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Moni, Flores, Indonesia

Kelimutu's Lakes


The journey from Bajawa to Moni was interesting to say the least! The first part was fine as we took a shared car to Ende. The next part was more difficult as a landslide had blocked a large section of the highway. We had two options: get a lift to one side, climb over the rubble for 30 minutes with all of our stuff and then get a car at the other end; or take the scenic route around. We ended up getting a shared car that was taking a longer, more bumpy, dangerous, winding, breathtaking, heart stopping route around the landslide...I honestly saw my life flash before my eyes. To be fair to our driver, he was really careful and took his time over the worst of the road. We saw a fair few motorbikes on the floor and people walking sections because they'd given up.

Our room was 'ok'; we could have had a nice new room for £15 a night but we were good and remained on budget and paid £6 for an older room with no flushing toilet and cold shower. The place where we were staying, Bintang Guesthouse, was sociable and had a really nice host named Billy that played the guitar. You named a song and he'd be able to play it. There's more coming up about our entertainment there, but for our first night we got an early night so that we could make sunrise on Kelimutu volcano.


We set off at 4.30am on our motorbike so that we were at Kelimutu's summit for sunrise. There's no hard trekking on this volcano, the road takes you more or less straight to the top with a well signposted path that leads you to a viewing area at the summit. The volcano is famed for its 3 crater lakes, all of which change colours. There's normally a blue/turquoise one, then a grey/blue one and a red/black one. I'm not sure what determines the change of colours, but you have to be lucky to get a turquoise, red and grey combo.


We were a unlucky with the weather because the sunrise was covered in thick cloud. As the photograph demonstrates.


We'd heard that you should stay around the crater lakes until about 10am anyway in order to see the sun shining over the lakes and enhancing their colours. So we bought a coffee and hot chocolate from a local man, snuggled in (because it was getting a little chilly) and had a snooze on top of the volcano waiting for the clouds to blow over.


Most people had given up and left, but we persevered...the sun came out and the turquoise lake looked magical.


Jason took some photographs of monkeys by the grey/blue lake.


Jason was keen to explore off the main path and so we walked along the dark lakes' edge...my vertigo kicked in! There's a point where you can see two lakes up close and Jason was leaning over a little to get a photograph (although J will claim he was well in the limits of safety, I was getting clammy at the thought of falling into the volcano). Jason says "quick, look at the lake bubbling!"... I peer over the edge and then feel even worse for doing so. I got down on the floor and shuffled to an area away from the edge. (Honestly heights never used to bother me, but I can't seem to handle it on this trip).


After our early start to the volcano I was feeling pretty tired and we'd heard about a beautiful beach about an hour and a half away. I was in the mood for relaxing. The drive to the beach was amazing; twisting roads through mountains and every person we went past shouted "hello". Koko Beach was your picture postcard paradise. There's a choice of two equally immaculate beaches, both palm fringed with nobody on either of them. Perfect!


There was a shack on the beach with a really smiley man that ran it. No menu, no English, no idea what was being cooked behind the wooden walls...but we somehow ended up with one of our favourite meals of the island. BBQ'd mackerel with spicy veg, rice and sambol, bottled water, bananas and fresh coconut for £2 total. I continue to fall more and more in love with Flores.


We'd spent the morning at a beautiful volcano and the afternoon in paradise, ate a delicious meal on the beach and then we had a full evening of entertainment back at our guesthouse. Billy got his guitar out, the arak was flowing, everyone was singing along and a good time was had by all. I seemed to get the short straw (although he provided lots of entertainment) and was sat next to Mauro, the local'funny' man. He didn't speak much English, but continued to proposition me as best he could. He wanted Jason to buy his blanket wrap for one million and asked the same question to him over and over again. He smoked like a trooper and I had to dart out of the way of his ash all night, nearly losing an eye on numerous occasions. He apparently has lots of women in the village to keep him 'company' and wanted to tell me all about them. Jason found the whole thing hilarious.


We were unsure about our next plan of action...to see more of Flores or move on to another Indonesian island?!


Posted by bloorsontour 13:44 Archived in Indonesia

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