Maumere, Flores Island

September 7th: We left at 6:00am to go to the Kelimutu Lakes – which are Volcanic crater lakes, 3 lakes and 3 different colours, Blue, Green & Brown and they change colour each year. It is a 3 hour drive, each way. There were 8 of us, and we hired 2 cars with drivers. Wow, just the drive itself is an experience. We weren’t even out of town and right in front of us a dog ran in front of a scooter and hit the front wheel, the Mama who was the pillion passenger went bouncing down the road, the dog ran off yelping and the driver was OK. We stopped as we had David & Andrea with us who are both Doctors. They checked the lady out and she was OK. She was not wearing a helmet, so she was very lucky, it could have been so much worse. The poor dog had disappeared so I hope he was OK. We carried on, it was a lovely journey through the country side, we passed rice Paddi fields which are really pretty, we climbed upwards most of the way. We passed lots of houses, which are virtually right on the roadside, kids playing on the road, goats and their kids, thousands of motor scooters – sometimes up to 4 people on them and hardly any wear a helmet! There was a cow being slaughtered on the side of the road (yuk). We needed a toilet stop so the driver pulled into a restaurant for us. Gulp, this is my first Asian style toilet where you have to squat over a toilet about 3 inches off the ground, and then grab a container of water from a holder next to the toilet and pour it down the toilet to flush it. GROSS. No toilet paper either! (Luckily I was prepared with my own) It was not the cleanest or nicest toilet experience! We continued on and arrived at around 9:00am it was a 1.5 Km walk and about 500 steps up the lakes. We saw the cutest monkeys on the side of the track, as much as I would love to get closer to them we dare not due to the rabies risk. The lakes are truly amazing colours, aqua blue, dark brown and dark green. There were lots of locals there also and they were all clamouring around us to take photos and speak what little English they could with us. We left after a couple of hours and stopped not long after for lunch at a restaurant. It is always difficult ordering food with the language barrier and sometimes you get something entirely different from what you thought you ordered. Robbie ordered fried chicken and fried rice and got a piece of fried chicken and boiled rice, he was not real impressed! We are slowly learning what NOT to order.

We continued back on the road again, seeing buses well they are really trucks overloaded with people and they are also sitting on the roof, and hanging off the sides and back. Scary! We also saw a bus loaded with stuff on the roof, complete with a kid goat on the roof. We got back to the Beach around 4:00pm, we had sundowners with the yachties and had a nice chicken and chips – it was almost as good as home!

September 8th: got up quite early, I had a cleaning day and Robbie did a few odd jobs. I also cut Robbie’s hair for the first time! Bit scary but it came out kind of OK. (Maree you would probably shriek with laughter but he was just happy to have it cut!) Robbie tried to get some petrol by taking the containers to the service station but that was a no go. They won’t sell to him unless he had a letter from the Government, too hard so he had to resort to Jacobsen one of the local hawkers in a sampan. He does it for 15,000 rupiah per litre (the service station sell it for 6,500 rupiah). He is also my fruit and vege man and today I got beans, apples, mandarins, cucumber, limes, Pawpaw, rockmelon, bananas and Kan Cun a local green vege, a bit like spinach. It was a beautiful hot day so we had a swim and also cleaned the sides and back of the boat around the water line. Can’t believe how quickly the stuff grows on the boat, its only days since Robbie cleaned it and it was quite bad again. The water here is lovely and clear, I can only think that it’s just the warm temperature. It’s like a soft green moss and then there’s some white pointy things that grow, a bit like a small shell. They are easy to get off if you get them early, but if you leave it too long, you have to use a scraper and they are difficult to get off. We were able to Skype Nat, Troy & the kids late this afternoon so that was great, we have tried many times and due to bad internet it just hasn’t happened so it was lovely. Ethan has just had his 4th birthday last week and he got an electric guitar so he gave us a demo and Charlotte sang some “One Direction”. Too cute! Miss them all big time!

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