Larantuka was our next stop, a
bustling and rather more prosperous town on the western end of Flores Island.
Again we were overwhelmed by the welcome we received. Although only about 15
yachts turned up, there was a welcome ceremony followed by a really wonderful
meal of local specialities attended by the regent and the king and queen. Of
course, Indonesia is not a monarchy but they seem to maintain the role for
ceremonial purposes such as this welcome.
The king is the one with
the fancy head dress!
Lorraine hobnobs with
royalty, the queen is to her left.
We had the usual entertainment of
traditional dancing by local adults and children but were also sung to by a
couple of officials including the Head of Tourism for the region who was
surprisingly good...if you like country and western! His piece de resistance
was, “Help Me Make It Through The Night”, by Kris Kristofferson. Most of the
Indonesian people we have met are keen country and western fans. They also love
line dancing which is very similar to their traditional circle dancing used as a
way of uniting everyone. This happens at the end of every celebration we
The whole town was getting
prepared for the 66th anniversary of the Independence of Indonesia and the
following day there was a parade through the town by children from 4 years old
to older teenagers. The theme of the parade was Indonesia old and new, so many
of the children were dressed in the local costumes of the different islands.
This little girl from
And this slightly
nervous girl, 4 up on a motorbike, representing Bali I think.
So many different costumes from many
But not all the children
appeared totally delighted by their outfits!
One positive thing is that the
youngsters seem to be getting the message about litter. This litter costume by a
youth group was sending an obvious message and apparently the town had had a big
clean up of the beach before our arrival.
This town and the people seemed to be
better off than others we have seen but some of their transport systems could do