We’re in Flores, a long stretched-out island east of Java and northwest of Timor. It is dry and arid featuring no less than 16 active volcanoes (and plenty more dormant and extinct ones). The 3-day crossing from Wakatobi was relaxing and enjoyable with a full moon, calm seas and just enough wind to keep the boat moving sans engine. We sailed past Komba island, an impressive active volcano spewing steam and smoke as we approached. Now that we are closer to land, we will avoid night-time sailing as much as possible; the coast here is littered with FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices) which are hardly visible in the dark.
Flores is predominantly Christian (yes, one can buy pork here!) and we visited an 82-year old Flemish development worker affectionately known by the locals as ‘Mama Belgium’. After spending 5 years in Congo she arrived in Flores in 1973 and until today she continues to work for underprivileged children. She founded a boarding school for girls and runs 6 children’s homes, one for children with disabilities. An inspirational lady and I very much enjoyed chatting with her in West-Flemish 🙂.