Flores - Road Trip to Kelimutu
Trip Start Jun 01, 2007
88Trip End Jun 01, 2008
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So between the 7 of us we decided to rent a people carrier and driver for 3 days to drive us to Kelimutu. To make a long story short it was the hardest traveling we had done to date. We didn't realize just how bad the infrastructure was on the island and how long it would take us. The first day the 7 of us crammed into the van at 6am and were thrilled with the drivers choice of funky Indonesian techno music (Four non blondes speeded up by about 1000% with drum and bass accompaniment) for the entire day. Luckily he had to take out his amp and speakers from the boot so we could fit our knapsacks in! So basically the day entailed 12 hours in a van on the worse roads I have ever come across, laughingly called the Flores Southern Highway, with an hour or so stop for lunch and a couple of coffee breaks. The scenery was fantastic though with great views of the sea, winding roads up through the mountains and then really amazing lush green plateau at the top. That first night we popped into a hotel in a place called Bajawa which was recommended by our driver. It was a small town up on the plateau about halfway across Flores. We were all pretty knackered after the drive so we didn't get up to much
We didn't get to Moni until 12 night and had our work cut out for us bargaining with the hotel owner since we were only going to be in bed for 3 and a half hours
As I said we had to be at the base of the walk up the mountain at 4 am in order to get up in time for the sunrise. Some very grumpy sleepy heads got up that morning and we had real trouble getting the driver up. We made it in time though and were delighted to find locals ready to walk with us up the trail with flasks of coffee and tea for sale.
It was a truly amazing site watching the sun rise that morning. Kelimutu has three lakes in craters at the top of the mountain and each of them are a different colour. These colours are constantly changing because of the chemicals in the ground beneath the craters. So when we were there the three lakes were red/brown, Dark blue and Green. The views over the valleys surrounding the mountain were unbelievable as well. It was the most picturesque thing we had done since Sapa in Vietnam. I hope the photos do it justice. Once again we both forgot that we were heading to the mountains when we were packing our bags for the journey so all the photos show us wearing every item of clothing we had with us (this includes two pairs of socks on while wearing sandals!)
The journey back was just as difficult with a stop in the middle. We were truly wrecked after the trip but it was definitely worth it. We were planning on getting a bit of rest for the following two weeks back to some beach life on the Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok. Unfotunately we had to get there overland though. So again we took a 24 hour ferry-bus-ferry-bus-taxi-boat journey! The roads in Sumbawa which was in between Flores and Lombok weren't half as bad though and we slept most of the way through.