A big call out of thanks on behalf of “Java Lava” to Dominggus Koro for his crucial role in our July tour of Flores.

Java Lava is a not-for-profit group of enthusiasts with a passion for climbing the volcanoes of Indonesia.

Our plan for Flores, under the leadership of Nick, focused on climbing five volcanoes, namely Inerie, Ebulobo, Egon, Lewotobi (Perempuan) and Ile Wukoh (Ledo). Our diverse team comprised of eight nationalities … Jakarta residents and return-travellers from Munich, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Sydney.

As with all such adventures, success depends on logistics … transport, accommodation, food, water (and beer), guides … ie local knowledge where it matters most … on the ground.

Dominggus had all these essentials covered perfectly and with the help of his wonderful team (Hen our driver and Ata our assistant) all went to plan … even when the plan was challenged, as when Hen and Ata needed to skilfully steer our bus past an array of emergency services vehicles attending a brushfire on the slopes on Egon.

The hospitality of the nuns during our stay at a convent in Hokeng was a highlight, as was “Bajawa Roo” in Bajawa, plus “Wailiti” and “Sea World” in Maumere. And the food was sensational … tasty, fresh and healthy.

More than this, Dominggus wove a wonderful experience of local Flores culture into our itinerary, including visits to traditional villages Bena, Walogai and Watublapi to see village life, art and craft. We enjoyed serene beach stops at Paga and at Sante Sante, where the barbecued yellow fin tuna was delicious. We soaked in hot springs and we visited the stunning crater lakes of Kelimutu with their ever-changing colours.

But very special was Dominggus’s knowledge of and enthusiasm for Flores. We learned so much about the people, the culture the workings and the hopes of Flores. We felt privileged to visit his Island home.

Terimah kasih banyak Pak Dominggus from all of us.

by David Robertson

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