Friday 25th August 2017
We had a very early start this morning, leaving the resort soon after 0500 for the three-hour drive across the island to the south coast to see the tri-coloured crater lakes of Kelimutu National Park. We were sharing the car with Anna and Gary from Zefr1, and our driver Theo spoke quite good English, so the time passed fairly quickly as we chatted the miles away.
We went first up into the hills to the south of Maumere, where we visited the area of Waturaka. This is the first island where we have seen farming, much of which takes place in this area on terraces on hillsides, the main crop being rice.
Farming is carried out on terraces. The main crop appears to be rice.
Rice paddies as far as the eye could see. A bamboo bike at the entrance to the village.
The traditional way of carrying your shopping, now in a plastic bag. Looking down into the village, the public water tap being used for washing.
After stretching our legs we resumed the drive and arrived at the lakes car park half an hour later. The journey had taken just over three hours. We were all very hungry by now as none of us had eaten breakfast. We had asked the driver earlier to stop to eat, and he had said there was a place at the car park. He was correct, but all they offered were instant noodles. So noodles it was.
Steve trying on some tourist tat while
waiting for his noodles. Hmm, not his colour methinks.
We left our driver slurping very noisily over his noodles, and started the climb up to the lakes. We met some very cheeky monkeys on the way, one of whom was guarding his cache of biscuits very actively.
They’re mine, all mine! He/she had too many biscuits to manage, but warded off the other monkeys as he/she gathered them up again.
We arrived first at two lakes which sit side by side, divided by a rock wall. One was turquoise, the other a milky pale blue. Apparently the water had changed colour recently, as one of these used to be red.
Two of the three-coloured lakes.
We walked on up the steps to a white monument, and from there we could see the third lake. This one was dark green and surrounded by trees.
The third lake, dark green. There were more monkeys by the steps to the third lake.
The monument at the top of the steps. Posing on the monument.
A street seller on the steps of the monument. We guessed the catapult was for keeping monkeys away from her wares.
On the way back down we came across more monkeys. Anna threw some pieces of a snack bar on the ground for them, and then realised this was probably a mistake as they could see she had more in her hand and starting chasing after her for it! A chap coming up the steps had a bag of nuts ripped out of the plastic bag he was carrying them in, as fast as lightning! Cheeky monkeys!
They looked cute, but were ever watchful for food. We wondered what natural food source they had.
On the way back to the car park we passed some ladies selling strawberries. That was a surprise! We haven’t had strawberries since Oz, so treated ourselves to some that we happily munched on as we walked back to the car and once the danger of them being swiped by monkeys was gone!
We drove back the way we had come, stopping for lunch in the village of Moni. Again it was interesting to watch the passing villages and landscapes along the way.
This little collection of houses had a Chinese flavour to them.
Some had the traditional tall point in the middle of the roof.
It was a long day, much of which was spent in the car, but as we drove from the north coast across the island to the south, we were able to see how the people live in the interior. This was probably more interesting than the crater lakes, which in themselves were nothing spectacular. All in all, though, it was a worthwhile and enjoyable trip.