Not matter, on Bali there was plenty of time to lay in the beach while it was sunny and plenty to explore during the rainy weather.
However, by the time we flew to Flores (a neighboring island in Indonesia) we were ready for some sun. We had planned two very weather dependant activities – the first was a trip to the famous Kelimutu Craters and the second was a two day tour of the famous Komodo Islands.
The Kelimutu Craters, which are located in Eastern Flores are unique because of the three colorful crater lakes the can be seen from the crater ridge. Each lake is a different color and the colors change every few months. No one knows exactly what causes them to change, only that the colors are somehow related to the minerals released due to geothermal activity. Currently, the lakes were rumored to be turquoise, red and black.
In order to visit the Craters we actually had to fly two hours out of our way, spend the night in the village of Moni and then driver twelve hours back to Western Flores where we would catch our boat to the Komodo islands. It was a hike, for sure, but the Crater Lakes were supposed to be so amazing that we were sure it would be worth it.
However, when we arrived in Moni the night before our visit we found out that it had been so cloudy the previous three days that no one had even been able to see the lakes – too foggy. A pair of Dutch girls had been going up to the mountain for days – extending their stay in hopes of eventually spotting the colorful craters. Sadly, things didn’t look great for us the next day either and we didn’t think we could extend our stay without missing the Komodo tour.
Did we just go a day out of our way for nothing?
Our hostel owner assured us that there was no reason to wake up for the sunrise, so we slept in until 8 had breakfast and headed up to the mountains. The sun was out at the base of the mountain, so we all crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.
Sadly, when we arrived it was just as cloudy and rainy as ever. We stood at the first lookout point and starred into a never-ending white abyss. Darn.
We decided to head to the second lookout point even though we could already see the thick clouds covering the ledge. On our way there we ran into the Dutch girls. They had woken up earlier and headed to the mountain. Through the fog they said they had caught a brief glimpse of the lake.
Maybe if we had woken up earlier we would have seen something?
Feeling sad and worrying that we had wasted a few days we decided to sit down and stare at the whiteness in hopes that something would happen. At this point we were all soaking wet from the rain and cold from the wind but we couldn’t give up just yet.
Several tourists came and went while we sat. They would look forlornly at the nothingness and then sadly clutch their coats and trudge back down the mountain. Still we waited.
Then, amazingly, miraculously, something DID happen. Suddenly the could blew away, the sun came out and there, sparkling below us was the three amazing crater lakes.
Most of the other tourists had abandoned hope by that point, so for half an hour we had the place pretty much to ourselves. We took photos and explored a few of the lookout points, but then just as quickly as things had cleared, the clouds and rain rolled back in and it was time to head out.