by Janice Nigro
The idea of traveling to Alor was as enchanting to me as finding the field of anemones. The area is remote. Divers go there, but throngs of tourists do not.
But I still am a girl who likes flushing toilets, warm showers, and tasty food. I booked a land based trip to the area through a couple I met in Indonesia several years ago running Abyss Ocean World, a dive travel business in Bali. They run the Indonesian branch of a European dive travel agency, so my first surprise of the trip was finding out my dive companions were all French speaking. That put an interesting spin on the adventure (we had cheese and salami before dinner each night), and wanting to understand the French complicated my efforts to learn more Indonesian.
We arrived safely at the end of our several days of travel at the beautiful low key Alami Alor Resort on the island of Alor. The resort is located on the southern side of Kalabahi Bay which is about an hour drive over some OK and some not so OK roads from the airport. You can’t help but notice the irony in the technology needed to transport you there, and to dive, and the throwback to another time in Alor. The local dive guides are superb and well-trained, but they paddle to the resort in the mornings in their dugout canoes. Like showing up for work on your skateboard and parking it next to your boss’ Maserati in LA.
Alami Alor is the product of a mutual dream for an international couple who found love while working at a dive resort in Honduras. Max is from the UK and Lauren is from the USA. They started building Alami Alor in 2013, were open for business in 2015, and have been fully booked ever since.
Their concept is to experience Alor naturally and that’s how they decided on the name. Alami is an Indonesian word for nature or natural. While the implications are obvious-to experience the real world nature in Alor-, Alami Alor is by default a health spa of sorts. Hibiscus tea is made from freshly picked flowers, the peanut sauce is ground from locally grown peanuts, and the fish comes out of the water the morning before you eat it. Alright you have to forget about the cookies and cakes they make. And Wednesdays when it’s cinnamon bun day which is “the best day of the week” according to Valentina, a co-manager of the resort from Chile.
Otherwise it’s freshly tapped coconut water on the table, roasted coconut flakes on fresh fruit of the season, and other delicious concoctions made from fresh ingredients all produced on the island. Even the coffee beans are fresh roasted in clay urns at the resort.
Without trying, a few days at Alami Alor is a preservative free holiday on top of a dive vacation. Because that’s just how things are there.
You might almost forget you are at a dive resort.
©Janice Marie Nigro/janikiInk.com
Looking for a scientific editor or writer? Contact Janice Nigro at Janice Nigro Ink. I have published in Cell, Science, and Nature, and articles I have edited have appeared in Cancer Research, PLoSONE, the Journal of Surgical Oncology, and Oncotarget.