Friday, 20 May 2016

Day 3 - Kelimutu - Maumere

We had a very early start this morning before breakfast, driving up into the Kelimutu National Park to view the three-coloured crater lakes, known as Tip (Tiwu Ata Polo), Tin ( Tiwu Nua Moori Koohi Fah), and Tam (Tiwu Atu Mbupu). These three lakes differ in colour according to the water composition. Tap is an acid saline crater whose colour changes according to the state of water oxygenation; Tip is a cool  acid brine lake which contains minerals and chemicals such as sulphur; and Tam is an acid sulfate crater lake.

The view from the top was breathtaking but you could only take a photo of all three lakes if you were high above in a helicopter as Tam is on the other side from Tip and Tin.

On our way back to the Ecolodge to have breakfast and pack our bags we noticed all the small villages on the way busily cleaning the roadside, slashing grass, sweeping and burning off rubbish, and tying colourful garlands onto makeshift fences along the road.  This was all in preparation for the 'Tour de Flores' which was due to start today from  Maumere.
After a little traffic congestion due to TdeF followers, we finally made it to the harbour and had our first glimpse of the Ombak Putih, or White Wave.

Here we are getting into the first dinghy to get to the boat in the background. Once on board we were shown to our cabins and sat down to a delicious lunch.

View of my cute cabin - all cabins have their own ensuite and are air conditioned. It was threatening to rain when we arrived but miraculously passed us, leaving a wonderful omen for the days to come.

After finding our cabins we had a few hours to unpack, relax and unwind before we got back into the dinghys to head ashore for a short trip to visit the nearby village of Wuring which is home to the local Bugis and Bajao sea gypsies.

They are mostly Muslim, and many of the men were volunteering their time and money to build a new masjid at the end of their village on stilts.
Many of the parents  wanted you to take photos of their babies or toddlers, as did the small children who were were totally charming and cheeky. So while we didn't see more textiles, we did have the opportunity to have a short glimpse of what life was like for these sea-village families.

On board the Ombak Putih we had an informative lecture by David about the history and textiles produced by the Sikka people (the region we are now in) followed by a delicious dinner of nasi campur which included beef rendang, fish, mixed vegetables and salad folowed by fresh fruit.
We were all pretty exhausted so looking forward to our first night sleeping onboard the boat.

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