The “bus” to Ruteng.

All the buses to Ruteng were booked by people going on the hajj to Mecca, but there was a passenger truck going at 6 am so we took that. It was very cramped and uncomfortable but the trip only took five hours and so we were in Ruteng by about 1 pm. We got the truck to drop us at the Asia Wisata, a hotel that had been recommended to us [wrongly as it turned out!], and once we were settled in there we all walked into the town centre for a meal and a look around.

The market was the usual collection of clothes, fruit, vegetables and assorted meats for sale, and then we walked up towards the imposing church standing against a backdrop of mist-shrouded hills at the western end of town. Dub disappeared to find a telephone office and that left Linda, Thierry and me to explore the church. The front of the church was composed of two Dutch-style belfries with the main door set into the wall between them. Inside it was cool and quiet and similar in style to any Catholic church the world over: it was simply built from rough-sawn materials and in a somewhat dilapidated and unused state.

Back at the Asia Wisata, we all sat around on the upstairs balcony drinking arak and talking while we waited for our evening meal to be cooked. When it finally turned up it was swimming in grease and not much of it got eaten.

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