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Trip Start May 13, 2013
Trip End Jun 01, 2013

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Where I stayed
Cafe Bintang Ende
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Indonesia  , East Nusa Tenggara,
Monday, May 27, 2013

The day started easy enough, a 4.30 alarm to catch pre arranged car for the forty minute drive to the Kelimutu viewing point car park then a 20 minute brisk walk to the viewing point for sunrise over Kelimutu. By the time we got to the top I was feeling a little queasy. We were some of the first to arrive by eventually there were probably 20 travellers there, plus a couple of tea and coffee wallahs. Rob offered to by me a cup of tea which I accepted hoping it might ease my stomach. The place was truly spectacular and I managed to get a couple of good photos before the inevitable happened and I had to climb through the guard rail and find a discrete spot to retire to. The sunrise was marred slightly by some low cloud but the colours, especially in the three volcanic lakes that we could see were mystical.
On the way back our driver stopped for a couple off photo opportunities before guiding us through and extremely muddy paddy field to a small water hole that was in fact a hot spring. A local elderly gentleman (not many of those around, that I can see) was attending to his morning ablutions when we arrived but left not long after. The driver then with his limited English told us he would take us to an even hotter spring. Back in the car we journeyed a little further down the mountain and stopped beside a collection of possibly the most primitive huts we have seen so far in the journey. Stepping out of the car the Stone Age scene was interspersed with a booming techno beat eminating from middle hut. It was still only about 7am. To get to the hot spring we had walk past techno hut, it appeared that the hut actually lacked a power connection, but there you go. Gilligan's island meets (insert techno reference here, I can't think of any).
We were back at Cafe Bintang by 8 with a whole day to kill, Rob was keen to explore another hot spring mentioned in LP just beyond a waterfall we had visited on our way back. However nature intervened with one of the most spectacular rain storms I have ever seen. It lasted most of the morning so we amused ourselves by sleeping and hanging out with the staff at the cafe.
After lunch we set off to find the hot spring. The volume of water coming over the falls had increased dramatically since this morning but we pressed on. Just beyond the falls we entered a village where a lady told us there were no hot springs near here, she was however for a small fee able to provide us with a cup of local coffee and some home cooked rice. I accepted the coffee Rob accepted the rice. She deposited us in the common room of her two room shack, amazingly she also just happened to have some local weaving for us to view.
The evening meal was possibly the best but most bizarre we have had on the trip. Rob had been accosted by a local tout asking us to try his new restaurant that night. He told us to be there at 7pm. Rob was intrigued so agreed. To get to the restaurant you had to be directed by locals as there was no signage to it. I knew it was safe though because on the way we passed a house where there was a group of people both inside and out saying the rosary. When we got there the only other people there were a couple of older Australians who had the most interesting journey through Indonesia. They appeared to be the most unlikely looking travellers I have ever seen. More suited to tuning In to the the parrot on 2GB than exploring some of the more remote recesses of Indonesia. We talked for a good while but no meal was forth coming, a lot of banging and loud talking from behind a bamboo partition that passed for a kitchen. Ultimately a group of six young Germans arrived and miraculously the food started to arrive. One menu option and that was all. Banana Flower rice and some sort of thickish soup but it was magnificent.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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