We took our time this morning. The original plan was to stay two days at Lena house to get a bit of a rest from the ferry but since we had arrived here yesterday at 8am and didn’t do anything except for resting and eating, we felt good enough to travel on. The idea still was to have a short day though.
Breakfast with pancake and fruit salad was very yummy. She Ye also had breakfast so we had lovely company. Talking to other travelers is always good fun. Matt appeared quite a while later. Both of them warmly recommended Koka Beach where they had just been. So we put it on the agenda to check it out, at least.
It was warm, very warm at 11.30am when we left. And almost lunch time again. The next bigger city was Maumere so we planned to have lunch there. When we got there, nothing really took our fancy while I remembered a recommendation for a restaurant in Paga. According to the GPS, Paga was a mere 20km onwards so we decided to give Restaurant Laryss a try. It was astonishingly hard to find, in the end. We passed it on the first try, met a bunch of schoolkids ad had troubled turning around but found it on the second try. The sign had fallen down and nothing was advertising it as anything else but a regular looking place anymore…
The owner spoke English and a bit of German which Flo used to get a recommendation for food. Thus, he ended up with squid (very yummy according to him).
From Paga, it was only a short ride to Koka Beach. Off the main road, you take a small track down to the beach, maybe two kilometres. We were greeted by a guy with a machete at his side and a twelve year old shadowing him. He spoke English quite well and let us know that he is volunteering as “beach keeper” for Koka Beach: He gets a dollar from every visitor but for that money, he looks after the beach, clears it of rubbish and has a strike rule that no motorbikes are allowed right on the beach. He wasn’t kidding. The beach looked amazing! Funny story at the side: Our motorbike and our trip reminded him of another traveller who had stayed at Koka Beach. Turns out that Hubert, the German traveller we met in Dili, had stayed here for a couple of days.
A local named Blasius runs a little warung, shop and ‘guest house’ for Koka Beach. Right at the beach, a couple of tiny huts have been built out of bamboo which can be rented for $3 dollars a night so you can either stay in one of those or camp with your own tent. Some shaded benches and deck chairs for day visitors or use at the beach complete the set. All of them are also made out of bamboo.
We decided to stay for a night in a lovely hut. Since we didn’t have a mosquito net, we used just our inner tent in the hut. It was almost like living in a hobbit hole right at the beach. =P
Dinner was prepared by Blasius’ wife for 6 o’clock. It was lovely, delicious and way too much food. Two grilled fish were dished up for Flo while I got egg fritters, spinach and a delicious tomato-chili-salad that was just a notch too hot for me but which I ate anyway. Blasius joined us for dinner, well at least our dinner conversation, and we talked in English, a bit of Bahasa and a lot of gestures. Afterwards, we were treated to tea and coffee (local coffee, brewed like Greek ones) and an invitation to visit Blasius’ parents in the morning after breakfast.
It was dark early so we listened to an audiobook and took some photos in the dark before actually going to sleep.