A Travellerspoint blog

May 2013

DRAGONS!!!

Rinca Island, Komodo Marine Park

sunny

Now we'd already seen some big lizards on our trip (but considering the most 'lizard like' thing we'd ever seen in the wild in the UK is a small pond newt anything is big) from foot long geckos that look like they've been on steroids compared to their more common smaller brothers, to a 2m monitor lizard that we met on the path to our hostel in the Gili Islands.

However we were now in dragon territory and would be actively seeking a face to face encounter with the king of lizards, The Komodo Dragon, which can get up to 3m. With the powerful stance of a pit bull, long claws, a tail that can be used as a whip and a bite that is full of poisonous bacteria, you might question our sanity at choosing to do this, but we were super excited!!

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We were up early to beat the crowds and jumped into the small boat to make our way to Rinca island (pronounced Rinja). There are 2000 dragons on Rinca and a further 2000 on Komodo itself. You aren't allowed to walk on the island without guides and ours were great. They both carried a long stick just incase the dragons got too close and one would lead whilst the other would be at the back of the group to make sure none of the stragglers were picked off!

It wasn't long before we came across this guy! Just chillin in the sun...

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...WOWZERS!!

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He seemed quite docile just lying there in the sun with an almost amused expression on his face, which I guess is why they are such good ambush predators, lulling passersby into a false sense of security. As we moved on I turned back and saw that he had got up and started to move. We could now appreciate just how big and powerful he was as he swaggered along. If a bouncer was a lizard it would be one of these!

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Some Komodo dragon facts from our guides:

  • A dragon waits in ambush for its prey, biting the leg. The animal will then slowly die over 2-3 weeks from the bacteria in the dragons saliva! All the dragon needs to do is be patient and then its dinner time.
  • Use their tail as a weapon, if you see them curling it round get out of the way as they can break bones with it when they whip it back round.
  • There are 3 males to every female, which means there's a lot of fighting in mating season.
  • Mating season is June/July so would be the time to get dragon fight photos!
  • Dragons fight standing on their back legs and grappling with each other using their front legs. Their powerful tail acts as a prop to help them stay upright. We saw one male dragon which had broken both his front legs in the previous mating season, so they are tough!
  • Last year 3 rangers and 1 local were attacked! Including one of our guides! More on that in a bit...
  • Average life span is 25 years but they can live up to 50.
  • When they are younger they can replace teeth but lose this ability as they get older. As they lose teeth in fights once they are all gone they can no longer feed themselves and die.
  • They can swim!! One dragon became a problem so they moved him to another island only to have him swim back. TWICE!
  • They hold their breath whilst they run, so even though can reach speeds of 18km/hr they can only run for short bursts.
  • If you hear a hissing sound, that's a warning!
  • Credit for discovering the dragons was given to a Dutch guy, although of course the local people knew about them for ages its just he was the first person to be able to write it down!

This is a beautiful lady dragon, although dont be fooled by her coy smile.

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She was much more alert and lively than the big males we had seen lounging around. Turns out she had picked up the scent of the monkeys that were behind us, which they sometimes eat

So we soon jumped out the way when she decided to investigate....and so did the monkeys!

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We had an hour on the island to trek around and see the dragons.

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Despite being early it was already really hot but we were rewarded for trekking in the heat by some great views and a lord of the rings type landscape.

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We even spotted our liveaboard boat in the distance.

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Surely this image below is every parents nightmare. Your kid sitting above a bunch of Komodos!

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If you look closely you can see that they have boarded up the entrance at the top of the steps to the building. This is because the dragons can climb stairs!

One of the stories we were told was that one dragon went up to one of the ranger buildings and started tapping on the door with its long claws...this reminded me of the claw tapping in Jurassic Park!

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The ranger inside had headphones in so didn't hear the dragon and so when it managed to open the door he got quite a fright!

It was on the walk back out of the park that I found out that our guide had been attacked by a Komodo on 24th May 2012 and luckily survived! He regaled an intense tale of being ambushed by a dragon whilst walking with a tourist. They think the dragon was stalking prey that had just crossed the same path and so unwittingly now became the target. He bravely got between the tourist and the dragon trying to keep it at bay with his stick but the dragon was too strong a pushed it out of the way. Now unarmed with a dragon in hunt mode he tried to run but the dragon bit him in the foot and he fell to the ground. The dragon still had hold of his foot and was trying to twist it off but he kicked all he could to free it from the dragons jaws. Before he could move out of the way he suddenly felt the weight on the dragon on top of him and it was now trying to bite him in the head!! Trying to hold him at bay some how the guide managed to punch the dragon in the face, stunning the dragon for long enough to be able to climb up a tree until help arrived.

Phew!! Can you imagine that!!

This guy surely gets legend status!

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Sxxx

Posted by doyledan 23:20 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Definitely Divine Diving!

3days and 2 Nights Liveaboard trip, Komodo Marine Park

We left our main bags as Casa Selini and walked down to the Divine Diving shop to begin our liveaboard trip. It was a god send that we had small bags as it was another scorcher of a day. Upon reaching the shop we found we were the first people there but it wasn't long before we met our ship mates Rinze, Denise, Cobi and Remis who were from Holland as well as Micheal who was from Australia. Walking to the pier we made our introductions and took a small boat out to 'Weta Mola' (Beautiful Sister) which would be our home for the next 3 days. Labuan Bajo is not unlike other harbours around Indonesia with trash being prevalent, and with trash comes rats so which is why they normally anchor their liveaboard boats away from the harbour. Although despite this preventative measure Sarah had a visitor in the cabin on the last night that tried to eat her contact lenses!

Reaching the boat we were both excited by the look of it. We hopped onboard and were introduced to the crew which was made up of local fellas from Labuan Bajo and other villages in Flores. We also had Juvens and Niels who would be our Divemasters. Niels was the group leader and gave us the rules of the boat and where we would be sleeping. Our cabin reminded us of our room in Hong Kong but with port holes but it suited fine.

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On deck we had a chill out area with beds which is where we would be briefed for our dives and at the back would be where we would get kitted up. The dining area was situated in the middle of the boat where we step down to our rooms.

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Whilst we pulled up anchor and set off to the marine park Niels gave us some information on the Komodo Marine Park, which became a park area in the 80s to protect the Komodo Dragons and it wasn't until later that people realised how good it was underwater too!

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During the trip we would dive 3 times a day and cover the following dive sites: Sebyur Kecil, Bengah Kecil, Wainiol, Karang Makassar aka Manta Point, Batu Bolong, Lawadarat, Crystal Rock and Castle Rock.

Our first dive site was just outside the Marine Park called Sebuyur Kecil and would give the Divemasters a chance to assess the groups abilities before going into sites that had stronger currents. We teamed up with Micheal to dive with Niels and the Dutch guys went with Juvens. We later found out during the trip the Remis had done over 3000 dives so I think it was just a formality for him. We didn't have the camera with us as Niels wanted us to get used to diving here first and that there were better dive sites to photograph. Having said that it was still very good and the visibility was 15 metres and we saw plenty of marine life including a Peacock Mantis Shrimp which Sarah found. Because we had seen most of the common fish you find in the Asian seas in this dive there wasn't much to write home about.

Our second dive was at Bengah Kecil and was going to be our first encounter of the currents. The dive site had a large coral wall that we would descend near but the rock itself had currents whizzing past either side of the wall meaning it was important that we stayed behind our dive-master as they could read the waters and judge when we would have to turn back to avoid being swept away. As we pulled up to the site you could see the currents on the surface and they were quite choppy. But we were confident in our own abilities and couldn't wait it get underwater even when the scenery on the surface was as good as this during the day.

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The dive was good experience in terms of learning to follow close to the reef wall and we got to some nice fish in large groups with a few bat fish and even a turtle chomping at the coral.

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After those dives we had a nice break to take in the scenery, chat and enjoy and hearty lunch made by the excellent Jefferey (they all changed their names I think from their local ones). As part of the trip we would be anchoring near a mangrove where flying foxes bats would leave to hunt for food every evening and provide us with a great show whilst the sun set.

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After the show I joined in with the crew in a sing a long of one of the local bahasa songs. It took me a while to learn the pronunciations.

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The last dive of the day was the night dive which we did near the mangrove at a site called Wainich.

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It was an ok dive with some interesting macro diving like shrimps and crabs but unfortunately Sarah had some trouble and had to surface 25 mins into the dive. Her weight belt had slipped round making her lopsided in the water, that factored in with being disorientated in the dark, coping with a current and not being able to get the attention of the group by waving her torch, meant her breathing and so her buoyancy went out the window. It meant she was exhausted and had to re-surface after I had tried to help her sort her belt out. She decided not to continue the dive and later we talked about it and learned a bit more of how to deal with that kind of situation and be more communicative as buddies rather than relying in the Divemaster.

After a nice dinner we were ready for bed as we had an exciting day ahead of us...Manta Rays and the Komodo Dragons!!

The sleeping arrangements didn't suit me, it was too hot, so I decided to sleep on the deck. This meant I woke to a fantastic tranquil sunrise over the sea and hills which was an added bonus to an already fun first day.

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With pancakes for breakfast and eggs we were ready for our walk on Rinca island to the Komodo Dragons. This was a whole blog in it self so we will fill you in separately on this. After the Komodos we went on to do our first dive of the day at MANTA POINT!! This was turning into one of the best days we have had. Sarah and I had been waiting for this moment. We had seen wonderful things on our dives and been amazed but the big stuff we had yet to fully experience. This site, also known as Kanang Makasar

We had swapped groups so we would now be diving with Rinze and Denise, and Juvens would be our dive master.

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As soon as we had the brief we were hopeful of seeing Manta Rays but you never know when diving. But as we boated out to our descending point Sarah suddenly shouted out "Mantas!" and we watched three huge rays gliding right past us and under our boat! They were as big as the boat! You can imagine the excitement that rippled through all of us as we quickly got on our equipment keen to get in the water!

Diving with Manta Rays was breath taking! These species grow up to 7metres wide and you feel like a spec in the water next to them.

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And boy did we get next to them!

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The current was strong so you had to try to grab hold of a rock or dig a pointer in seabed and really hold on to be able to hang in the current with them. They make it look so easy, gently wafting their wings up and down to stay in one point feeding in the current. We must have seen at least 10 of these gentle giants during our dive.

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I was taking a photo of Sarah doing the Manta signal when suddenly one came out of the blue behind her, amazing! They were so close to us and not phased at all by having us join them.

When we surfaced we all just exhaled with joy and couldn't stop smiling :) It had been an incredible show and we were thankful for Juvens our Divemaster to have steered us to right place in time to experience these wonderful creatures of the seas.

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For the trip we were on cloud 9. Enjoying the scenery and sun, having fun with the other guys onboard and if you can believe it even more fantastic diving culminated in both Sarah and I agreeing that this was one of the best things we could of ever done on this trip.

And here's why...

Beautiful bays...

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More sunsets...

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Songs on Guitars...

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Silly dresses...

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Sleeping on deck....

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Carved Komodos for sale from locals who joined us via their boats (I got a bargain!)...

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And so much Marine life....imagine the bustling colourful scenes from Finding Nemo and you begin to get the picture...only its so much more beautiful and amazing that photos would do it justice (well ones we could take anyway, we had a few camera issues!).

White tip sharks...sharks and more sharks!

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Baby sharks under coral...

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Schools of fish everywhere....

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Huge balls of Fussliers that whisked around you at speeds none of us could compete with...

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On one of our last dives at Castle Rock we were lucky enough to witness a huge ball of fussliers that was so big you could swim at least 5 or 6 divers into the middle and have enough space...seriously it was as tall as a house! It was like being in an episode of Blue Planet!

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Giant Napoleon Wrasses, it was ttthhhhiiiiisssss bbbiiiigggg!...

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Fighting Moray Eels...

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Smiles all round.....

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Up next is Komodo Dragons which was part of this trip...so keep on reading and thanks for staying with us.

Stay tuned for more tales..

Dan

Posted by doyledan 20:31 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Labuanbajo

Flores

sunny

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.

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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.

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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.

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Can you spot our laundry?
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We stopped off for a cooling drink looking over the harbour and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

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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! :)

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Sxxx

Posted by doyledan 19:40 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

When 18 hours becomes 30!

Travelling from Lombok to Flores.

We had booked ourselves a liveaboard diving trip in the Komodo Marine Park so our next stop would be Flores.

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We'd been advised that we should be able to travel from Kuta, Lombok to Labuanbajo in Flores in about 18 hours. However I was a bit dubious about this information as we were also told that one of the ferry sections would only take 45 minutes when I had read it takes 8 hours! Slight discrepancy there!

Knowing how unpredictable travelling can be and some of the timings not adding up we decided to give ourselves 48 hours just incase. Our diving trip was costing over £300 each and so we couldn't afford to miss the departure. Better to be safe than sorry.

Our journey began at midday with a car trip to the bus station in Lomboks capital, Mataram. We waved goodbye to Susie & Tom and settled in to playing a game with another Londoner where you have to identify company logos. Now given we are both in advertising you would think we would be better at this game but just as we started to get into a flow of ones we knew (after going back to an easier level) we arrived at the bus station and were met by a guy called Den who had our tickets.

The bus we would be getting was proudly pointed out to us.

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It was new, only a month old with AC and toilet.

Given we were going to be on this until the following morning we were pleased to have chosen this company and not the other one, which oddly was more expensive and their bus didn't look as good.

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The staff were friendly and interested in where we were going and what we were doing. Admittedly this was their way to find out if we needed further tickets or if we would be interested in booking other trips, but they were helpful and we got a cheaper return ticket from them directly and also a quote for climbing Mt Rinjani which Dan was considering. It did take a bit of a while to persuade them we wouldn't book the Rinjani part until we had thought about it.

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The bus wasn't leaving till 3.30pm so we had time to get some water and a few snacks whilst taking in the bustling bus station. As well as all the stalls selling food, drink and cigarettes there were also lots of people walking around with open suitcases full of watches, sunglasses and jewellery. It was interesting to watch the haggling that a local guy sitting on a motorbike did for a watch, he definitely had his haggle face on, trying it on for size, putting it back, trying it on again, pulling a few not so sure faces...I reckon he got a good deal and far better than anything Dan and I would've got!

We clambered on the bus and found our seats along with 4 guys from France and Morroco. We were the only backpackers on the bus and soon it was full.

We were ready to go....but we didn't!

For another hour we sat on the full bus whilst we waited for every seller in Mataram to come on board to try and make a sale. Bottles of water, crisps, fruit and Nasi wrapped up in banana leaves were all shoved in front of us. One guy came on the bus with his guitar, walking up and down the aisle 'singing'. We were a trapped audience so had no choice but to listen as his friend trotted behind shoving an empty crisp packet at your for a 'donation'. There was also a bit of commotion over seats and after a lot of shouting, pushing and shoving, the guy in the 'wrong seat' finally relented and moved to the next seat over. Not sure what all the fuss was about as all the seats are the same and going to the same place.

Finally closer to 5pm we pulled out of the bus station and started the 2 hour journey across Lombok. We were on our way! But not for long as we soon found ourselves in a long traffic jam. There was some kind of political rally going on for the elections which was holding up the traffic. Convoys of open trucks full of people, mainly teenage boys, waving flags and wearing head bands of the party they were supporting went passed us. Lots of people were standing on the roadside and as our bus crawled along at a snails pace I noticed that a lot of people would suddenly point at us through the window, nudging their friends to make sure they got a good look. Some waved, others just stared, it was a very surreal experience.

We were starting to get a bit anxious about whether we would miss the ferry to Sambawa as it had already gone 7pm and so we expected to be rushed on board once we got to the harbour. This wasn't the case as for some reason we did an odd circuit through lots of food stalls where people would get on and off to buy pineapples and have a smoke. No one seemed in any rush.

Suddenly there were seemingly annoyed shouts of 'Get off the bus' 'Quickly to the ferry', as if we had been holding things up! A bit bemused as the bus should also be coming on the ferry too we grabbed our valuables and trusted our big bags would be fine in the hold and followed the crowds on board.

I went to find us a seat whilst Dan kept an eye on the vehicles being loaded on the ferry to make sure our bus was on it! The seating area was really busy and women and children with baskets of food and water again tried to make a sale with cries of 'Mister, mister, water mister'. I tried not to take offence at being mistaken for a man :) A group of teenage boys gathered at the front of the deck and began singing along to the guitar again trying to fill empty crisp packets. All the noise, bright lighting and cigarette smoke was a bit intense so when Dan found out there was seating on the upper deck which was outside we made our escape.

As the ferry pulled out of the harbour all the lights on the upper deck were put out so as not to distract the captain. It must have been closer to 9pm when we finally left and it would take another 2 hours to the other side and we still had to drive all the way across Sambawa to make the 8am ferry to Flores!

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After having a bit of a dose and also watching a random Indonesian rom-com we arrived in Sambawa and walked off the ferry to meet our bus. We were all shattered and tried to find a comfortable sleeping position on the bus as we would be driving all through the night.

It was now 11pm and we were behind schedule, but the driver was not perturbed he would get us to the morning ferry on time. In another life this guy would have been a rally car racer bombing across the island and slowing down for nothing. Punctuated by the blasting of the horn and the bus tipping at such acute angles that if you were asleep you could find yourself waking up on the aisle, it wasn't the most relaxing journey. If you were brave enough to open your eyes and look out the window Sambawa was zooming past in a blur and I dreaded to think what would happen if a buffalo suddenly walked out on the road in the dark.

Miraculously we arrived in Bima just as the sun was rising, in one piece although a little bit shaken. Here we had to swap onto a smaller bus as ours was too big to make it down some of the smaller roads to Sape. Again we were shouted at to change bus with some urgency only to then just sit on it for about half an hour whilst we waited for it to fill up. I don't remember much of the journey as this is where I finally managed to crash out but in two hours we were at Sape harbour.

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This was as far as the bus went so rucksacks and our weary group went up to the harbour guards to show our tickets only to be told we needed to swap the ones we had for a ferry ticket. We hurried back to the bus to swap our tickets which for some reason unknown to us seemed to annoy the bus staff. Bewildered at this we finally made it onto the ferry and looked for somewhere to sit. There are two areas in the ferry, one was full of rows of bunk beds which seemed a bit reminiscent of a communal cell of a prison and the other had seats with a couple of TVs blaring out.

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We decided to sit on our bags in the later and were soon surrounded by kids asking us questions and trying to sell us water and Nasi Ayam (rice with chicken). This is where we met Melody a girl from France who was travelling on her own and asked to sit with us. We had not seen anyway to get on the top deck to be outside and so were relieved when one of the guys from the bus came to find us to say they had found a way up. We stacked our big rucksacks together in a corner before going through a door and up a ladder on the side of the ferry. It was great to be out in the fresh air as it was hot and smokey inside and the idea of sitting in there for 7 hours was not ideal.

We took in the views of Sape as we waited for the ferry to leave...

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And waited some more...

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Until finally we left 2 hours after the boat was meant to!

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We had a nice group of people on the deck with us and as there was limited shade from the beaming sun we soon were all sitting together chatting.

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Dans guitar is always a crowd pleaser.

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The next 7 hours were spent on the top deck, snoozing in the shade, reading, chatting, singing...

And taking in the amazing scenery as we went through the Komodo islands on our way to Flores.

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As we pulled into Labuanbajo just after 5pm we even had the treat of spotting dolphins!! Can you see it jumping out of the water?

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We had finally made it to Flores! Woohoo!

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Sxxx

Posted by doyledan 20:37 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Last days in Lombok

sunny

With our main activities in the bag we slowed down a bit for our final days in Lombok.

Dan and Ro went back to Gurupuk to catch some waves. I wasn't confident to give it ago on my own without an instructor and didnt have budget for another lesson. I think I made a good decision as the waves were larger than the day before. Easily 6ft, Dan gave it a good try but couldn't get as many times as the day before but Ro was flying....

In the afternoon we hopped back on the bikes to see if we could go further west than the other day.

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It took all my efforts not to take photos of all the beautiful views we were passing through again

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We thought we would end up at another beach but the road turned inland through more villages agricultural land. We had to dodge a few more buffalo and also a few runners (this is one of the first places we had been in a long time where you saw local people running for exercise).

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However no beach materialised and as we passed a cross roads we stopped to ask group of lads hanging out on their bikes by the road. They said we should go back to the crossroads and take the left. We thought this meant going down a lane, when I think they actually meant just go back the way we had come, which would lead us back to the beaches we had already seen, because we ended up on a very dodgy road... which was still being built!

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The only choice when met head on by a steam roller is to turn round! So we decided to keep going passed the group of lads again and see what came up next. As we stopped to take in a view of the sun shimmering on a rice paddy field Dan managed to flag down a couple of runners who said the next beach was only 3kms away, so we pressed on.

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I think what we asked was lost in translation as again a beach didn't appear and we were going further and further inland. When we stopped to decide if we would turn back it was clear that not many tourists stopped here as we seemed to draw quite a bit of attention. One man even went inside to get his little daughter, picking her up so she could get a better look at us. It was all friendly though and after a lot of smiles and and few cheeky kids chancing it by asking for cigarettes and money (I'm not sure they understood us saying they shouldn't smoke) we were back on the road again.

As the sun was lowering in the sky we decided best to make our way back to Kuta. With two of us on the bike, we were guzzling petrol so pulled over to get a bottle full on the way. The lady who sold us the petrol found us quite amusing, Ro in particular, laughing and giving her arm and leg a squeeze. I think she found the blonde hair and fair skin a novelty. Us showing up brightened her day at least :)

Despite not finding a beach we had a great day out on the bikes

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And got back in time for some birthday cake! One of the boys was turning 6 years old and Ben had organised a chocolate and banana cake to celebrate from a cafe up the hill called Ashtari. Now as I don't eat bananas and Ro doesn't eat chocolate we had to miss out on this occasion but the boys (all of them!) got stuck in, and Dan tried to tempt Ro to eat some cake.

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We'd decided to have a chilled night in with some movies. We had swapped rooms and now were in one with a TV! Result. Earlier that morning we had found a large spider in the bathroom and decided to leave it shut in there hoping it would go out through the vent. Gingerly opening the bathroom door to check I was ambushed by the spider who ran round the doorframe at head height into the bedroom. I ve never moved so fast! It clearly was waiting to make its escape. Now we ve had some big spiders in our room before and have kind of got used to them if they re not moving. Ro wasn't used to them though and this one wasn't staying still either, running all over the place until he finally settled on top of the AC unit, that was above the mattress Ro would be sleeping on! What followed was one of the funniest scenes of the trip as after hearing of our plight the guys actually brought a ladder into the room to reach the AC unit and I stood on the bed with a torch to try and show them where it was. After a few bashes of a broom and a few squeals from us the guys successfully managed to get it out of the room! Job Jobbed!

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After all that excitement we needed a Bintang to calm the nerves!

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After hearing about Ashtari, its good food (especially the cakes) and the amazing view we knew we had to check it out for ourselves.

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You could easily spend hours hanging out here, and the white chocolate and coconut cake is Amazing and even that word doesn't give it enough justice!

When we got back to the homestay we saw one of the cutest things which was the boys reaction to being brought home a McDonalds from Mataram! As they ran down the path excitedly shouting 'YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!!' we couldn't help but smile! Now that really is a Happy Meal!

It was Ros last day with us and whilst Dan had an afternoon nap Ro and I headed out to take in the beach one more time, as well as sampling a few cocktails too. We met up with Dan for dinner and continued the cocktails by a bonfire on the beach. Needless to say we ve become lightweights and the cocktails soon took affect. Think we must have been quite a sight as we staggered home particularly as my flip flop had broken so I was only wearing one shoe.

It was sad to see Ro leave the next morning. It had been so wonderful having her with us and we'd had so much fun :)

For the next two days Dan and I chilled out and made plans for our trip to Flores. Three girls from Canada had arrived at the homestay and the group had some great dinners at Bule and Jalan No2 with some very entertaining if not unusal stories being shared. Some maybe sharing too much :) lets just say one of the things we found out was that a husband should not annoy his wife as you never know what might end up in his soup! Which set the tone for the rest of the eve...

It was definitely hard to leave as we felt so settled here but Flores and our next diving adventure was calling us.

A huge thank you to Susie, Tom and the rest of Kuta Bay Homestay for making us feel at home.

Clay and Ben, great to meet you both! we look forward to seeing you guys down under :)

Finally Ro you are a legend for making the trip to see us, we miss you and love you loads!

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Sxxx

Posted by doyledan 09:27 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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