Published: February 9th 2007January 30th 2007
After a grueling 28 hour bus and ferry combo from Mataram, Lombok I arrived to Labuhanbajo, Flores. The city (or better called town) is the main port on the western end of Flores. It is not much to speak of because is mainly just a road with some hotels, little local restaurants, and several diving/tour guide offices. It does serve as an excellent port to explore the komodo islands national park just west of the town. That's what made me stay. After checking out the dive companies there, I chose to go with reef seekers. In my opinion they are the most professional dive company there and did a great job.
I spent three days diving there. There are so many world class sites there. The park consists of several smaller islands and two bigger (komodo and rinca). In the water there are the options for different dive styles (drift, wall, macro, micro...). Pretty much it has it all, so depending on what you like, they can work out a plan for you. In the water I was able to see dogfish tuna, giant trevally, leaf fish, lionfish, many white tip sharks, amberjacks, napoleon wrasses..... Too many to list. Out
of the water we explored Rinca Island. There are several unique species there, but the highlight was the komodo dragons. They were very big boys and just roaming around wild. Some were over nine feet long and over 150 pounds! Had to watch out because they can sprint fairly quickly. We had to go with a park guide. In the past they used to let visitors go by themselves, but a Swiss man did that and never came back. So having a guide was a good thing.
In Labuhanbajo I teamed up with two other lone travelers. Jur from Holland and Andy from Germany. It’s been good because they have similar interests and like to travel a little more rugged. From Labuhanbajo we went to Ruteng. We went there for the sole purpose of seeing the "hobbit" man, which was discovered not too long ago. It’s been dubbed as a possible missing link to modern man. We were let down though. The cave where the remains were discovered is still there, but the bones were moved to Jakarta to be placed in their museum. So the quest for hobbits will have to continue for another day. From here the
journey will continue east.
There are more photos below