Wednesday 24 August 2016

Stop 7: Maumere, Flores Island. August 17 - 24 2016

Maumere was our first place of complete rest. We stopped here for a total of 8 days, which by this stage of rally we felt tired and wanted to slow down a bit so up went the shade cover and we settled down to a more familiar style of exploring at own pace. It gave us time to do a few boat jobs and catch up on correspondence.

Our journey took us 10 hours from Lowoleba, motoring most of the way. We dropped anchor at 08 38.10S & 122 18.40E in about 16 meters of water right out the front of the Seaworld Resort/Hotel. Good holding here, but when we hauled anchor we had a massive piece of coral on it!

This was another anchorage that was not accurate on either Open CPN and Navionics, both showing 0.5metres outside the anchorage? We paced outside the anchorage for about 40 minutes wondering what to do, yet we could see the other fleet in the anchorage. In the end we decided to just turn off the chart plotter and head in watching the depth sounder. It never went off and we had plenty of water. Quite a few floating balls (fish traps underneath) were here at the time of our visit, but very easily seen in day light.

We had planned on stopping at TG Wodong but due to arriving around 1420 we decided we would easily make it to Maumere so we continued on saving yet another moving day the next day. Upon arrival we had a visit from Customs officials again. Not sure why, but we didn't want to make a fuss so we gave them our official documents and all was well. They certainly enjoy a photo opportunity.

Maumere is a great place and most things are found here. The hospital is good, markets are huge with very good produce and goodies, a Roxie supermarket is here and depending on what you want to go see,  its all here. The only downside to anchoring out the front of the Seaworld Resort Hotel was that you can not walk into town, you need transport.

We enjoyed the welcoming dinner, filled our tanks with diesel - solar, had laundry done, went to the markets a few times, topped up on data and our big trip here was a visit to the 3 coloured lakes in the crater of the Kelimutu volcano. Something else we enjoyed here was the little walk out to the main road. We did this quite a few times as the locals were lovely to be with. There was loads of wild life to see and the kids like all the kids, love a photo!

Maumere volleyball team. 
One afternoon we had some ladies come down to display how they do the Ikat weaving. It was really interesting. One average Ikat takes approximately 4 months to weave - all done by hand.

The day to the 3 coloured lakes started early with a 0400 pick up with our friends off Beez Neez and we all loaded into a van. The drive took us up and over the mountains to the other side and the views where spectacular. Some of the roads were not very wide but we never felt unsafe. That said we wouldn't want to do this drive in the rain. The roads are very steep in some places and with debris, mud and copious amounts of water falling could all make for a very interesting trip. The drive there and back was long but very good and we had loads of fun.

The main thing about visiting the 3 coloured lakes is to have a clear day. As we stopped the van to pay our entry fee the entire mountain top was in cloud - zero visibility. But we decided to press on and glad we did. The clouds cleared and views were breathtaking.

Two of the lakes are close together and the 3rd is a walk away to the other side of the crater. Easy, just long. Monkeys like here and don't seem to fussed by the tourists.

I bought an Ikat simply because i wanted a memento and what a better item to buy. An Ikat bought from the top of Kelimutu!

For lunch we stopped at the 'Mushroom Cafe' but sadly they had run out of mushrooms. Not to worry the lunch was delicious filling our bellies resulting in four very tired tourists who all nodded off on the drive home.

Fantastic day - don't miss this opportunity.

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