Sunrise at the top of Kelimutu

Trip Start Oct 03, 2012
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Trip End Nov 28, 2013


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What I did

Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Friday, August 30, 2013

Moni can be a busy place... around 4am in the morning. Sunrise at the top of Kelimutu is one of Moni's big draws. If travellers and tourists alike aren't blearily pulling it together to meet their ridiculously overpriced Ojek chauffeurs to the the top, then they are mounting their own ridiculously priced mopeds to get to the top. We fell into the latter grouping and were soon competing with shiny 4x4 vehicles from Maumere and Ende - the occupants of which had left their respective places of rest around midnight or before.

Luckily we were accustomed to the windy road up to the top thanks to our previous 30 km day and night hike up and down Kelimutu. The drama of the Milkyway and the constant bright light from a full moon were there again and it was magical - like being in a fantasy land.

The comedy at the front gate continued with our man and his continuously lit cigarette and horizontal approach to life in general. This time we watched our guard ripoff a tourist for an over inflated camera charge and the cost of entry for his Ojek chauffeur and bike !!! We really wanted to intervene but didn't want to draw the attention to our own plight. Oddly our horizontal guard must have made enough cash from our tourist friend (who didn't even question the price) and let us through at the right price.

It's cold at the top of Kelimutu at this time in the morning - around 4 to 5 degrees Celsius - we're used to balmy temperatures not that! Last time we cracked the cold weather gear out was China!!!

Anyway by the time we'd hiked up to the craters we weren't feeling cold and the sun was rising. Unluckily for us the clouds were rising too just in time to shroud Kelimutu in cloud. It wasn't quite the sunrise we had expected but the clouds did provide a few dramatic partings - check out the pics. Whilst we had white out groups of pesky monkeys provided the entertainment while everybody watched.

Luckily the clouds did part long enough for a few grander photo opportunities but the sunrise had been and gone. Still we got to see the craters of Kelimutu at a different time of day.

The ride down to Moni was just glorious everything was green and sunny, and the villages were in full swing.

Obviously we were knackered but after a short nap we took a small hike around Moni on a less advertised route. Starting at the waterfall at the Kelimutu entrance end, we worked round the back through coffee plantations and a couple small villages. It was less touristy than Moni if that was possible and we were met with screaming and laughing kids ready to explode with excitement at seeing strangers wander through. Along with old ladies chewing betel nut and grinding coffee beans and groups of lads being cheeky this was a beautiful walk. We ended-up at the other end of Moni walking through the rice paddies having looped round.

Absolutely great day - top of Kelimutu for sunrise and a sundown hike around Moni - fantastic.

Back to Ende tomorrow.
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