Dazzling Stars in Kelimutu

Road trip is fun, but waiting for the next destination is the struggle. I spent 7-9 hours in average when I move from a city to another. That time, I travelled from Bajawa to Kelimutu. It took 5 hours that time, not that bad. I spent that whole 5 hours sleeping, playing cards, chatting about random stuffs, and of course enjoying every view outside. I peeked out the window sometimes, to just take a deep breathe and enjoy the most beautiful view. I gotta see the wide blue ocean and the bushy forest along the way.

At dinner time, I finally arrived in Kelimutu. Me and my friends had our dinner just beside a valley, I saw thousands and millions of stars. Crazy beautiful. Right after dinner, we went to a motel to stay overnight. The room was quite spacious to fit in 8 people inside. After taking turns to take a bath, we finally had our free time. For me, it’s time to do a photo hunt. I went scouting with 2 other photographer pals and we found a perfect spot to capture the milky way and the stars. It was a flat rooftop with trees surrounding it.


The milky way

T’was my first time capturing a milky way. My friend, Albert taught me a lot of photography tips, including how to find the right spot where a milky way should be located. So much fun! In spite taking pictures, I enjoyed my bonding time too. Weird, horror, even embarrassing stories were our topics.

Waking up in the morning was kinda hard.

Well, it was due to my sleep cycle. I only slept for 3 hours, I guess? My bad. But that day, we planned to go to Kelimutu Lake. I’ve been reading and searching for it for weeks before this trip. I’ve always wanted to visit this lake.

I woke up at 4 .30 in the early morning. I can still see the ravishing stars with different colors and sizes. Soon after I changed to more decent clothes, I got to leave the motel to Kelimutu National Park. Fortunately, it was a short drive. Prior notice, we had to trek another 30 minutes to reach the lake. My hope for the track was as smooth as the reality. The track was really easy, stairs have been made and all the routes were covered in asphalt–like literally everyone are able to reach this place.

Dark blue sky with a light blue beam on it. It was all I can see back then. Color palettes still can’t be projected. Couple minutes later, a golden glimpse peeked out from the white-gray clouds, just beside the highlands. I saw two different colors of the lake, dark blue and light blue (there were 3 lakes!). My tour guide mentioned that in some point of the year, one of the lake would possibly turn into red color because there should be a different activity of the algae. So unique, right? The breezy wind made me feel very serene.

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Kelimutu Lake couple minutes before sunrise

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Kelimutu Lake after the sunrise

Time by time, all object were sprawled basking under the morning sun. I can now see the green plants and the magenta flowers. After the sunrise, I can read all the information board, and I learned that the magenta flower (Rhododendron renschianum Sleum) is an endemic species of Kelimutu National Park. Additionally, I was told that Kelimutu Lake should have 3 different colors which are blue, red, and white. There are beliefs that the blue-colored lake is a gathering place for youths who have died, the red-colored lake is for bad people who have died, and the white-colored lake is for oldster who have died. This 1.051.000 meter square lake is indeed very unique.

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The trumpet-like flower

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Me and the magenta flower (Rhododendron renschianum Sleum)

The observation area wasn’t too big, I can literally get over it in couple minutes. As projected above, there were 2 lakes standing side by side. The other lake was actually on the other side. The other amazing thing was we gotta cook our own breakfast on the observation area. So much fun! We cooked beans and also instant noodle (Indomie of course!).

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Ravelto (left) and Gian (behind) were preparing breakfast

Breakfast time was over, we took our last minute group picture with the Kelimutu Lake as a background. Thereafter, we went back to our bus to visit a cultural village which belong to Lio tribe.

And yes, this trip was coming to an over. I will never ever forget every detail of this journey. Along this trip, we formed a very strong friendship and we felt like a family.

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