Running out of land...

Trip Start Dec 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Gardena Hotel

Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hello Miss and Mister's!

We have been enjoying some spectacular journeys across Indonesia already but Flores just keeps raising the bar.  After an early start from Ende we headed towards a small village called Moni at the base of the volcano Kelimutu (1640m) with its multi-coloured crater lakes.  The rugged mountainous surroundings covered in lush jungle more than made up for the twisty, awkward road as we covered 50km in over 3 hours.

Moni was very small, but the people just keep getting more friendly the further east we go.  The Indonesians are a very smiley bunch!  Our first morning was monday market day which they were all pretty psyched about.  It was nice to mingle and check out some of the wares.  The hilight was the old ladies chewing on bettel nut which gives them bright red lips.  They all claim its great for the heart and teeth, despite all being toothless...  We wern't convinced by these claims and decided to leave this one custom to the locals.

Later we ended up walking for maybe 10km around villages, a waterfall, and our destination, hotsprings!  We were greeted warmly everywhere we went by calls of "hello mister!" and when the heavens opened we was invited in to one chaps house while his family were in hysterics about the fact two gringos were hanging out with them!

This morning we got up at 4am and jumped on the back of two motorbikes to take us up the best part of the volcano.  A 30 minute walk and we were at an incredible view point for the 3 multi coloured crater lakes and sunrise, except its was very cloudy, so just saw white.  luckily we ran in to some friends from our sea voyage so we caught up for a couple of hours when fortunately the wind picked up and finally gave us a glimpse of what we had come for.  The 3 crater lakes change colour due to various mineral and volcanic influences but today we were greeted by a moonscape with a black, green, and blue lake.  It looked like a giant easel with various paints ready to go to work!

After this early morning activity we hitched a ride in a truck to Maumere where we need to extend our visa.  Unfortunately despite the fury of the Bish Immigration closed at 3pm so we will have to wait until tomorrow now.  It seems like a nice town however, with a clean harbour and great seafood.  We are seeing more and more churches as we go east on Flores which seems strange and out of place but also quite homely.  When planning our trip we really didn't realise quite how vast Indonesia is and the European influences that have shaped it.  Flores is Portuguese for flowers.  The name stuck because of its breathtaking variety of beautiful flowers.

Update on this update...

We did indeed get our visa application in and spend the 3 days before we got it back 24kn east of Maurmere at a stunning waterside location- near Waiterang. We were with a family and their dogs, pigs, rabbits adn of course chickens and coudl step out of our beach hut and snorkel right there. It was perfect. On to Larantuka!         
Hope everyone is well,

love Russ and Julie x

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Elaine on

Your adventures are incredible - so varied and interesting. I am loving reading your updates and marvel at all your experiences. From elephants to dolphins, the Taj Mahal to feasting on shark and more and more. Would love to try the outdoor yoga in the heat. Had a bit of a panic when I read about the snorkelling - not sure I could have kept calm and got back to shore without a panic.

thank you for keeping me up to date - amazing

dunkersandbish on

Thanks Elaine, lovely to know you are getting the updates. Having a great time over here, many adventures and millions of memories. Lots of love, Julie x

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