Kelimutu

Mission accomplished!

I have arrived. At the end of a long and unforgettable journey, I am standing here in “Ende”, the same wonderful place that has once already marked the turning point of one of my most memorable and epic adventures. Eight years ago we tried to travel from Germany to Australia without a plane. We didn`t quite make it but in the end we could not have asked for a better and more worthy place to finish this trip, other than here in the heart of Flores – the flower of Indonesia – here in Ende.

Ende, is the name of one of 13 districts in the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia. The pride of the whole region is the legendary Kelimutu volcano. At its foot lies the small and sleepy mountain village Moni, and this is where I am returning now, after so many years. I can’t wait to finally meet again the family, that has so warm-heartedly welcomed us back in 2006. Thanks to Facebook, I was able to reconnect to Tobias, the father of the family a few years ago. Ever since we exchange e-mails every once in a while and we try to keep in touch. Tobias fell over himself in enthusiasm when I told him shortly before I took off on my travels this year, that I would come back for a visit soo

And it is the same enthusiasm and sincere heartiness that I am welcomed with, when I finally arrive. Big hugs, big smiles and a lot of shiny happy people. A very special moment is when I meet Putri the oldest daughter of the family. 8 years ago I held her in my arms. She still keeps a printed picture of us that I sent her once. It is wonderful to be back in Moni. Here I spend the final days of my trip and I enjoy every single moment of it. In the end, what remains is a deep and profound connection to this place and its people and the certainty that sooner or later I will come back here again.

The final highlight though, I have saved up for my very last day: Sunrise over Kelimutu! In the middle of the night, I walk up to the majestic volcano and as if mother nature wants to send me a personal farewell gift, the entire sky lights up in indescribable and most splendid colors. Clouds smoothly roll over the surrounding mountain peaks and the sun slowly rises up in flames, illuminating the three Kelimutu crater lakes directly below me. This truly is a magical moment. I sit and contemplate for hours while looking at the western horizon. Somewhere there, a few months ago and more than 5000 distant kilometers away, I started this great adventure. Now I go home.

Thank you Indonesia! Thank you fellow backpackers, thank you friends and family and thank you followers at home. Thank you all for being a part of this! You made this a very special and unforgettable experience of a lifetime for me. Thank you.

Kelimutu

The End!

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Arriving in Moni, the final destination of my “Roadtrip Indonesia”

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A warm welcome with open arms! Denti and Tobias with their kids. Eight years ago I met them for the first time. Back then, Moni was the end of our epic adventure when we tried to travel from Germany to Australia without a plane. Ever since, this place and the unique friendship with Tobias and his family holds a very special place in my heart.

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Denti and Tobias run a small Guest House, the “Bintang Lodge”. Here I am back home now.

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Sheer joy!

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Welcome back!

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Smiling faces, everywhere.

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Is it really you? ;)

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“Feel home!” – the kitchen is a good place for that.

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My room in the family house.

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Perfect. Here in my little kingdom I sleep like an angel.

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Most likely the only computer (with Play Station!) in “town”.

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Hand-made.

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Oktoberfest.

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Cheerful nights in the Bintang Lodge. Family, friends, travellers and locals, all meet here for good food, drinks, playing games and guitars.

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Morning market.

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Tech-Talk.

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All smiles.

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Looking out.

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Once a week on market day, the small village explodes.

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Faces.

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Busy.

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Hands.

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Mother and son.

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Market scenes.

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Bright smiles and shiny teeth wherever you go.

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Visiting the schools choir. I love it! Love the music!

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Discussions.

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Practice.

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Concentration

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After singing, there is dancing.

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Full of joy…

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… with excited eyes …

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… and with all the heart.

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Save the best for last: Sunrise on top of the Kelimutu volcano.

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Above the clouds.

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An absolutely magical moment!

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Slowly the day awakes.

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Looking back: a few months ago and 5000 distant kilometers away this great adventure began. Here it ends.

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Rising sun.

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Waterfalls.

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Mountain vistas

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What a wonderful farewell gift.

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Unique Kelimutu volcano.

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The three Kelimutu crater lakes regularly change their colors due to the varying concentration of minerals in the water.

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A spectacular sight. This is definitely the perfect place to finish this wonderful Roadtrip.

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Final view.

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Rough way back..

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Traditional Ikat weaving. It takes one month until these precious cloths are woven and ready.

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Beetle nut smiles.

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Back in the village every one gets together for one last time.

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Famliy meeting.

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Putri, today and 8 years ago. How wonderful is it, to know such a big and heartily friendship on the other side of the world. Thank you so much Denti, Tobi and the whole family for the lovely hospitality and the good time at the end of my long journey through Indonesia. I will come back!

Kelimutu

Wings home.

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Selamat tinggal, Indonesia!

One Response to At the end of a long journey

  1. Marius says:

    Hallo David!

    Jetzt wird es aber Zeit, dass Du endlich wieder heim kommst.
    (Wir platzen fast vor Ungeduld)

    Gruß Marius

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