Posts Tagged ‘Moni’


A full moon at 3am with a clear sky. The air is cool and still as the lone cyclist slowly crawls up the mountain. I can see the whole valley in the colourless light, the trees casting shadows in the moonlight. Everyone is sleeping. Just the crickets keep me company and the odd dog that howls as I pass. I feel excitement cycling at night, and peace in this beautiful night landscape. I am climbing to see the sunrise at Kelimutu.

Sunrise at Kelimutu

Sunrise at Kelimutu

The sunrise is stunning from my vantage point above the volcanic crater-lake. The black slowly gives way to the deepest blue on the horizon, and the landscape grows in detail. As the horizon turns to pink, the clouds roll over from the neighbouring crater like water flowing over a stone, only to evaporate above the lake.

Kelimutu

Kelimutu

I start talking to a guy from Lembata island (to the east of Flores). Yes! There are boats. I can go there and get to Alor island, and from there to Altapupu on Timor island near the border with East Timor. I had read about this on the internet, but I saw no confirmation that this boat exists. Well, it does, and I am going to take it! Very cool!

When I finally got going from Moni – the village at the base of Kelimutu, I was expecting a smooth descent to the coast. Well, there seemed to be more up than down, and as I crawled over the endless ups, I realised I was tired. The early morning and the many long days recently have taken their toll. I stopped at Koka beach at 3 and decided to call it a day.

Mountain village

Mountain village

Koka Beach

Koka Beach


‘I practice my English by counting the Bule (foreigners) that pass,’ she said as we sat in the little shop on the side of the road.
‘Wow!’ I replied. ‘I practice my Indonesian by counting the number of hello misters. How many bule have you seen today?’
‘One,’ she replied nodding to me.
‘Ah!’ I replied.

River

River

I certainly would have beaten her one bule. I wasn’t counting but there might have been one hello mister every minute or so averaged out over the day – still, nothing like yesterday. Today was a late start after searching (and finding) the screw that broke on my saddle, and taking it for another welding job. It was kind of nice being forced to sleep in – I couldn’t leave until the shops opened and my bike was fixed.

Saddle repairs

Saddle repairs

My destination was the village at the bottom of the famous Kelimutu volcanic crater lakes. A short day with a 1200m climb and a drop to the village where I was able to set up my tent next to the river.
I followed a river all the way up, passing lovely little villages and paddy fields.

Village

Village

Hut

Hut

Tomorrow morning I’ll leave at 3 for an ascent to the crater.