Day 2nd. Senaru Rim-Lake-Hotspring-Cave
Sunrise at the rim is a memorable start do Day 2. enjoyed after a pre-dawn 2 hours climb for those camping at Pos 3, Mondokan Lolak. After enjoying the view, the trek proceeds for couple of hours down the trail to the crater lake where the rest of the day is spent relaxing and swimming. There is plenty of time to explore the pilgrimage hot springs, said to had healing power. Camp by the lake side, enjoying dinner followed by the night sound as. 

Day 3rd. Lake-Sembalun Rim-Sembalun-Senggigi
After breakfast, start the 3 hours steep ascent up to Plawangan 2 Sembalun crater rim. Look out for edelweiss along the path. Enjoy the view of the Lake from the other side and the island of Sumbawa across the tropical ocean. The decent from the Sembalun crater rim is amidst the pine-like Casuarina species locally known is Cemara, perhaps seeing evidence of wild pigs and the long tailed gray macaque monkeys. 
 


After about 3 ½ hours, reach post 3 Pada Balong, through grass land used at couple cattle grazing by local people. Mt. Rinjani summit towers above us, Indonesia’s second highest volcanic peak. From here is beautiful view of Sembalun Lawang and Sembalun Bumbung villages, known for coffee production until the crop was changed to garlic to take the advantage of the garlic boom in early 1990s. the road head is reached after in another 4 hour gentle descent through open country, and the trek ends at Rinjani Informations center at Sembalun Lawang and directly transfer to your hotel in senggigi.

MOUNT RINJANI LOMBOK

SUMMIT TREKKING :

 

Day 1st, Senggigi-Sembalun-Sembalun Plawangan Rim
Leave your hotel at 6 am for sembalun village fetch porter, 9.30 am we start to trek to base camp 2 ( two ) .On the way you won’t find trees it’s just small grass ,so it’s very hot when you are walking . At base camp 2
( two ) you can enjoy the time for lunch and have some cakes, about 1 hour . than continue trip for rim in sembalun .around 5 pm you have arrived at the rim, having dinner with the mountain special food and overnight for the 1st night.
 


Day 2nd, Plawangan Rim-Summit-Lake-Cave-Hotspring-Senaru Rim.
At 3 am we start trek to the top of mountain Rinjani, an Icy wind hold across the expose slope of summit which consisted of small round balls volcanic as resembling bean filling make the climb exceedingly difficult to say the least. There was very little to hold on to every two or three feet gained, we’d sleep back at about a foot .We made it to the top in the nick of time even in our frozen stiff an exhausted state the star beauty of our surrounding was own inspiring. At 6 am we arrive at the summit, and enjoy the time no more than one hour. Than we start to going down for rim sembalun to have breakfast. After break fast time we continue for trip to segara Anak Lake, we will be there at 12 noon. Enjoy swimming in the lake and hot spring water, just ten minutes from lake .At 3 pm we climb to the rim of senaru and it’s takes about 2,5 hours . Spend the second night in the rim of senaru
 


Day 3rd, Senaru Rim-Senaru-Senggigi
Having breakfast in the morning and enjoy sunrise by special mountain jafle or pancake, than we taking back to the senaru village. It `s around 12 am you already at senaru village, and before 3 p.m. you will be arriving at your hotel.

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Rote Island


Rote Island

Satellite photo of Roti

Map of the islands of East Nusa Tenggara, including Rote.

Rote Island (Indonesian: Pulau Rote, also spelled Roti) is an island of Indonesia, part of the East Nusa Tenggara province of the Lesser Sunda Islands. It has an area of 1,200 km2 (463 sq mi). It lies 500 km (311 mi) northeast of the Australian coast and 170 km (106 mi) northeast of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. The island is situated to the southwest of the larger island of Timor. To the north is the Savu Sea, and to the south is the Timor Sea. To the west is Savu and Sumba. The uninhabited Dana Island (also called Ndana), just south of Rote, with an area of 14 km2 (5 sq mi), is the southernmost island of Indonesia. Along with some other nearby small islands, such as Ndao, it forms the kabupaten (regency) of Roti Ndao, which in 2005 held an estimated population of 108,615.

The main town, called Baa, is located in the north of the island. It has a good surf area in the south around the village of Nembralla. There is a daily ferry to the island from Kupang, the provincial capital on West Timor, which brings tourists.

Rote has many historical relies including fine antique Chinese porcelain, as well as ancient arts and traditions. Many prominent Indonesia nationalist leaders were born here.

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 A popular music instrument Sasando, which is made of palm leaves. According to legend, this island got its name accidentally when a lost Portuguese sailor arrived and asked a farmer where he was. The surprised farmer, who could not speak Portuguese, introduced himself, “Rote”.

Rote just off the southern tip of Timor Island consists of rolling hills, terraced plantations, and acacia palm, savanna and some forests. The Rotinese depend, like the Savunese, on lontar palm for basic survival, but also as the supplement their income with fishing and jewelry making.

The critically endangered Roti Island Snake-necked Turtle is endemic to Rote Island.

Agriculture is the main form of employment. Fishing is also important, especially in the eastern village of Papela, which has led to disputes with Australia over the water between them.[1]

Alor Island


Alor Island

Alor

Map of the islands of East Nusa Tenggara, including Alor

Alor Island (Indonesia)

Geography
Coordinates 8°15′S 124°45′E / 8.25°S 124.75°E / -8.25; 124.75
Archipelago Alor archipelago
Area 2,800 km2 (1,080 sq mi)
Country
Indonesia
Largest city Kalabahi (pop. 60,000)
Demographics
Population 168,000
Density 60 /km2 (160 /sq mi)

Alor is the largest island in the Alor Archipelago located at the eastern-most end of the Lesser Sunda Islands that runs through southern Indonesia, which from the west include such islands as Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, and Flores.

To the east of the island across the Ombai Strait lie the islands of Wetar and Atauro, the latter belonging to East Timor. To the south, across the Strait of Alor, lies the western part of Timor. To the north lies the Banda Sea. To the west lies Pantar and the other islands of the Alor archipelago, and further yet the rest of the Sunda Islands.

Geography

Alor has an area of about 2800 km², making it the largest island of the Alor archipelago.

Kalabahi is the only town on the island of Alor, with a metropolitan population of about 60,000. The variety of goods obtainable in Kalabahi is surprising considering its size and location.

Alor is of volcanic origin and has very rugged terrain. The region near Kalabahi is the only flat area. This is why the Dutch placed the capital and the main harbor (Alor-Kecil) of the area here in 1911.

“The best” snorkelling and diving in Indonesia can be found in the Alor archipelago. Due to intriguing and often very strong currents it is best to snorkel or dive with someone who knows the area well. Transportation to Alor by TransNusa Trigana Air, from Kupang, Denpasar and Surabaya.

Economy

The island’s infrastructure is only weakly built. The inhabitants practice mainly subsistence agriculture. The government seeks to change this with the help of international organizations. In the villages vanilla, tamarind, almonds and other nuts are cultivated. In the forests sandalwood is cut down for trade.

The latest geological explorations have discovered valuable resources such as gipsum, kaolin, petroleum, natural gas, tin, gold, and diamonds.

Alor’s highly-esteemed snorkeling and diving promise an increase in tourism in the future. Depletion of the fisheries has however damaged the coral reefs in recent years.

Religion

Over 168,000 people live on Alor. Three-fourths are protestants, the rest are either Muslims or in a few villages Roman Catholics. Animistic rites and traditions are still strongly practiced.

Language

More than 15 different indigenous languages are spoken on Alor, the majority of them classified as Papuan or non-Austronesian. These include Abui, Adang, Hamap, Kabola, Kafoa, Woisika, Kelon, and Kui. In addition, Alorese (Bahasa Alor; ISO 639-3: aol) is a Malayo-Polynesian language which is spoken along the coast of the western and southern Bird’s Head of Alor Island and in places on surrounding islands.

Many of the Papuan languages of Alor are endangered and are no longer being actively acquired by children. Some languages have fewer than 1000 speakers remaining. Significant linguistic documentation efforts have been undertaken recently by Leiden University.

The language of daily communication is Alor Malay, a unique Malay variety with some similarities to Kupang Malay. Indonesian is taught in schools and used widely in media.

Transportation

During the dry season, Kalabahi is serviced by flights five times a week from Kupang the provincial capital, using a [ATR42] 46 seat by TransNusa Trigana Air and Kasa 18 seat airplane. These flights are run by Merpati Airlines. Most of them are simply Kupang – Kalabahi – Kupang, but mid-2003 a new flight Kupang – Kalabahi – KisarAmbon, returning the next day, was introduced. The two Pelni passenger ships Serimau and Awu also pass through Kalabahi each week. Transport to Alor during the wet season is sometimes disrupted due to high winds and large waves.

On the 17th November, 2006 Trigana Air suffered its first ever plane crash accident. The aircraft (a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300) struck a mountain in Puncak Jaya (Indonesia) seven minutes before it was scheduled to land in the remote Indonesian province of Papua. All the 12 passengers onboard died shortly after the incident

Komodo Island


Komodo (island)

Komodo

Northern tip of the island
Geography
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 8°33′S 119°27′E / 8.55°S 119.45°E / -8.55; 119.45Coordinates: 8°33′S 119°27′E / 8.55°S 119.45°E / -8.55; 119.45
Archipelago Lesser Sunda Islands
Area 390 km2 (151 sq mi)
Country
Indonesia
Province East Nusa Tenggara
Demographics
Population c. 2000
Ethnic groups Bugis, others

Komodo is one of the 17,508 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia. The island has a surface area of 390 km² and over 2000 inhabitants. The inhabitants of the island are descendants of former convicts who were exiled to the island and who have mixed themselves with the Bugis from Sulawesi. The population are primarily adherents of Islam but there are also Christian and Hindu minorities.

Komodo is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and forms part of the Komodo National Park. Particularly notable here is the native Komodo dragon. In addition, the island is a popular destination for diving. Administratively, it is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province.

Vegetation on Komodo Island

Location

Komodo lies between the substantially larger neighboring islands Sumbawa to the west and Flores to the east.

Fauna

The island is famous not only for its heritage of convicts but also for the unique fauna which roam it. The Komodo dragon, the world’s largest living lizard, takes its name from the island. A type of monitor lizard, it inhabits Komodo and some of the smaller surrounding islands.

Komodo Dragon

First contact

The first reported human visitor to the Island was Dutch Officer Van Steyn van Hensbroek in 1910.

Lembata Island


Lembata

Map of the islands of East Nusa Tenggara, including Lembata (which is labelled as Lomblen on the map).

Lembata is an island in the Lesser Sunda Islands, formerly known as Lomblen island, is the largest island of the Solor Archipelago, in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. It forms part of the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur. The length of the island is about 80 km from the Southwest to the Northeast and the width is about 30 km from the West to the East. It rises to a height of 1533 m.

To the west lie the other islands in the archipelago, most notably Solor and Adonara, and then the larger island of Flores. To the east is the Alor Strait, which separates this archipelago from the Alor Archipelago. To the south across the Savu Sea lies the island of Timor, while to the north the western branch of the Banda Sea separates it from Buton and the other islands of Southeast Sulawesi.

Geography

Teluk Waienga – protected bay of Lembata island

The capital city Lewoleba (also known as Labala) is found on the Western part of the island alongside a huge bay facing the Ilê Ape volcano in the North. Ships frequently connect the coastal towns and surrounding islands, but the only bigger harbour exists at Lewoleba in the North of the island. From Lewoleba there are daily connections to Larantuka, Flores, and Waiwerang on the neighbouring island of Adonara.

Lewoleba sunset (above)

Like the other Lesser Sunda Islands, and indeed much of Indonesia, Lembata is volcanically active. It has three volcanoes, Ililabalekan, Iliwerung, and Lewotolo.

History

The south part of Lembata was the site of the state of Labala.

People

The people of Lembata are, like many other inhabitants of Eastern Indonesia, famous for their handmade ikat weavings.

The national language, Indonesian, is known by many people of all ages, but like on other islands the national language coexists with many local languages. The most widespread of these is probably Lamaholot (another lingua franca inside the Solor archipelago). Lamaholot is spoken as a native language on Eastern Flores and Western Solor, and is itself divided into ten or more sublanguages (and many more dialects). It is spoken by 150.000 or more people in the region.

On the South coast of Lembata, the village of Lamalera (pop. 2.500) is known for its whale hunting. Lamalera and Lamakera (on the neighbouring island of Solor) are the last two remaining Indonesian whaling communities.

 Lamalera is a village which is perched on the rocky slopes of an active volcano on the southern coast of the island of Lembata, in Nusa Tenggara Timur in eastern Indonesia. An anonymous Portuguese document of 1624 describes the islanders as hunting whales with harpoons for their oil, and implies that they collected and sold ambergris. This report confirms that whaling took place in the waters of the Suva Sea at least two centuries before the appearance of American and English whaling ships at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The Christian Mission has been in place in the community for a hundred years, schools have been established and a training workshop teaches carpentry. It is a fishing village in a region where most communities support themselves by agriculture. Lamalera has very little productive land, so the villagers have to fish in order to survive. Their preferred quarry is sperm whale. Catching sperm whale with hand-thrown harpoons from small open boats powered by muscle and palm-leaf sail is no easy task, and the hunt is by no means uneven between man and whale. The tail flukes of a whale can smash the timbers of the boats and many boats are temporarily disabled by their prey.

Harpooners have been disabled and killed. But the attraction of the whale is its size. The flesh of the whale (and shark and manta ray) is cut into strips and sun dried in the village. The meat is then carried to small markets where it is bartered with mountain villagers. One strip of dried fish or meat is equivalent to twelve ears of maize, twelve bananas, twelve pieces of dried sweet potatoes, twelve sections of sugar cane, or twelve sirih peppers plus twelve pinang nuts.

Timor Island


Timor

Timor

Political Division of Timor
Timor (Indonesia)
Geography
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 9°14′S 124°56′E / 9.233°S 124.933°E / -9.233; 124.933
Archipelago Lesser Sunda Islands
Area 11,883 sq mi (30,777 km2)
Area rank 44th
Highest elevation 9,720 ft (2,963 m)
Highest point Ramelau
Country
East Timor
Indonesia
Province East Nusa Tenggara
Largest city Kupang (West Timor)
Demographics
Population 2,900,000 (as of 2005)
Density 94.3 /km2 (244.2 /sq mi)

 

Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. It is divided between the independent state of East Timor, and West Timor, belonging to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. The island’s surface is 11,883 square miles (30,777 km²). The name is a variant of timur, Malay for “east”; it is so called because it is at the east end of a chain of islands.

Language, ethnic groups, and religion

See also: Languages of East Timor and Tetun

Similar to nearby islands, most Timorese are Melanesian[1] and anthropologists identify eleven distinct ethno-linguistic groups in Timor. The largest are the Atoni of western Timor, and the Tetum of central and eastern Timor.[2] Most Timor indigenous Timorese languages belong to the Austronesian group of languages spoken through the Indonesian archipelago. The non-Austronesian languages are related to languages spoken in the Halmahera (in Maluku) and Western New Guinea.[3]

The official languages of East Timor are Tetum and Portuguese, while in West Timor it is Indonesian. Indonesian is also widely spoken and understood in East Timor.

Christianity is the dominant religion throughout the island of Timor, at about 90% of the population. Roman Catholics are the majority on both halves of the island; Catholics outnumber Protestants in West Timor by about a 3:2 ratio. Muslims and Animists are most of the remainder, at about 5% each.

Geography

Timor Island from space, November 1989.

Timor is located north of Australia, and is one of the easternmost Sunda Islands. Together with Sumba, Babar and associated smaller islands, Timor forms the southern outer archipelago of the Lesser Sunda Islands with the inner islands of Flores, Alor and Wetar to the north, and beyond them Sulawesi.

Timor has older geology and lacks the volcanic nature of the northern Lesser Sunda Islands. The orientation of the main axis of the island also differs from its neighbors. These features have been explained as the result of being on the northern edge of the Indo-Australian Plate as it meets the Eurasian Plate and pushes into South East Asia. [4] The climate includes a long dry season with hot winds blowing over from Australia. Rivers on the island include the Southern and Northern Laclo Rivers in East Timor.

The largest towns on the island are the provincial capital of Kupang in West Timor, Indonesia and the Portuguese colonial towns of Dili the capital, and Baucau in East Timor. Poor roads make transport to inland areas difficult, in East Timor especially [5]. East Timor is a nation in debt, with health issues including malaria and dengue fever. Sources of revenue include gas and oil in the Timor Sea, coffee growing and increasing tourism.

 Flora and fauna

Timor and its offshore islands such as Atauro, the former place of exile now becoming known for its beaches and coral, and Jaco along with Wetar and the other Barat Daya Islands to the northeast constitute the Timor and Wetar deciduous forests ecoregion. The natural vegetation was tropical dry broadleaf forests with an undergrowth of shrubs and grasses supporting a rich wildlife. However much of the original forest has been cleared for farming, especially on the coasts of Timor and on the smaller islands like Atauro, and apart from one large block in the centre of Timor only patches remain, while the clearance is ongoing. This ecoregion is part of the Wallacea area with a mixture of plants and animals of Asian and Australasian origin; it lies in the western part of Wallacea, in which Asian species predominate.

Many trees are deciduous or partly deciduous, dropping their leaves during the dry season, there are also evergreen and thorn trees in the woodland mix. Typical trees of the lowland slopes include a tropical chestnut Sterculia foetida, Calophyllum teysmannii and Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana).

During the Pleistocene epoch, Timor was the abode of extinct giant monitor lizards similar to the Komodo Dragon. Like Flores, Sumba and Sulawesi, Timor was also once a habitat of extinct dwarf stegodonts, relatives of elephants.

Fauna of today includes a number of endemic species including the distinctive Timor Python, the Timor Shrew and Timor Rat. One marsupial mammal of Australasian origin, the Northern Common Cuscus, occurs, but is thought to be introduced.[6] The islands have a great many birds, mainly of Asian and but some of Australasian origin. There are a total of 250 species of which twenty-four are endemic, a large number due to the relative isolation of these islands, including five threatened species; the Slaty Cuckoo-dove, Wetar Ground-dove, Timor Green-pigeon, Timor Imperial-pigeon, and Iris Lorikeet.[7]

West Timor is the western and Indonesian portion of the island of Timor and part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara, (Indonesian: Nusa Tenggara Timur).

During the colonial period it was known as “Dutch Timor” and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian National Revolution (1945–1949). From 1949 to 1975 it was known as “Indonesian Timor”.[citation needed]

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History

House of the Dutch resident in Kupang (c. 1900)

European colonization of Timor began in the 16th century. Although the Portuguese claimed the island of Timor in 1520, the Dutch (in the form of the Dutch East India Company) settled West Timor in 1640, forcing the Portuguese out to East Timor. The subsequent collapse of the company meant that in 1799 the area returned to official Dutch rule. Finally, in 1914 the border between East and West Timor was finalized by a treaty between Holland and Portugal that was originally signed in 1859 and modified in 1893.

West Timor had the status of residentie within the Dutch East Indies.

Japan conquered the island during World War II in early 1942. Upon Indonesian independence, West Timor became part of the new Republic of Indonesia.

On 6 September 2000, three UNHCR staff members were attacked and killed in Atambua, a town in West Timor (see Attacks on humanitarian workers).

Geography

West Timor is a political region that comprises the western half of Timor island with the exception of Oecussi-Ambeno district (which is politically part of East Timor) and forms a part of the Indonesian province of Nusa Tenggara Timur, (NTT or East Nusa Tenggara). The land area of West Timor is 15,850 km². The highest point of West Timor is Mount Mutis (2427m).

Rote Island, the southernmost island of Indonesia, is southwest of West Timor.

West Timor’s largest town and chief port is Kupang.

Administration

West Timur is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into four regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: Kupang, Timor Tengah Selatan (South Central Timor), Timor Tengah Utara (North Central Timor) and Belu. The city of Kupang is a fifth regency-level administrative area.

Population

West Timor’s main religions are Catholic (56%), Protestant (35%) and Islam (8%). There are approximately 1¾ million inhabitants in 2008, some of whom are refugees who fled the 1999 violence in East Timor.

In addition to the national language, Indonesian, native languages belonging to the Fabronic Stock of the Austronesian group of languages are spoken in West Timor, the others in East Timor. These languages include Tetum, Ndaonese, Rotinese, and Helong.[1] Knowledge of Dutch is now limited to the older generations.

Economy

West Timor has an average unemployment rate of 80%.[2] 30% of the population lived below the poverty line in 1998; as of 2000 it was 80%. The economy is mainly agricultural, using slash and burn methods to produce corn, rice, coffee, copra and fruit. Some timber harvesting is undertaken, producing eucalyptus, sandalwood, teak, bamboo and rosewood.

Flores Island


Flores

Flores

Topography of Flores
Geography
Location South East Asia
Coordinates 8°37′S 121°08′E / 8.617°S 121.133°E / -8.617; 121.133
Archipelago Lesser Sunda Islands
Area 13,540 km2 (5,228 sq mi)[1]
Area rank 60th
Highest elevation 2,370 m (7,780 ft)
Highest point Poco Mandasawu
Country
Indonesia
Province East Nusa Tenggara
Largest city Maumere (pop. 70,000)
Demographics
Population 1,600,000 (as of 2003)
Density 112 /km2 (290 /sq mi)

Flores is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, an island arc with an estimated area of 14,300 km² extending east from the Java island of Indonesia. The population is estimated to be around 1.5 million,[2] and the largest town is Maumere.

Flores is located east of Sumbawa and Komodo and west of Lembata and the Alor Archipelago. To the southeast is Timor. To the south, across the Sumba strait, is Sumba and to the north, beyond the Flores Sea, is Sulawesi.

On December 12, 1992, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale occurred, killing 2,500 people near Flores.

Etymology

The name Flores is a Portuguese word, meaning “flowers”.

Administration

Flores is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into eight regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: Manggarai Barat (West Manggarai), Manggarai Tengah (Central Manggarai), Manggarai Timur (East Manggarai), Ngada, Nagekeo, Ende, Sikka and Flores Timur (East Flores).

Flora and fauna

The west coast of Flores is one of the few places, aside from the island of Komodo itself, where the Komodo dragon can be found in the wild, and is part of the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Kelimutu National Park is the second national park designated on Flores to protect endangered species. The Flores Giant Rat is also endemic to the Island.

Flores was also a habitat of an extinct dwarf form of the proboscidean Stegodon until approximately 18,000 years ago; it also formerly harbored giant rodents such as Verhoeven’s Giant Tree Rat. It is speculated by scientists that limited resources and an absence of advanced predators drove the few species that lived upon the island to dwarfism and gigantism, respectively.[3]

Homo floresiensis 

Main article: Homo floresiensis

In September 2004, at Liang Bua Cave in western Flores, paleoanthropologists discovered small skeletons that they described as a previously unknown hominid species, Homo floresiensis. These are informally named hobbits and appear to have stood about 1 m (3.3 ft) tall. The most complete individual (LB1) is dated as 18,000 years old.

Culture

See also: the Portuguese in Indonesia

Some fishing boats on Flores

There are many languages spoken on the island of Flores, all of them belonging to the Austronesian family. In the centre of the island in the districts of Ngada, Nagekeo, and Ende there is what is variously called the Central Flores Dialect Chain or the Central Flores Linkage. Within this area there are slight linguistic differences in almost every village. At least six separate languages are identifiable. These are from west to east: Ngadha, Nage, Keo, Ende, Lio and Palu’e, which is spoken on the island with the same name of the north coast of Flores. Locals would probably also add So’a and Bajawa to this list, which anthropologists have labeled dialects of Ngadha.

Flores is almost entirely Roman Catholic and represents one of the “religious borders” created by the Catholic expansion in the Pacific and the spread of Islam from the west across Indonesia. In other places in Indonesia, such as in the Moluccas and Sulawesi, the divide is more rigid and has been the source of bloody sectarian clashes.

History

Portuguese traders and missionaries came to Flores in the 16th century, mainly to Larantuka and Sikka. Their influence is still discernible in Sikka’s language, culture and religion.

The Dominican order was extremely important in this island, as well as in the neighbouring islands of Timor and Solor. When in 1613 the Dutch attacked the Fortres of Solor, the population of this fort, lead by the Dominicans, moved to the harbor town of Larantuka, on the eastern coast of Flores. This population was mixed, of Portuguese and local islanders descent and Larantuqueiros, Topasses (people that wear heats) or, as Dutch knew them, the ‘Black Portuguese’ (Swarte Portugueezen).

The Larantuqueiros or Topasses became the dominant sandalwood trading people of the region for the next 200 years. This group used Portuguese as the language for worship, Malay as the language of trade and a mixed dialect as mother tongue. This was observed by William Dampier, a British Brigadier visiting the Island in 1699:

“These [the Topasses] have no Forts, but depend on their Alliance with the Natives: And indeed they are already so mixt, that it is hard to distinguish whether they are Portugueze or Indians. Their Language is Portugueze; and the religion they have, is Romish. They seem in Words to acknowledge the King of Portugal for their Sovereign; yet they will not accept any Officers sent by him. They speak indifferently the Malayan and their own native Languages, as well as Portugueze.” [1]

In 1846, Dutch and Portuguese initiated negotiations towards delimiting the territories but these negotiations led to nowhere. In 1851 the new governor of Timor, Solor and Flores, Lima Lopes, faced with an impoverished administration, agreed to sell eastern Flores and the nearby islands to Dutch in return for a payment of 200000 florin. Lima Lopes did so without the consent of Lisbon and was dismissed in disgrace, but his agreement was not rescinded and in 1854 Portugal ceded all its historical claims on Flores.

After this, Flores became part of the territory of Dutch East Indies until the independence of Indonesia, when it became part of this country. [2]

Tourism

Bena Village

The most famous tourist attraction in Flores is Kelimutu; three coloured lakes in the district of Ende and close to the town of Moni. These crater lakes are in the caldera of a volcano, and fed by a volcanic gas source, resulting in highly acidic water. The coloured lakes change colours on an irregular basis, depending on the oxidation state of the lake[4] from bright red through green and blue. The latest colours (late 2004) were said to be turquoise, brown and black.

There are good snorkelling and diving locations along the north coast of Flores, most notably Maumere and Riung. However, due to the destructive practice of local fishermen using bombs to fish, and locals selling shells to tourists, combined with the after effects of a devastating tsunami in 1992, the reefs have slowly been destroyed.

Labuanbajo (on the western tip of Flores) is a town often used by tourists, from where they can visit Komodo and Rinca. Labuanbajo also attracts scuba divers, as whale sharks inhabit the waters around Labuanbajo.

Tourists can visit Luba and Bena villages to see traditional houses in Flores. Larantuka, on the isle’s eastern end, is known for its Holy Week festivals.

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In addition to tourism, the main economic activities on Flores are agriculture, fishing and seaweed production. The primary food crops being grown on Flores are rice, maize, sweet potato and cassava, while the main cash crops are coffee, coconut, candle nut and cashew.[5] Flores is one of the newest origins for Indonesian coffee. Previously, most Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) from Flores was blended with other origins. Now, demand is growing for this coffee because of its heavy body and sweet chocolate, floral and woody notes.[6]

Kelimutu Lake 3 Colours :