Tourists are Bad. I Think.

When I got to Flores I was looking forward to the mountains, volcanoes, and volcanic lakes…  Unfortunately, while the rain held off, everything was carpeted with low clouds and mist.  It was still something to see, but not what I was hoping for.  Sigh.

But, but, but!  The riding was great!  Decrepit roads winding through the jungle, impossibly steep corners, and crazy drivers that had me thinking about charging my heart rent for the amount of time it was spending in my throat.  Everything that makes riding- Riding.  This little stretch from my GPS map gives a good idea (note the scale).

Then, as I got closer to the East coast, the weather cleared and part of what I’d been missing was reveled!

The real treat, though was waiting for me in Labuanbajo.  Primarily a jumping off point for K0modo Dragon viewing (something I had to skip- no bike transport), it was actually a really nice little town.  Enough tourists to have some modern comforts and tourist related stuff (WiFi, a fix for a burger fix, etc), but not over-run with the annoying types trying to sell you things or anything.  A perfect place for a little break.

After checking out the view from my patio,

I decided that a night and a day wasn’t quite enough- 2 nights would be perfect!  That evening cinched the deal and would have had my running back to the hotel to book another night if I hadn’t already.  Great fresh seafood, laid back locals to play pool with, and dinner with view like this…

The next day had me updating my blog, doing some chores, and reflecting on tourists.   I’m obviously a tourist, but in a strange category that very rarely has enough numbers to justify a place changing to accommodate my (our) needs.  Maybe traditional tourists aren’t so bad?  Even a steady trickle brings in more varied food, convenient odds and ends at the shops, and more English speaking locals.  I’m still not sold, but perhaps- just perhaps- I could be convinced that regular tourism isn’t the death of a place…



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