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As we moored at the harbour men and teenagers gathered on the dockside and several pointed up to us shouting 'tourist'. It was clear they wanted to help with any bags and as we saw some getting onboard we all quickly went to the lower deck to get loaded up before someone else picked up our bags and asked for a fee.

We didn't have any problems just a lot of smiles as we walked through the harbour. I think we only got asked once if we wanted transport. Most of the places to stay are walking distance from the harbour and I think they could tell we didn't need a lift. This was a lot more laid back than other places we had been.

The 7 of us headed down the road to find somewhere to stay. Everyone was here to go diving and the others were going to shop around for a dive school to go with in the morning. We were glad we had booked in advance so we could just relax once we found a room to stay in. The first place Gardina hotel only had 2 rooms available so Dan and I said the others should take them and we would meet them in a few hours for dinner. We continued on to Casa Selina which had been recommended by our dive shop. We were glad we did as it was a really cute place with only 3 rooms, nice lounge area and cafe too. Exactly the place to unwind after a long trip.


Exhausted from the journey it was great to have a hot shower and a nap!

We met up with the rest of the group from the boat for dinner at a local warung down the road. It was great to have some company but as Dan and I were the only ones that didn't speak French it made it a bit difficult to be involved. Particularly when you're tired too! We found a gelato place on the way back and enjoyed some ice cream before a skype date home and chilling out with a movie.

The next morning we walked down to Divine Diving who we had booked our liveaboard with to check in and sort out our equipment.


Due to the strong currents in the area which bring in cold water we would be using long wetsuits for the first time to help keep us warm. It was a bit of a struggle trying them on in a hot back room and somehow I managed to rub off some skin on my fingers whilst trying to pull it on! Ouch! With BCD, suit, boots, fins and masks sorted we were told to come back the following morning at 9.15 to head to the boat! We would be living onboard for 3 days,diving 9 times and also would get the chance to see Komodo dragons! Exciting!

With nothing else left to do we decided to have a wander around the town. It was a lot more developed than we had anticipated, and there was quite a bit of building work going on. Tourism is on the rise here and apparently there are now around 20 dive shops in Labuanbajo.


Can you spot our laundry?

We stopped off for a cooling drink looking over the harbour and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.


In the evening we headed to a place called The Lounge for dinner where I had by far the best burger in Indonesia! Delicious!

Having already spotted dolphins from the ferry and hearing other people's dive experiences in Komodo we were pumped up for the next day. The possibility of seeing giants such as Manta Rays and Komodo dragons up close was almost too much. The wildlife enthusiast in me was about to burst! :)



Posted by doyledan 19:40 Archived in Indonesia

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