Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

Rice terraces in cobwebs

  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


On the island of Flores, Indonesia, some rice fields take on unusual shapes. In the region of Ruteng, in the west of the island, rice is cultivated in a spider's web!

Like pie pieces

We are in the Manggarai Country, about twenty kilometers from the city of Ruteng. Here, tradition has it that the cultivable valleys are divided fairly equitably between the family clans, as compared to the irrigated land.

The soil is "cut" as one would cut a pie, starting from a center that corresponds roughly to the most irrigated point. Each slice is then divided into several plots.

The result is incredible landscapes, where the rice fields seem to weave cobwebs. We give them the name of lingko.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

Panorama on the rice fields

I do not remember the name of the village where Missir, my driver, stopped. All visitors who cross Flores as I did stop here. The place offers a spectacular panorama on the cobweb paddy fields.

One is invited to sign a notebook that serves as a register and it is a good idea to make a small "donation", as is done in the traditional villages around Bajawa, which live mainly from tourism.

After, the kids of the village lead you to the best point of view, against another small reward. Counting 1,000 rupees (not even 10 cents) per head of pipe ... As I'm nice, I agreed to take five kids for me alone.

It is the children of the villages who guide you to the rice fields. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.
It is the children of the villages who guide you to the rice fields. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

And you have to follow them, little guys! "Mister! Mister! » do they launch - whether you're a man or a woman - if you're lambing too much.

They climb at full speed in flip-flops on the small path surrounded by weeds, indifferent to the heat. I crawl behind slow, full dodger, dripping. Fortunately, the point of view is very close.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

We see the small silhouettes of peasants bustling in the rice fields below. Hard job.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

My little guides are impatient. They are waiting for their rupees. I take my time.

I admire the view endlessly, I take piles and lots of photos, watching the clouds that change the light and reflections on the water of the rice fields.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

"Hello, mister! »

My driver stayed cool in the car. I go back inside, enthusiastic, after having ceremoniously deposited some crumpled notes in dirty handcuffs.

We leave by saying hello to children and continue our way among the rice fields, towards Labuan Bajo. We will stop often, for other panoramas, other photos.

In the fields, women often have their faces coated with a yellow or white powder, to protect themselves from the sun. The people who see me planted on the edge of the road, to photograph the rice fields, greet me with the hand and call me with the inevitable "Hello, Mister! ». Everywhere in Indonesia, it is customary to greet the exotic Westerners of both sexes by this formula, inherited from the Dutch colonization.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

Rice fields in the Ruteng region. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.

In villages that have not become tourist stops, the welcome remains simple, cheerful and spontaneous. We continue to swallow the slow-speed kilometers along this serpentine road that crosses the mountains and rice fields of Flores.

We are getting closer and closer to Labuan Bajo, to the west, and to Komodo Maritime Park. I can not wait to get back to the sea ...

  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

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  1. I love your reports, especially that one that takes us a little land ... And that reminds me of Sulawesi ... even if the rice fields there are not cut out like a "pie".
    Nudibranchs, it's nice ... but, it's good to see also green!
    😉

  2. @ Helen: Well, you're exaggerating. I take care to alternate "land" and "underwater" items to keep up with non-aquatic travelers and scuba divers eager for underwater encounters. There was the Kelimutu, and the beach of blue pebbles, and now the rice fields of Flores ... And do not worry, I prepare others, where there will be no question of bubbles or poiscaille!
    😉

    @Obeo @Fabrice: Rice fields like these, I had never seen me either ... And yet, I saw a package, rice paddies!
    😀

    @Bruno: Patience, patience ... I promise you that you will not be disappointed. Komodo, it's great !!!
    😮

    @Melissa: Yes. I like the road, the cities, the walks, the people, the mountains, the volcanoes, the rice fields, all that, all that, but I think that I like the coast, the coasts, the seas and the oceans, and see what's going on beneath the surface ...
    😉

  3. Flores ... I went to Indonesia four times, but not once to Flores. I saw that you talk about Kelimutu in another article, it's really a volcano that I would like to do ...

    And the "Hello, Mister" is really funny that it's all over Indonesia like that! Anyway it surprised me to see that my girlfriend also had the right to her "hello mister" 🙂

    I discover your blog, looking forward to reading you!

  4. @Tommy: Yes, I think people do not know what "Hello, mister! They just know it's a formula that serves to greet foreigners who pass ...
    😆

    @Laurence: Yes, the rice fields are beautiful, but they are on the island of Flores, not Bali. That said, there are also beautiful rice paddies in Bali ... So I cross my fingers for you for next year!
    8)

  5. Top, you took a driver to cross the island, I think to stay 1 month Flores I think mix public transport with the rental of mobile to turn around cities, I think it should be done easily enough no?

    1. Loïc: public transport, it's going to be "folklo" and your back will remember it... 😉 For the rest, we are in Indonesia, everything is possible...

  6. Your photos are beautiful, they really want to go there.
    Is it easy to talk to people in these kinds of places?

    1. @Agathe: yes, it's very easy to talk with people, but it's not necessarily easy to understand them or to be understood because of the language barrier... 😉 Everywhere in Indonesia, in Flores as elsewhere in the archipelago, contacts and encounters are very easy, Indonesians are always curious and welcoming towards visitors...

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