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There are many “must see” weaving highlights in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia but not all of them are accessible by boat. We therefore want to offer our guests a three-day pre-cruise option to visit these villages overland, see an interesting Lio weaving cooperative close to the city of Ende, and visit a traditional mountain village. Why not get into the swing of our Textile Cruise early, by joining us to explore a beautiful part of the rugged Ende Regency that even visitors to the Kelimutu Crater Lakes never get to see? Sign up for our three-day pre-cruise option, for which we will be using the modern, conveniently situated, Kelimutu Ecolodge at Moni as our base. As a group we will travel by land to some of the more remote villages on the island of Flores, where you will witness natural dyeing techniques, have opportunities to buy textiles from the villagers, taste local culinary favourites and see the famous towering Kelimutu volcano with its three, multi-coloured crater lakes. At the end of the three days we will join our seabound home, the Ombak Putih, in port at Maumere.
Note: Flights from Bali to the start point of Ende are included in the tour package and will be booked by the SeaTrek office, and guests will have rooms reserved for them at the Kelimutu Ecolodge. Flights back from Flores to Bali at the end of the cruise are not included, but our reservations specialists in Bali are more than happy to help arrange domestic flights on your behalf and advise on scheduling. We book hundreds of flights each year on behalf of our guests and we only book with IATA-approved airlines that have met with international standards of safety and dependability. If you are booking by yourself, please check with us first to find out the best routes to take, and to ensure that you arrive at your destination with plenty of time to spare. Except for Bali, transfers to and from local airports to the boat are also included.
This morning we will head south on a narrow scenic road to the remote weaving village of Nggela, stopping along the way for photographs over the spectacular Mbuli Valley. The traditional boat-shaped village of Nggela has two rows of tall thatched houses facing each other across a central area dotted with stone tombs. The local Lio weavers produce some of the best quality ikat in the Ende Regency. Although the use of commercial cotton is now almost universal and many weavers have adopted synthetic dyes, we will still get to see examples of naturally dyed cloth and the ceremonial ‘lawo butu.’ We will enjoy a simple packed lunch and the villagers will brew us some of their local coffee. After exploring some of the traditional houses there will be plenty of time for textile shopping. This evening we will enjoy a traditional feast and cultural performance.
An early start today as we take a scenic drive up the side of the volcano to the car park at the entrance to Kelimutu National Park. From here it is a pleasant 30-minute-walk through woodland to the first viewpoint over the spectacular three-coloured crater lakes. Climbing the 236 steps up to the furthest viewpoint will give us a good appetite for the breakfast awaiting us back at the Ecolodge. We will then drive through yet more beautiful scenery on the way to Maumere Harbour, boarding the Ombak Putih in time for a late lunch.
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David and Sue Richardson
David and Sue are passionate researchers and collectors of Asian textiles and since first visiting Indonesia in 1980, David and Sue have systematically visited every part of the archipelago, both overland and by sea using a variety of local vessels. Over the years David and Sue have assembled one of the finest and most comprehensive private collections of Indonesian and other Asian textiles, many of museum quality. They are members of the Textile Society of America as well as the Oxford Asian Textile Group, which is affiliated to the Ashmolean and the Pitt Rivers Museums of the University of Oxford. The Oxford Asian Textile Group was until recently chaired by Dr Ruth Barnes, a leading academic expert on the textiles of Eastern Indonesia.
David has a doctorate in quantum physics from Cambridge University and in his early career he spent several years working with the Ministry of Education in Jakarta on two major government aid projects to completely re-equip the universities of Indonesia with scientific equipment. Sue is an English graduate who spent her career in training and human resources for a leading chain of British department stores. They live in Nottingham with their two cats, Treacle and Truffle.