Talking about East Nusa Tenggara area or Flores Island particularly, the first thing coming into you mind probably is the most famous world heritage site located in Ende Regency: three colour Lake of Kelimutu. The rest of you might guess Komodo, may be. Then, it is also equally remarkable internationally, but I have not wanted to tell you about the latter yet. The thing is, I have not been there, sadly.
I have visited Kelimutu two times; in the last 2015 and in the middle of 2016, not quite long ya? This site, administratively, is located in Ende Regency. However, in fact, it is in the middle of Ende and Sikka Regency, so you can set out your exploration either from Maumere (a city in Sikka) or Ende. It is based on your trip plan, but one thing to note, both areas have many more tourism attractions. Just to be frank with you, in my personal opinion, Sikka is more appealing in terms of the natural attractions!
Back to Kelimutu! As fas as I knew, there is no single public transport which can take you there right at the spot or the nearest location before you have to walk. If you are in a group, the best option could be renting a car (of course including the driver, hehe) or if you are a single traveller and quite adventurous, I challenge you to ride a motorcycle! You can rent one from anyone in the city, best to asking the hotel’s staff where you are staying. If the latter is your choice, asking for a direction is absolutely needed, although the rute is merely to follow the main road and looking the traffic signs if available. The simple route does not mean it would be an easy journey, it only means that there is only a single road, but the landscape is really a challenge! Sometimes there are some falling rocks, there are many sharp turning, and there are up and down. I do not recommend you this way if you have never been a rider in this kind of situation.
The most wanted moment is early morning, you can take gorgeous sunrise pictures! If you are lucky, occasionally, you can see a rainbow J apart from the landscape and the lakes, you can also meet little monkeys there in the main viewing spot (mostly) and along your steps or walking time from the parking lot. Because of that, it would be better you be more careful with your cameras or other things with you.
In some spots
, including at the viewing gate, there are some locals selling traditional scarfs, coffee, or quick snacks. My suggestion is, if you bring enough money, please buy some J it would be their only income at that day.
At the first time I went there, it was by riding motorcycle. Three friends of mine and I were heading to Kelimutu from Maumere after exploring Koka Beach of Maumere (I am telling you about this gorgeous beach in the next part of Flobamora ya). It was the first time I was in such a challenging motorcycle journey, I had never imagined the route would be like that. We had 2 motorcycles, and I was always behind another motorcycle riding by the uncle (one of my colleague, but he was as old as my uncle, I also called him by that). My principle in dealing with this situation was, I would never be tempted by others’ speed if I knew I could not as fast as them. The safety is always number one!
We arrived at the Kelimutu National Park’s gate in the night. Of course we would not go the lake, we went there in the coming morning with a hope of meeting the sunset. So we needed a place to stay at that night. In the name economical consideration, we did not check in in a home stay or hotel, we chose the army base, next the gate. The uncle knew quite well with the guard, probably, I have never known about it. And I tell you what? The officers were not there, so the girls could sleep in a nice bedroom, wkwkwk.
However, in my second visit, we were quite a large group, so renting two cars was the best option. Heading there (from Maumere too) at about 2 am, yes 2 am! Bathing was out of my thought, even it was hard to open my eyes, I just continued my sleep in the car. Really? Not quite, because it was not a comfortable journey, the road, up and down, lots of turning, etc. it was just about closing your eyes, though. We arrived at the gate just in time Subuh prayer, so as a good moslem to be, I took a prayer in an open hut right in front of the gate. Wewhh, such a breath-taking air being there in that time and moment.
I had almost never skipped my meal time, so I grabbed a light meal after that, considering the journey would need my physical strength, walking. Just kidding, it was only a ten minute walking, if you can walk fast, because for me it took about 20-30 minutes! Yes, I am not good at walking or any other physical things (sports, etc.). But I was not the only cause, I preferred to enjoy this by taking some pictures and the nature as well, it was worth, rather than only passing by and aiming only the lakes.
These are our – my friends and I – photo hunting!