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News April 2007   (Maumere/Flores / Indonesia, April 25, 2007)

 
Website statistics: In March, we were able to welcome on our website 30'844 visitors who did 784'599 hits.
                                           (February = 34'358 visitors ??? countries* 1'233'758 hits (= record))
                                Record days since 12/17/1998 - the birthday of our website: 2/19/2007, 2'518 visitors and 293'778 hits
                      (*= the country counter, which stopped working March 23, 2006, has still not been repaired by the
                              ISP Goldnet - frustrating! - usually there were monthly between 100 and 118 different countries!)
                   
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After an eight hour ferry sailing passing the dragon island of Komodo, we reached the island of Flores, lying in
Eastern Nusa Tenggara. Contrary to the previous island of Sumbawa, which is inhabited almost exclusively by
Muslims, 85% of the population of Flores are Christians. Thus it isn't a surprise that – instead of the otherwise
ubiquitous mosques – churches are becoming prevailingly visible in equal large numbers. It's also eminently
noticeable that there are less people living in the East. Fortunately, we encounter more and more secondary jungle
again, and not only buildings and houses alongside the roads.
 
Just at the Western edge of Flores there is a world famous attraction: The Komodo-Dragons. In the whole world
they are found only on the relatively small islands of Komodo and Rinca, which lye between Sumbawa and Flores.
Luckily, the whole area is a National Park, so that the monitor lizards, which might grow as long as 10ft., are
protected and have a chance to survive. We visited them after a 2-hour boat drive to the island of Rinca and
spotted seven of them. It was very impressive!
 
But Flores comes up with another special feature: The volcano of Kelimutu lying between Ende and Maumere. There
are three differently colored crater lakes on an altitude of 5'300 ft., which obviously change once upon a time their
colors due to different minerals. Most of the tourists – out of the few, who occasionally end up in this remote region –
climb up at sunrise. We had however the impression that the views at sunset are brighter and had the additional
pleasure to be the only visitors during this time of the day, making the experience even more exceptional.
 
High passes with strong grades, leading through impressive gorges and valleys, along beautiful shorelines and through
little towns and traditional mountain villages, make the driving really slow on the somewhat damaged Trans-Flores-
"Highway". The road distance of about 435 miles from West to East is more or less the double of the actual length of
the very photogenic island. It's not possible to drive faster than 15 m.p.h., and the numerous picture stops delay the
rewarding journey even more.
 
 
Wolowaru/Flores/Indonesia: People returning from Easter Mass

 

As expected, we had to apply in Maumere for our 4th and last possible Indonesian visa extension. But because this
last extension is still valid up to May 16th, we would like to visit before also the island of Sumba, which is situated in
the South of Flores and said to be a "titbit" too. Afterwards we have to leave somehow the country to apply
somewhere abroad in an Indonesian Consulate for a new visa – we wonder where this might be!
 
Therefore, please check from time to time the progress of our "Indonesia-Trip, Part 4" on our pictured site!
 

New Reports/Pictures

SOUTHEASTASIA:                                      mouse over picture shows comments
                     click a picture to see details

 

 
Sarawak/East-Malaysia
(Island of Borneo), Part 2
(Nov. 2006)
 
Kuching/Sarawak/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Proboscis monkey in Bako National Park
Sabah/East-Malaysia
(Island of Borneo)
(Oct. 2006)

Mount Kinabalu/Sabah/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Early Morning View

Brunei
(Sept. 2006)
 
Brunei (Borneo): ’The 'Ali Saifuddien'-Mosque at sunset in Bandar Seri Begawan
Sarawak/East-Malaysia
(Island of Borneo), Part 1
(June - Aug. 2006)

Miri/Sarawak/East-Malaysia (Borneo): Traditional stilt houses reflecting in the water of the Miri River

Myanmar
(May 2006)
 
Myanmar: Waiting for customers in Kawthoung
Thailand
Temples, Pagodas, Shrines 

Thailand
People, Beaches, Nature

(Nov. 1993 - Jan. 1994)
(Nov. - Dec. 2005)
(Febr. - April 2006)
Thailand: Ho Phra I-Suan Temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Laos

(February 2006)

Laos: The ’Patuxai’, the Laotian replica of the French ’Arc de Triomphe’ in Paris

Vietnam

(January 2006)
Vietnam: Two women cultivating a rice field

Cambodia

(December 2005)

Cambodia: The main temple of Angkor Wat with its five towers viewed from the hill of the ’Phnom Bakheng’ - Temple

Malaysia

(Oct. - Nov. 2005)
Malaysia: The four minarets of the ’Sultan Salahuddin’ State Mosque in Shah Alam are visible already from far

Singapore

(September 2005)

Singapore: High-rise buildings pop up everywhere - here behind the Parliament House

Macao

(September 2005)

Macao: The ’St. Paul’ ruin is an inspiring sight also at night

Hong Kong

(September 2005)

 

Hong Kong:From ’Hong Kong Peak’ we get an excellent view of the ’skyscraper jungle’
+ our Indonesia Trip, 4th part

Sumba, West Timor – April-May 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, 3rd part

Lombok, Sumabawa, Flores – April 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, 2nd part

Bali – Jan.-March 2007

+ our Indonesia Trip, 1st part

Sumatra, Java – Dec. 2006

+ our Borneo Trip

Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah, Kalimantan – Sept.-Nov. 2006

+ our LandCruiser on a "Rejuvenation Cure"

in Miri/Sarawak - the East Malaysian province on Borneo June-Aug. 2006

+ added from a earlier visit to the USA:

Las Vegas    (Millennium change)

+ added from our Arabian Peninsula round trip:

Pictures from Yemen (May-June 1996)

+ Flashbacks of our Worldrecordtour:

Pictures from "all the continents" (Oct. 1984 - April 1997)

+ Follow-ups about Toyota-Experiences:
Encounters resp. "Ups + Downs" with
Toyota Companies since 1982
On July 7th, 2005, we were able to celebrate after a journey through 150 countries the car's
600'000th Kilometer - very prosaic in front of the post office in Cayenne/French Guiana.
Are you interested into the LandCruiser History, prepared by Toyota Motor Sales USA and taken over by
Toyota Motor United Kingdom? (after some loading-time please klick "IN LEGEND" and afterwards "HAIR TO MAGELLAN
- and you will see that we already belong to it too!)

 

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