Sunday, June 12, 2011

Indonesia - Flores - Labuan Bajo, Rinca, Bidadari, Seraya - 12 to 17 April 2011

Tuesday – 12 April 2011 – legian and Labuan bajo - sunny, cloudy, rain

Car -  legian to domestic airport 100 000
Komodo eco lodge – 840 000 triple air con room with extra bed

We were up early, paid the bill and drove to the domestic airport in Bali.

We checked in for our flight, paid airport tax of 40 000 per person and flew to Labuan Bajo in Flores.
At the airport, we were met by the hotel driver and after a short drive we were settled into our room.

We rested, swam in the pool and had lunch. After that we, hired a car into town 50 000 and organized a boat trip to Rinca Island. We had a beer at the lounge café and hired a bemo for 50 000 back to the hotel.

Other people were now in the hotel. We had dinner at the hotel.
Met - Karen, Jackson and? from Byron Bay - who knew Steve from Ballina.

Wednesday – 13 April 2011 – Labuan Bajo, Rinca, Bidadari, - sunny, cloudy
We woke early, had breakfast and drove to the harbor in LB. We boarded our boat for a day tour of Rinca Island and some snorkeling.
The boat was okay and the engine very noisy. The boat cost 675 000R with lunch for three. It took 2 hours to reach Rinca passing beautiful coastal scenery, then a 15 minute walk to the NP office. We paid the various fees – 50 000 for camera, 20 000 entry pp, 50 000 island fee, 50 000 guide fee – and off we went for a two hour walk. We saw a lot of dragons around the kitchen, two in the wild, water buffalo, some rare bird and deer in the distance. It was hot but excellent.

As we walked we were reminded to beware of the three types of poisonous snakes on the island.
The guide was very informative and explained various aspects of the dragon’s life.

VIPoints –

dragons will eat their young when they hatch or anythingelse.

The hatchlings have to get up a tree quickly.
Adult dragons don’t climb.

Junveniles do climb.
A dragon’s teeth has bacteria whuch causes death eventually once bitten.

Monkeys on the island looked very scared.
Long tall grass is not fun to walk through when monsters live in it. Who cares when you’re hot and tired.

 Back to the boat and after two hours we reached Bidadari Island for snorkeling. The coral was okay but the fish were in great numbers and varieties.
Finally, we motored back to BL and stopped a bemo to get back to the hotel for 30 000.

I rang Francis at the Gardenia Hotel to arrange the boat for Saraya Island tomorrow. We meet the boat at the broken wharf.
Malaria tablet day.

Thursday 14 April 2011 – Labuan bajo and seraya - sunny, cloudy

Seraya island – 200 000 double hut 160 000 for single hut. Boat transfers  free if staying on island.

I was up early as usual and went for a walk along the beach. There were some interesting dwellings along the beach from hovels to big hotels. The beach was strewn with a lot of flotsam.

Next was a swim in the pool, paid the bill and caught a car to the broken jetty. The broken jetty was a broken jetty so it was easy to find and our boat was moored beside it. The trip was fun and it was fun talking with the boat captain who also owned the resort. It took an hour and we landed on the beautiful white sand beach in front of the restaurant on Seraya Island.
We settled into our rooms – stilted, rattan walled huts with wooden floors – which were right on the beach. The beach was white sanded and very fine.

After lunch, I had a snorkel. There were  heaps of fish and a variety of coral. The reef wqs large and shallow and at its rim it dropped off  to the depths below. The clarity was amazing!
After this, the girls rested and I walked to the west hill and bashed my way through knee high grass covering rocks back to the lodge. I wondered how many species of poisonous snakes were on this island???

The fresh water was turned on from 6pm to 8 pm and the lights ran from 6 to 10pm.

Met - Italian girl Adele and Mick from Scotland

Friday 15 April 2011 – Seraya - sunny, cloudy
The bed was a sinker but we still slept.

I was up before the sun and climbed to the highest part of the island for sunrise. There were great views over the various islands and the mainland of Flores.
I got back and the girls were still asleep so I had breakfast and then a snorkel. I followed the drop in opposite direction and once again there were heaps of fish and coral. I spotted a sea snake and followed it for a while until it needed air. I had to get out of its way at this point. Luckily, I can move fast when needed. Also spotted a blue spotted ray and followed it at a reasonably safe distance.

The girls were up and having breakfast when I got out.
I went for another snorkel. It was excellent. I swam near the mangroves which had great visibility.

Later, I went for a walk around the island and through the fishing village. The walk was hard as it wasn’t well defined. There were tracks but some lead to nowhere.
The village was great. I spoke to a lot of the locals and videoed them. They were pretty friendly and gave me the name ‘Mister orang besar’ – Mr big man – it has a catchy ring to it. The walk back was a shocker as the path ended and I had to bash my way through chest high grass this time. I pondered again on snakes while cheering myself up with changing the words of ‘Macho Man’ to ‘Orang Besar Man’. i got back just on dark.

Met - talkative guy from WA and guy from melbourne

Saturday 16 April 2011 – seraya and Labuan labjo - sunny, cloudy
The bed was still bad (as if it would get better  - by the way, chloe said her bed was great) and I spent part of the night sleeping on the beach.  I was awake very early. We packed, had breakfast, paid the bill and motored back to LB.

At LB, I rang for a car and bought some local music.

We spent the day, resting, pooling and eating.

Met - Canadians Dustin Shawn and Sam and Terri plus guy from England and knowledgeable guy from California USA who reminded me of someone who was born to be on ‘myth busters’.

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