Pirate Maz travel's the Flores seas - the final frontier


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July 28th 2015
Published: July 28th 2015
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Laba Island aka Spider islandLaba Island aka Spider islandLaba Island aka Spider island

This was the view from the top of the mountain - post flip-flop morning stroll. Our boat if you can spot is white and down below.
Day 3

Facing fears

Last night we rocked and rolled but not in a musical way. Thankfully I got some sleep and as I woke at 5:30am I looked out the window and I could see the sea then a second later the morning sky. We're still steaming ahead. I carefully make my way to the front of the boat in time to see a beautiful sunrise. I’m in paradise once again. I ask the skippers where we're headed and they say Laba Island. Laba I was told translates as Spider in English. FUCK! We're heading straight for it! They assure me there’s no spiders but now I'm bricking it. As irrational fears take over my body we jump into the sea and swim ashore. We climb a hill in flip flops - a challenge in itself and we're treated to the most beautiful view of the surrounding islands and the green and blue sea below us. No spiders - phew!

Back on the boat and on the hunt for mantras. Snorkel on and I'm reminded of yesterdays experience. It’s only 8:30am and my nerves are shot. We saw no mantras but we did see small shakes, sting rays and beautiful fish and coral. I manage to keep it cool and stay in with the pack.

We leave and soon arrive at Pink Beach. The sand made pink I think from the red coral debris mixed with white sand. This is a picture postcard beach - utterly stunning. We snorkel to shore and are treated to beautiful colourful coral and swarms of colourful fish swimming around us in a circle - I've never seen so many. Trumpet, butterfly, tiger, clown and puffer fish to name but a few. The sea was colder here but a welcome refresher from the hot days.

Final stop of the day was in time for sunset. We anchor up next to a massive bushy area n the edge of an island. The bush was full of flying foxes - bats! Not long after we arrive we see 3 big eagles. When the sun began to sleep the bat awoke and travelled with excitement towards their cave - they where huge and very badass looking. Dinner was served, bingtang was drunk, card games played and then it was time for bed. Final day tomorrow and a chance to see some dragons!

Day 4 - komodo, rinca and Flores

As my boat adventures comes to an end we have one last day. And today is the day we go in search of dragons! Woohoo! Interesting facts you may or may not know:

- Dragons exist in real life not just fairy-tales

- The komodo dragon can smell blood up to 4km away

- Their saliva is venomous. They hunt their prey by biting them, following behind them for up to 4 days while waiting for the victim to collapse from the poison. Whilst they are still alive but unable to move the dragon makes his move. Dinner time!

- They can digest bones - so nothing is left on their dinner plate

- Like us the dragon takes 9 months to have a baby.

- Unlike us they lay an egg. Upon birth the baby dragon instinctively runs up a tree. This is because mum is coming. Dragon mums will eat their babies when the hatch!!!

- They are cool as fuck!

Komodo and Rinca island. We arrive in the morning with excitement and trepidation. We meet our ranger and he briefs us on the dos and donts during our walk around the island. As we’re on the dragons turf we must respect them. If they decide to attack our ranger has a long wooden stick that he can poke them with. That's all weve got. Ranger finishes his briefing warning us about poisonous snakes and spiders and asking if we have any questions…”how many people have been killed by a dragon?” - too many!

And then off we go... Its just after the month when the babies have hatched so we have to keep our eyes peeled for them in the trees and also be careful around the giant nests. A wild pig runs across our path, we also see deer, a bees nest, monkeys and water buffalo. Then we finally come face to face with our first dragon. She's just chillin like a villain on a rock in the open sun. She knows we're there and she occasionally opens her eyes to let us know. Quite impressive creatures, their skin looks strong and thick a bit like a monitor lizard but also reminded me of a crocodile. We see several more including young ones who are now brave enough to walk the ground now they're 6 months old. We go past an area our ranger said is recently out of bound as his ranger friend was attacked here while he was taking a group around. His friend survived as used the wooden stick by pushing it into the dragon mouth so she ran off. He was then airlifted to a hospital in Australia to receive the anti venom.

Finally the trip was complete and all that was left was a final snorkel and swim before heading to shore on Flores. That night we had a proper hot shower and then went to the local market for some super fresh food and some Bintang. We enjoyed a final singalong with Sunny on guitar and soon bedtime awaited peacefully on the boat anchored at the docks.

The following morning, after around a 5 hour wait I flew back to Bali. I decided to head back to Ubud as it was my favourite place here. This time I booked into a wonderful guesthouse ‘Sila Urip’. I received a warm welcome at the airport by the hosts brother and taken to the beautiful home where i would stay for my last few days in Indonesia. I then spent my last few days getting to know the family, teaching the kids 'Head and Shoulders', learning how to make Hindu offerings and spending time sharing music with my favourite Indonesian, Made!

It's early morning and time to go to the airport. A sad farewell but i'm on my way to the extraordinary Malaysian Borneo. The unplanned trip to Indonesia will now be a lasting memory. I'm so glad I came!

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