12 Days Lembata Adventure Tours
Lamalera is a remote village well-known for its peoples’ profession as whale hunters. Lamalera is located on the southern coast of Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara. Lembata, once integrated with East Flores Regency, is now an independent regency of its own. Lamalera Village is divided into two sub-villages: Lamalera A and Lamalera B, each with a population of approximately 2.000 people.
In the past years, Lamalera was a remote and isolated village located far from the hub of the local government, but now development of electricity facilities and paved highways have commenced to alleviate transportation difficulties to and from the regency’s capital. During the summer, this village is very dry and arid. As far as the eye can see, only savannas and dry, thorny bushes adorn the landscape. This condition has caused the Lamalera community to become dependent upon fisheries every year to sustain their lives.
Before the beginning of hunting season, Lamalera villagers possess a tradition to carry out a traditional culture ceremony as a means to request blessings from their ancestors and pay respects to those who died at sea. The ceremonial process is held every 1st of May, signaling the beginning of the whale hunting season, otherwise known as the “Lefa” season.
Whale hunting will normally occur during the months of May-November, but occasionally it has also been found to take place in December-April whenever a whale happens to pass through the Sawu Sea. Thus making the Lefa season a special time of the year to go to sea, and hunt whales, dolphins, sharks and various other sea mammals. Everyday except Sundays during the Lefa season, the people of Lamalera will go out to sea and hunt together.
As for the rest of the year, the Lamalera society will traditionally produce salt, weave textiles, or grow corn in the rocky arid surroundings. Whale hunting in Lamalera Village is done traditionally. The people involved and equipments used in the process are :
Peledang is a name for the ship used for hunting whales. The width of a peledang is 1.5 m with a length of about 7 m. In constructing a peledang, the rule is that there must not be any metal pins used to attach the pieces of wood. All parts of the boat must be made using wood and enjoined by wooden pegs. Every peledang is designed roofless to ease the task of watching whales while at sea.
Tempuling is the name of the spearhead used to thrust at the whales. This spearhead is made from metal
A bamboo of 4 m in length is used as a pole for the spearhead/ tempuling, and a grip to hold when thrusting at a whale.
The rope should be 50 m in length. One end of the rope is tied on the tempuling and the other end is tied to the ship/ peledang.
Balafaing/Lamafa is the name for the thruster, the most significant person of the team who determines the success or failure of the hunt.
Matros are the ship’s crew whose main function is to assist the lamafa/ thruster in the whole whaling process. In one ship there should be at least 12 matros.
DAY 1 : DENPASAR – MAUMERE – LARANTUKA
Fly to Maumere by On arrival at Waioti Airport of Maumere direct drive 127 km (4 hours drive) to Larantuka, a small town on the eastern tip of Flores Island through village, coconut plantation, rivers, hills, and jungles. It is Beautiful scenery
Larantuka is a small town of Larantuka is the district capital of east Flores, with a population of 30.000. it is strongly Christian – through there is also a significant Muslim population – with a remarkable Easter celebration showing Portuguese origins (16th century). The Chapel of the Virgin Mary, in the centre of town, houses the sacred statue of the virgin (see festival). On Saturday, the Mama Muji pray in ancient Latin and Portuguese, distorted to such a degree that it is unintelligible even to students of the language (see box). There are also prayers said each evening. There are a number of other churches in town, including the century old Cathedral of Larantuka and the Chapel of Christ (Tuan Ana Chapel).
DAY 2 : LARANTUKA – LEWOLEBA (L,D)
Breakfast at hotel. Cruise to Lewoleba by fast boat OR Public boat at 08:00 am through Adonara and Solor Island with its natural beauty. Upon arrival at our guide will waiting you at the harbor then transfer to hotel for check in. After Lunch, drive to kwakat to see the traditional lifestyle of people and their activity how to make sarong. Then will enjoy the sunset at Waijarang Beach, and BBQ Dinner on the beach. Then drive back to hotel for overnight.
DAY 3 : LEWOLEBA – SABUTOBO – BELAME – LAMALERA (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we will drive to Sabutobo. It offers natural hot spring water which surrounded by the balmy of tropical forest. Will visit Belame. “Desa Wisata” which local food and souvenirs are available. Then continue to Lamalera – a village of Whale-Hunters in the South of the Island. On arrival join with the Whale hunter, if you may be lucky you will see muscular harpooners chasing the whale using the wooden canoe called “Pledang” in which its sail is made of palm leaves, OR having another opportunity to observe listening to their stories of conducting whale hunting.
DAY 4 : FULL DAY EXPLORE LAMALERA (B,L,D)
This whaling village (47 km away from Lewoleba town) on south coast of Lembata still hunts whales using small boats (pledang baoth), with the added it drama of a harpooner who leaps from the boat in to the beach of the whale and plungs his harpoon deep in to the victim flesh. Most of those caught are sperm whales though occasionally smaller pilot whales are scace sharkes, mantarays and dolphins. The villagers of Lamalera mainly use harpoons for fishing, whaling boats are made entirely of wood, wooden pegs are used instead of nails. The sail made of palm leaves. Before whaling season from 2 May until the end September, it must be opened with some stage of rites. The first is Tobu Nama Fata ceremony (ceremony of Lamalera people are gathering together for public dialogue, starting with the evaluation of the fishing activity that of years ago until needed preparations for the year Around fishing and over this ceremony, the mutually apologize each other. They believe when they don’t to totally apologize each other, it will damage the sailing activity especially the moment of whaling hunting. Misa Leva (it is the Katholik holly mass for asking to God’s bless for coming Leva Nuang. Catholic priest blessed deep sea and all the seafaring vessels. It’s held at Saint Peter Chapel in boat houses at Lamalera Beach.
“if you may be lucky you will see muscular harpooners chasing the whale using the wooden canoe called “Pledang” in which its sail is made of palm leaves”. Acommodation and meals at villagers’ houses in Lamalera.
DAY 5 : LAMALERA – LOLONG VILLAGE (B,L,D)
Breakfast the continue drive to Lolong Village, through Villager’s house and see the Ocean view of southern coast. Once arrived at Lolong, Local People will welcoming us with traditional Dance. Overnight at Villager’s house. PM : enjoy the local dance scenes OR some attraction.
DAY 6 : LOLONG – VILLAGE TOURS (B,L,D)
Breakfast then take opportunity to fishing game using traditional instruments. We called “Bituk”. Just stand up on the stone to fishing, and taking some pictures. Back to home and see how the local people cook the traditional food. Someone will explaining the process to us. We drank coffee, chatted and sampled the local delicacy: “Jagung Titih” or smashed popcorn (we called kwaru breket). The kernels are first cooked over a fire in a clay pot until they pop, then smashed with a flat rock. It doesn’t sound like much, but it tasted surprisingly good. The villagers, especially the village headman, were so friendly that we were reluctant to leave.
Breakfast then visit ELOK GRAVE which is located at Dragon CAPE (tanjung Naga) near the WATANLOLO village, on the way back visit Nale fishing spot. This beach has beautiful white sand, and beautiful waves. In certain month especially when the fully moon, people in this village always make ceremony to get Nale a kind of beach worm that can be eaten. village tour and join with the local people to learn they cook the traditional food, swimming, sunbathing and walk around the beach.
DAY 9 : MINGAR – LEWOLEBA (B,L,D)
Breakfast. Free activities until time to depart to Lewoleba pasing some villages.
Overnight at hotel.
DAY 10 : LEWOLEBA – FREE (B,L,D)
Breakfast at hotel. today is your free program.
DAY 11 : LEWOLEBA – LARANTUKA – MAUMERE (B)
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to harbor and cruise to Larantuka. On arrival direct drive to Maumere, overnight at hotel in Maumere
DAY 12 : MAUMERE – OUT (B)
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the Airport to depart for next destination. (B)
There is no Deluxe accommodation. Hotels and restaurants are in the process to reach international standard as well as its service. Most of the hotels have no hot running water, only one linen, no towel, no soap and no tooth paste. They think that their guests will always bring their own towel, own soap etc. Yes, This is an “off the beaten – track” destination with simple facilities….but beautiful and attractive. Most part of the road are winding and some parts are bumpy. Clients will drive through high land, mountainous, rivers cross, valleys, passing coconut trees, cacao, cloves, rice fields, farms, traditional villages and jungle.
What clients should bring:
* Tooth paste
* Walking shoes
* Good hat
* Sun cream
* Flash light
* Jacket or sweater (there are at least two towns where very cold in the evening and night).
* This is really a picturesque destination, please bring a lot of film.