Day 8 – Kelimutu Lakes to Ende to Bajawa
The dates are there to remind myself when we are, I am losing track. Early at 4.30am, we set off to the base of the Kelimutu lake, a 13.5 km drive uphill. Once we reached the base, up I went in the dark, till we reached a signpost. It said Danger, so I went to see what was behind it. I scampered up the hill, and came up on the lip of the first lake Ata Polo. I didn’t realise how dangerous it was to be there till the sun came up much later. Ata Polo is dirty green, legend has it that it’s the lake where the souls of wicked people end up. Over in the background I could see the turquoise lake of Nua Muri Koo Fai, the place where young people go to. This one looked like the water off the movie The Beach, and was by far the most impressive. I carried on up, following the proper path this time round, till I reached the viewing point at the top. It was a 360 degree view, the two lakes on one side, and the third when I turned around. This is the Ata Mbupu lake, which is black or brown, I can’t really tell from far; and it’s supposed to be where the wise and old end up. After a few hundred shots from up there, I made my way down. It’s probably the main highlight of Flores, a natural wonder not seen anywhere in the world.
(20000Rp per foreigner, 2500 Rp per local, 6000 Rp for vehicle fee).
From Moni, off we went to Ende for lunch, there was something wrong with the left wheel and Leo had to go to some Toko Fernando to get it fixed (450,000Rp!!). Ende is Lio country, about 2 hours away from Moni.
We stopped at Pengajawa Beach on the way, one with many multi-hued pebbles of different shapes and sizes. They are picked and sold as decorative stones.
Late in the afternoon, at around 4pm, we reached Bena, a traditional Ngada village with two rows of huts. After the customary donation (5000Rp), I proceeded to walk around the village. Pairs of umbrella shaped mini structures and small square thatched huts were found in the middle of the village, representing the mail and the female respectively. It’s a bit of a showpiece village, sitting under the shadow on Mount Inerie (2200m), but the villagers left me alone.
Reached Bajawa, 1100m above see level. It is cool and I stayed at hotel Korina (150000Rp for a room with spring mattress and 10 channels on the tv. Walked around town, its a very nice place which is actually good to base yourself for a few days and explore the surrounding area. The locals themselves are very Melanesian looking, with brown curly hair. The women walk around with their ikats covering them from top to toe, to keep themselves warm from the cold.