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Home Tourist Attractions Attractions in Flores Ruteng

Ruteng is the capital of the district Manggarai, which is by far the biggest of Flores; it consists of almost one third of the island. The capital is located at the food of a high mountain range and forms the center of a complicated network of valleys, which together make the biggest rice-producing area
of Flores. The area is part of the most important coffeeproducing areas of Indonesia.

Ruteng is a small, mainly Catholic town with a lively shop-and market quarter.
The commercial activities are dominated by Chinese families. Because of it's high location Ruteng has a nice cool climate.

Welcome mountain The top of Golo Curu ('Welcome mountain'), a hill north of Ruteng, offers a nice view over the city and the surrounding sawahs.

Follow the road to Reo until a kilometer past Losmen Agung. Go straight after the bridge - instead of following the main road which bends to the left - until a church, the Santo Fransiskus Assisi. Behind the church is an unpaved road
which brings you to the top in about 20 minutes on foot. The best time for a trip to the top is in the early morning, because in the afternoon the mountains are often obscured by clouds.

The view is the best at sunrise, around 6.00, and just after. After climbing for a while you can see graveyards: one for Catholics, one for Chinese and one in between for war heroes.

On the top of Golo Curu the view is obstructed by vegetation, but a little lower you can look over the surrounding sawah's, which look just as orderly as possible in such a rough landscape. Just west of the hill you can see one of the few lingko rondang, a traditional field in which wedge-shaped
gardens are located around a central point
Above the entrance to the upper part of the hill is a gate with the text 'Ave Maria'; behind that an altar for the Holy Virgin. The story goes that a farmer from the neighborhood saw a bright light on the top oft he hill. A supernatural voice told him that an altar for Maria supposed to be built. The church obeyed, but there have no miracles taken place yet.

The residents of Ruteng consider themselves modern Indonesian with pride and maybe even a little regret because they have said goodbye to their raditional lifestyles. The most spectacular habit of the old religion is still popular: caci, or whip fights, in which the participants hit each other with whips of buffalo skin. It's an important part of the traditional ceremonies and also during a Catholic marriage. The 'season' is from the end of June until the end of August. The best way of tracking a marriage is asking for it at the local market (in Indonesian) or even better is you know someone that speaks the local language asking it for you.

The first large town near Labuhanbajo is RUTENG , 140km to the east. Surrounded by stark, forested volcanic hills and rolling rice-paddy plains, it's an archetypal hill town and a cool, relaxing place.
The market just to the south is the central meeting point for the local Manggarai people, as Ruteng is their district capital. They speak their own language and have a distinctive culture that's most in evidence in villages on the south coast. Their traditional houses are conical and arranged in concentric circles around a round sacrificial arena; even the rice paddies are round, divided up like spiders webs, with each clan receiving a slice. Most of these formations are no longer used, but a good example can still be seen at GOLO CURU , a three-kilometre walk uphill from the Agung losmen in Ruteng.


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