I'm penning this in Ende, Flores, whilst horrendous karaoyke eminates from below so if I'm distracted then I have my excuses.
Four days in Seminyak (Bali) was enough for us, I was starting to feel claustrophobic at the lack of sky visible. The streets are all narrow, traffic ridden and closed in and it is nigh on impossible to reach the beach for all the swanky hotels walls.
That said, we stuck around in Bali for another few days trying to book a flight to Flores.
We moved on to the beautiful Balangan Bay; much more rustic than the rest of Bali, Balangan, for us, had less white wine and cocktails and more early nights, but a gorgeous beach with the most consistently huge surf I've ever seen. No swimming from the beach due to rocks and reef and the aforementioned enormous surf but we had a swimming pool where we were staying at Brothers Bungalows, and the beach was clean and great for the kids to play on. Here we happily lazed away three days watching impressive surfers, attending meditative yoga (ohmm, shanti shanti 😕), and baking without aircon.
We've really struggled with booking flights in Indonesia. Well to be precise we've not struggled to book flights - we booked at least twenty flights to Flores alone - but rather we've struggled to pay for the flights. UK debit and credit cards seem to have vetoed Indonesia blocking any online transactions. We have occasionally found ways round it but Flores was proving tricky. After trying to pay using: a money transfer through an ATM, paying through an affiliate supermarket; and countless direct attempts with various different credit and debit cards, we almost gave up. We couldn't even get through calling the airline and they had no office in Bali to book in person.
Miraculously, and for no fathomable reason, one last attempt of online payment succeeded and we were booked with Kelstar, Denpassar-Ende, on our way to Flores!
As soon as we embarked on the flight the omens were good. The plane was new and lovely, we were fed - we're so used to budget airlines now that this was quite a novelty - and the views were stupendous. Towering vocalnoes peeking through clouds and coral ringed islands dotted the seas beneath us. Our love only grew when we landed and walked down the runway to the terminal whilst another plane took off twenty metres to the left of us. We started bartering for our taxi from the runway and Jess and Otto made hundreds of new friends with big smiles and loads of high fives dished out before we left the airport.
The following day we drove up to Kelimutu volcanoes with its colourful crater lakes. Those who know us well will be proud to know we have matured somewhat in the last 15 years and we adhered to the signs not to attempt to climb down into the craters. One Indonesian Volcano close encounter is enough to last a lifetime.
The middle lake was an unearthly milky turquoise colour and the views surrounding (when the clouds parted) were breathtaking. 1600 m up but with lush green mountains down to sea level. The landscape during the three hour plus drive up there with rope bridges crossing boulder strewn rivers, luscious green steep mountains everywhere and occasionally rice terraces, was uplifing for the soul, and much more impressive than a photo can justify - especially since we're down our main camera at present (Davis have you found anywhere to look at it?) So despite the landslides and roadworks delaying our journey somewhat we would definitely recommend the trip.
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!