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Asia » Indonesia » Flores » Labuanbajo January 13th 2016

Flights Garuda DPS-LBJ -DPS Rp 2 487 600 (approx AUD $250) Booked through Garuda website Hotel + Package Golo Hilltop arranged package for Rp 3 600 000 pp based on 3 people- we had 2 deluxe rooms at Golo Hilltop and took the a/c power option for the boat Day 1. Bali-Labuan Bajo Day 2. Rinca and Komodo Day 3. Rinca and Komodo Day 4. Labuan Bajo-Bali Day 1: Flight Denpasar - Labuan Bajo Flight from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo. On arrival in Labuan Bajo there is a car waiting for you to bring you to the hotel. In the afternoon there is time to relax, to take a swim in the pool or to wander around in Labuan Bajo. Day 2: Labuan Bajo - Rinca island After an early breakfast we go to the harbor ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Flores » Labuanbajo January 12th 2016

A spontaneous trip that came together very quickly (planned and organised the week we left for the USA in November). Primary trip purpose- to take my parents (75 and 77) to see the Komodo dragons. They spend December/January in Bali every year so I flew to Denpasar from Perth with Jetstar. Not a cheap flight at the last minute and in the Australian school hols, but, there you go... AUD $560- eeek, so used to the specials that you can pick up in advance (going to Bali in March and that's about what we are paying for 2 people). Uneventful trip on a full plane. Scored a good forward window seat by sheer luck I think. Arrival was ultra smooth- no other planes and I tested out my new British passport in order to avoid paying ... read more
LB Airport
Golo Hilltop view
Dry, arid conditions

Asia » Indonesia » Flores » Labuanbajo October 3rd 2015

We laten ons door een taxi naar het vliegveld van Banyuwangi brengen, waar we op het bord zien dat onze vlucht een uur vertraagd is. Onze zwavelsouvenirs worden door de man van de security uit de tas gevist, die mogen niet het vliegtuig in wegens explosiegevaar en dat is erg jammer. Dan rest ons niets anders dan wachten, net als de andere passagiers en de vier vrouw sterke boardingploeg van Garuda. Boarden gaat hier niet zomaar, er is iemand die de boardingpassen afscheurt, iemand die ze controleert, in de computer aanvinkt en natuurlijk iemand die op traditionele wijze gedag zegt. Nadat het vliegtuig arriveert, wordt alles in een mum van tijd gereed gemaakt, boarden we en een paar minuten later taxiën we naar de startbaan. Het toestel is nog maar een paar jaar oud en dat ... read more
Het strand bij het hotel.
Onze boot
Lekker lui

Asia » Indonesia » Flores July 28th 2015

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 ... read more
Pink Beach
Bats!
komodo Dragon

Asia » Indonesia » Flores » Labuanbajo July 18th 2015

With thanks to my travel partner Yusuf Degri, here's a selection of videos of life underwater in Komodo National Park: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wmx3lhh8ovd36f9/AACLfy1fwZAUu0FivBrARuGHa?dl=0 My personal favourites are: GOPRO332 - a cheeky batfish trying to steal lunch from a turtle (Batu Bolong) GOPRO363 - the shallows of Batu Bolong GOPRO375 - manta ray exhilaration GOPRO435 - see if you can spot the perfectly camouflaged little critter... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Flores » Bajawa July 16th 2015

It was a journey of highlands, coast and endless turns. Blessed with curves, Flores doesn't trifle with straight roads. Her rolling hills, climbing peaks and plunging valleys have invited road builders to carve into her shapely body, working spaghetti magic from head to toe. With tight corners and snaking lanes, a journey through Flores makes for an exciting ride. You never know what's beyond the horizon or around the next bend. As climbs unveil specular views, descents bring new discoveries. Villages nestle in flattened lands whilst others spread over slopes. Cows, goats, chickens and dogs share the roads, which are lined by rice and nuts spread drying in the sun. Buffalo wade in paddyfields, vendors display watery petrol and children wave and call as you pass by. Every so often the road turns to dust, with ... read more
Spider ricefields, Cancar
Bena
The 17 Islands Riung Marine Park

Asia » Indonesia » Flores » Labuanbajo July 14th 2015

Flores stole a piece of my heart. This gem of natural beauty and human warmth is a joy to experience and a sonnet for the eyes. Coral rich waters peppered with tropical islands border interknitted wooded hills. As tropical and temperate meet, volcanic peaks rise into the clouds. Lowlands nuture rice, trees stand heavy with bananas, coconuts and papaya and flowers decorate the green. It is an island to explore; winding bends of never straight roads lead the venturer past breathtaking views before snaking down through valley villages and up and over again to new horizons. The beauty of Flores lives and breathes in its people. Catholic and Muslim residing side by side, their peaceful nature, warm hearts and genuine character shines through. Every man, woman and child I pass wishes me 'good morning miss', 'hello ... read more
Posing as usual
Turtle spotting
Turtle posing

Asia » Indonesia » Flores April 27th 2015

The dilemma is that Indonesia is just so big. Or more accurately just so long. In each island there is so much to see and people to visit you just have to be selective. We have seen this throughout our adventure and Flores was a classic example of the choices to be made. We arrived on the boat in Labuanbajo. This is very much a diving resort. With good reason: the reefs off Rinca and Komodo are world class as we had seen and in the deep spots big fish and sharks are accessible. By the time we got there I was buying antibiotics (you just buy them cheaply over the counter) to fend off an ear infection. I was paying the price for all the free diving I had been doing and was glad the ... read more
Fellow trans Flores travellers sharing their bemo with calves
Sunset outside Ende,  Southern Flores
Waiting for the road to open

Asia » Indonesia » Flores April 18th 2015

It has to be one of the greatest thrills. I dived down maybe 5 metres at most just ahead of the manta. I then swam along no more than two feet from its back. It was huge and yet so graceful. The wing span must have been 3 metres. The two big flaps, so characteristic of Mantas stuck out of its head. I swam right above it close enough to touch its black back as long as I could. It was breath-taking. It moved with such minimum effort. I will never forget it as long as I live. We were on a four day cruise from Lombok to Flores. I had better define the word 'cruise' as there was no Captain's table or party frocks. Furthermore Jane knows she has permission to shoot me if I ... read more
Just majestic
The boat
Posing with a green turtle (look closely on the right!)

Asia » Indonesia » Flores August 31st 2014

We left Pulau Besar just as the reef was becoming visible in the morning light, we had a track line to follow on the chart plotter but its always nice to have a real world backup. We had a light breeze blowing us across the north of the island at about 3 knots, which dropped out as we went out into open water. Then it returned an hour later and gradually built to a 15 knot breeze pushing us from behind. I was forever waiting for it to drop out again but it pushed us along goose winged for the rest of the trip… leaving the motor off, a rarity in this stretch of coast. We turned south into the inlet of Batu Boga (east) heading for the anchorage described as “perfection” but found it was ... read more
Batu Boga east in the morning calm
looking for information in Maurole
Paddy fields




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