BRAAAKKKK. Suddenly I have smelled asphalt. The motorbike slipped, I fell on the road between Bajawa and Soa. I was crushed by a motorbike lying on the road. There were no serious injuries, but this body felt very weak. Luckily another motorcyclist passed by and helped me.
“Be careful, mas, this area often falls, it’s haunted, a lot of bad luck,” said the driver who helped me. I was still whimpering in pain, before then seeing the sand strewn across the road. It turned out that these sands were the culprit of my accident just now. The trans Flores line, which stretches 700 km from Labuan Bajo to Larantuka, is not completely finished, as is the location where I fell.
I was forced to cancel my intention to visit Wawo Muda and several traditional villages. The injuries to my legs and weakness in my body forced me to rest at the inn. However, before the accident, I had already visited several places in Bajawa.
Bena Tradisional Traditional Village
My first impression of Bena reminded me of the villages in the game series Final Fantasy. The village is located on the ridge of a hill, right at the foot of Mount Inerie, which makes the view of this village very attractive.
Houses made of reeds, as in Compang Ruteng Village, are lined up neatly following the hill. In the middle there are many stones, which are none other than the graves of the ancestors. Just imagine the machu-pichu in Peru, I think Bena is a bit like the contours of the Inca ruins.
There is no entry ticket to enter Bena, just fill out the guest book and make a sincere donation to the village. When looking at the guest book, I didn’t see many local tourists there. There are mostly from Germany or the Netherlands. It seems that most of our people prefer to visit mall haha.
“Good afternoon, sir,” I greeted a group of gentlemen who seemed to be resting.
“Ohhh. Afternoon, noon. Please have a seat. Heyyy please, that’s coffee for this man,” said the father kindly. And I sat down, accompanied by this very pungent smell of Flores coffee. I really don’t like coffee, but what can I do if I refuse.
Then came a group of young people and children, they brought various kinds of percussion instruments. Then they formed a circle in front of a bamboo frame house, and started playing the percussions very loudly.
“We are building a house, sir. It’s a traditional ceremony so that later the construction of the house will run smoothly,” explained Vinsen, the father who gave me the coffee earlier.
The house in Bena is indeed unique. The frame is made of Bamboo, roofed with reeds, and does not use nails at all to connect it. Everything is tied with fibers formed by rope. Everything from nature. This is local wisdom that is highly respected by the Bena community.
They also do not exploit nature, the contours of the hill where they live are left alone, shaped like a boat. Symbolizes the spirit of cooperation, hard work, and mutual cooperation. As exemplified by their ancestors, as well as what I saw when they worked together to build their relatives’ houses.
I continued to walk around the village. There are a lot of grave stones here, flanked by tribal symbols in the form of a small gazebo, namely bhaga and complain.
Bhaga building looks like a small hut. Meanwhile, ngadhu is a single-masted building with a roof of palm fiber, so that it looks like a shade hut. The ngadhu pole is usually made of a special type of wood and is hard because it also functions as a gallows for sacrificial animals during traditional celebrations.
Then I saw a family gathered on the terrace of his house. An old man is seen smoking a ‘rolled’ cigarette using corn husks filled with tobacco. “Come on mas please sit down,” a mother invited me with a smile. The people here are very friendly with visitors.
Soon he offered me coffee, with a heavy heart I refused because I had already taken a sip. But the mother smiled and then said, “There yes there, here yes here, different. It’s already made coffee.” I was forced to drink this second glass of Flores coffee! “Hah! I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight,” I muttered to myself.
After being satisfied walking around Bena, I headed to Soa to enjoy the natural hot springs. The water is so clear that the green rocks are clearly visible. There seems to be no one here, except for one Caucasian family. So this hot spring becomes a personal hot spring haha! After that the story ends with me kissing the asphalt…
There are still many very interesting villages in Bajawa, it’s a shame I didn’t get to visit them. Oh, yes, for the city of Bajawa itself it is very cold! Colder than the city of Ruteng, the city I had just explored before.
However, Bajawa looks more messy than Ruteng. Apart from that, this city at the foot of Mount Inerie is indeed very interesting. In the late afternoon, Mount Inerie disappeared under the clouds, the fog was getting lower and lower.
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