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August 26th 2010
Published: September 6th 2010
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Labuan BajoLabuan BajoLabuan Bajo

The view from my hotel!
Komodo is the reason people dive. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do it any justice, because words cannot describe this yet-untouched underwater paradise. The corals are multi-coloured and as lush and vibrant as the vegetation on land, the schools of fish are varied and abundant, the sea turtles are peaceful and within arms-reach. It makes you understand where the fine people at Pixar got their inspiration for Finding Nemo.

Only having a few days to enjoy the wonders this national park has on offer, the dive centre was my first stop after the bus arrived in Labaun Bajo. I planned to take advantage of my time here and booked two full days of diving with the lovely folks at Dive Komodo. The divemasters were knowledgeable and the equipment was in good condition so there wasn't much left to do except check into my treat of a hotel for two nights and await my oncoming adventures.

Early the next morning, I ventured down to the harbour and across the wonky dock where the boat sat, collecting its divers for the day. Already aboard were a lovely Spanish couple (who reassured me that I haven't (yet) forgotten all of my Spanish), the standard two-three Dutch travellers, a Belgian couple and two very excited Frenchmen. The conversation was dominated by who had seen what where, and advice for navigating the currents that were rumoured to be strong throughout Komodo. One site we dived involved a current they jokingly nicknamed the 'washing machine.' As an inexperienced diver, I wasn't laughing.

Diving four of the twenty plus sites was a jaw-dropping experience - on my first dive out we saw 4 manta rays (these guys are HUGE - about 3m across) and a large white-tipped reef shark. The mantas were magical and so peaceful, gliding through the water completely at ease with the divers. On the dives that followed, I was lucky enough to see a few Napoleon fish, another reef shark and a banded sea snake which to my great surprise, I found fascinating to watch. In Komodo, the schools of emperor angelfish, butterfly fish, dartfish, moorish idols, trevalies and triggerfish go without saying.

On board they served up a feast for lunch each day, and it was an easy two hour ride back to the harbour thanks to the turquoise waters and gorgeous coastal scenery. Diving
Wonky dockWonky dockWonky dock

They weren't kidding when they said the dock needed some repairing.
here was one of the most exciting experiences here in Indonesia, and I'm hoping it won't be long before I can really do the area (at least underwater) justice. After my two days diving, it was time to board yet another boat, this one sailing past the island of Sumbawa, bound for the shores of Lombok.

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