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Kelimutu Crater Lakes

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4:30 AM wakeup at the Ecolodge to start our trek to Kelimutu crater. We arrived at dark and started walking without a guide, but with another group and guides around us. We had flashlights for the way and it was about 30 min to the 250 steps up to the crater. There were some hikers already at the viewpoint when we arrived just as the trail became visible.
Kelimutu is sacred to local indigenous people, with the souls of the dead going to one of the 3 lakes based on their longevity and virtue. The craters are full of sulphurous liquid and change color based on what cocktail of earth gases happens to be spewing from their volcanic source. The middle and Eastern lakes are brilliant turquoise right now and the western lake is purportedly black, although obscured by a layer of fog that had not burned off by the time we left.
Just as we tired of taking pictures and wondering at the views, the monkeys came streaming down a ridge and sunned themselves on rocks nearby and the on railings. They were terminally cute and provided everyone with another round of photo opportunities.

One guy sat down and started to open a bag of snacks and was surrounded by chattering monkeys circling for the kill immediately. Guides intervened and shooed them away, meanwhile telling the guy to stash his food before he lost a limb. The quote of the day was from a guy with dreads who, gazing down at the middle lake hundreds of meters of sheer dropoff below, observed that there was “some scum floating on the lake. They ought to get down there and clean that up.”

Posted by mjschrum 17:01 Archived in Indonesia Tagged flores kelimutu moni Comments (0)

Moni, Flores

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Kelimutu Ecolodge in Moni. Total creature comfort! Ate a delicious meal with fresh vegies, garlic, ginger and chili for sambal from their garden and fresh locally made tofu for dinner. It was hazing and drizzling when we arrived in Moni so we were dubious as to whether we would get a clear morning for sunrise on Kelimutu. The staff and drivers told us to pray for a clear morning. When we awoke at 4 we were very grateful to see stars and a clear sky, left for the crater @ 4:30.

After Kelimutu returned for a great breakfast before heading out to Wologai and Riung.

Posted by mjschrum 03:12 Archived in Indonesia Tagged flores kelimutu moni Comments (0)

Flores - East Nusa Tenggara

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Departure for Flores this morning. In some ways it should be very different than Java.
Catholic vs. Muslim
Rural vs. densely populated
East of the Wallace Line vs. West of same (definition at bottom of entry)
Island Archipelago vs. agricultural plains

We are arranging with Teddy Aimbal, a guide in Maumere, for our trip across Flores. He shows up as a knowledgeable guide on Thorn Tree and Tripadvisor and has been very responsive through email. Here is more or less what we have planned so far. This will leave us with 5 days or so in Labuan Bajo for Komodo Natl Park, diving, and catching up on the novels that we haven't touched yet.

We are transiting right now through Makkasar, Sulawesi on the way to Maumere. Who knew that Makkasar has a big shiny international aiport, complete with Starbucks - which raises the question... Starbucks in the epicenter of coffee perfection which is Indonesia?

Trans-Flores Itinerary:

Day 01Maumere to Moni
-wuring fishing village
-Sikka village(weaving process&The old portueges church)
-Lunch in Paga white sandy beach
-traditional village in Wolowaru village
-staying overnight in Moni village

Day 02 Moni-Kelimutu lakes-Moni- Bajawa
-Trekking to Kelimutu lakes
-fruits &vegetables market
-Lunch in Ende
-Blue &green stones beach
-staying overnight in Bajawa

Day 03 Bajawa - Aimere
Overnight at Mbalata Beach Inn

Day 04 Aimere-Ruteng
-Bena village
-Local alcohol distilation
-lunch in Borong
-Widely terraces rice field
-Ranamese lake
Overnight in Ruteng

Day 05 Ruteng to Labuanbajo
-Ruteng puu village
-Spiderweb rice field
-lunch in Lembor
-Mirror stone cave
Overnight in Labuanbajo

Looking forward to the local alcohol distillation!

From Wikipedia: The Wallace Line (or Wallace's Line) is an imaginary line drawn in 1859 separating the ecozones of Asia and Wallacea, a transitional zone between Asia and Australia. West of the line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origin is present. The line is named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who noticed this clear division during his travels through the East Indies in the 19th century.

Posted by mjschrum 14:08 Archived in Indonesia Tagged flores teddy maumere aimbal Comments (0)

Javanese Massage - Cathay yay!

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We are now full converts to Javanese massage. It encompasses a slower, deep tissue style that is relaxing and therapeutic as well. It is a technique that would also be accessible for learning and teaching - it involves a lot of pressure initially and then a more soothing aspect to work out the kinks.
We put in a call to Cathay to change origin of our return flight from Bali. One hour waiting for the Cathay agent and then finally someone was on the line. We hesitantly asked about our booking and she said, "Bahrain said no problem for changing your trip." Uh OK, off we go from Bali now. Saved us a day of travel to Jakarta, Yes!

Posted by mjschrum 05:21 Comments (1)


Stayed at the Poeri Dewata hotel near Prambanan, surrounded by pretty rice fields.

Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and is the largest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia. Its 9th century architecture is characterized by its tall and pointed structures.

After visiting the main temples, we rented a tandem bike to ride around Prambanan grounds and visit Candi Sewu, a nearby temple that sustained damage in the recent Merapi volcani c eruption and is being reconstructed.

New friends

Back to Yogya to relax at the All Seasons and enjoy a Javanese massage before our flight to Flores tomorrow. We will miss the Javanese. We expected friendly folks when we came to Indonesia but that was understated. We have been treated famously everywhere and by everyone. Javanese seem to prioritize hospitality and having a pleasant and outgoing attitude. We better not get used to being this spoiled.

Posted by mjschrum 23:25 Comments (0)

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