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Published: October 27th 2015
Each October we get a week off. This year I went on two smaller trips - One to Komodo and Flores Islands, the other to Bali. Friday night after having the Senior School Athletics Day, we flew to Bali only to fly out early the next morning to Labuhanbajo, Flores.
We woke up early on Sat. morning to catch our 6:00 AM flight. Once we arrived at the airport part of our boat crew picked us up and escorted us to the docks where the boat was waiting. Later that morning we went to go see the Komodo Dragons in the National Park. Komodo Dragons are deadly. They are attracted to the smell of blood and anyone with an open wound or women who are menstruating are prohibited to visit because the risks of potentially getting attacked increases exponentially. I have been told it's the saliva of the Komodo Dragons that kills you if you are ever bitten by one. When you see Komodos in person, they seem like really lazy animals but they can move quickly and attack swiftly. We saw a nest which one mother was guarding. We were told by our guides that
Komodo Dragons make more nests around their original one as a defense mechanism after she lays her eggs. However, the funny part is that Komodo Dragons forget really easily and by building more nests to confuse their predators, they end up just confusing themselves. This explains why we saw the mother laying in front of all the nests she built. We got back onto the boat, had lunch as we were brought to our next location – a private beach where we spent part of the afternoon snorkeling, walking and exploring the rocks and shallow waters. We ended the day with happy hour as we watched the sunset and waited for dinner to be served as well as the “bat show” to begin. We parked near an island which houses thousands and thousands of bats. Each night shortly passed 6:00 PM when the sun has set, these bats leave their cave and fly miles away to feed on fruit before returning back to the cave at dawn. It was incredible how many bats were flying overhead and they were so silent! If you didn’t look up into the sky, you would have no idea they were even there! Since the
sky was clear and the air was clean we could easily see the night stars. It was beautiful especially since out on the ocean there isn’t any light to interrupt your starry gaze.
The next morning we woke up to our boat moving to our next destination. After an amazing breakfast we went snorkeling. Since the tide was strong we were limited to how far we could go. We came back to the boat and sailed off to Pink Beach on Komodo Island. Three young boys came from a nearby village selling their wooden Komodo dragon carvings. We asked how old they were in Bahasa and they told us they were 10 and 12 years old. In the afternoon we had a polar opposite experience. We knew people who were out exploring the area on their yacht and super yacht during the same time we were. They invited us onto their boat for the afternoon which was nice. There was a barista on board from one of the coffee shops we go to back in Jakarta, two masseuses, number of crew, jet ski – you name it. We had massages, cool drinks, a Jet Ski ride, a
tube ride etc. It was a lot of fun. Later that afternoon we headed back to our boat and continued on where we were going to anchor for the night. Most people from our group went to a village for a tour but I decided to stay on board with another friend chilling in our bean bag chairs on the deck with a cool drink in hand, reading our books as the sun went down.
The next morning we boated to an island which had a hike with an incredible view of the other islands. It was already super hot that morning with no shade on this hill. Post hike we quickly swam before returning to the boat – it was perfect. The engine battery had some trouble so we had to hang out in this spot for a few hours until we were on our way again. We stopped for lunch in front of these two smaller islands. Since the tide was low, the white sand was exposed and the blue turquoise water was bright. It reminded me a lot of the Maldives. In fact, that’s what our captain referred it to as well. We spent
some time on the small islands and snorkeled a little. We were looking in particular for the manta rays that swim in this area. The plan was to snorkel with them. However, as we were headed to our boat we did see two swim along the surface for a little while. They were HUGE! I wanted to jump into the water to swim with them but the tide prevented me from doing so – too bad! We boated that afternoon to another location where we hiked yet another hill to watch the sunset. Again, there were no trees to provide shade so we went for a quick swim in the ocean before heading back to the boat. That evening since it was our last, the crew made us dinner on a private beach under the star filled sky. The evening concluded with a beach bon fire while drinking wine.
The next morning I woke up to the boat moving. It wasn’t overly smooth waters we were passing through so I quickly got up and went to the deck to relax as I was feeling a little sea sick. After some breakfast we went snorkeling for the last
time. This snorkeling location definitely made my top snorkeling experiences ever! I found myself to be immediately surrounded by schools of fish from all kinds! The coral was colourful, some with really vivid colours and the water was super clear. We managed to see a turtle, an octopus and some reef sharks! After lunch we made our way back to the dock and then off to the airport where we waited for our flight back to Bali. My friend and I stayed in Bali as the others from our group continued to Jakarta. In Bali we met up with our other friends at a private villa which we all rented for the week. The villa was equipped with a pool, a gardener and a cook. It was lovely! For the remaining part of the week we relaxed, shopped, went to coffee shops, toured temples, chilled at the beach, swam at our pool, went to the spa, ate delicious food at various restaurants etc. We flew back to Jakarta on the Sat. so we could have one day yet to recover and get organized for the coming week.
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