It’s Indonesia back-to-back for #wheretogowednesday as this week we’re highlighting the remote, colorful volcanic lakes atop Mt. Kelimutu on the island of Flores. To give you a little taste, here’s a travel tale from a memorable hiking experience there…
It’s 3:30am–time to catch a truck ride up the 8-mile kilometer path to Keli Mutu, a unique cluster of volcanic lakes just outside Moni village, on Indonesia’s island of Flores. A few groggy trekkers join my wife Ingrid and I for the chilly ride up in an open sided wooden stake truck. During 45 minutes of slow curve climbing and just-in-time downshifts, stars give way to nascent orange sunlight and purple clouds.
We crawl out of the crate-like truck and hike to a perch above 3 volcanic lakes, each nestled within a blasted-out crater, colored by the chemical composition du jour. The closest was a pale aqua blue green, like a tub of molten Crest toothpaste. Next to it, over a razor thin ridge, lies an oval shaped dark green-brown pool of what looks like 10-W-40 motor oil. Behind our viewing peak, a rich charcoal-black lake sits inside a tree-lined crater bowl.
An entrepreneuring villager sells hot tea on our viewing peak, the perfect complement to a mountaintop sunrise. By 6:00 am, we’re bathed in sunlight. In the distance, misty ocean surf rolls in. Closing my eyes, I listen to the breeze as it envelops me, etching the scenery forever in my mind.