I enjoyed visiting the traditional Ngada villages near Bajawa. But there was another one I wanted to try to find.
Belaraghi village is off the beaten track. It’s not near Bajawa. It’s between Bajawa and Ruteng, near the coastal town of Aimere.
Once again, it was hard to get information on sites off the beaten track in Flores. Lonely Planet just said “you can’t get there on your own.” Challenge accepted!
I managed to acquire a little pamphlet with written directions to some of the sites. It didn’t have any maps. But in this case, the directions were sufficient. They referred to a sign that was easily spotted from the main road, and some locals were nearby to confirm this was indeed the turnoff.
I had to drive down the side road for a while, going uphill, away from the coast. There was only one road to follow, but it’s always nice to be able to ask locals to make sure I’m on the right road. All the villages I passed through were deserted. It was Sunday, and everybody was in church.
I drove to the end of the road. On motorbikes it’s not always clear where that is, since the locals ride them everywhere. Still, I parked in what seemed like a good place, leaving my big bag on the bike. I set out down the trail.
It was a long walk, and it was mostly uphill. I came across a hunter with a gun, and he spoke English, so we chatted. He was surprised I didn’t have a guide.
It took about an hour in the heat to get to Belaraghi village. It was worth the effort. This is what travel is all about. Trekking through the forest to arrive in a grassy clearing, ringed by houses with thatched rooms.
I thought Bela village was good, but this was better because of the natural setting. The courtyard was grass and flowers. There were mountains, and the sea was visible. And no other bule.