Thursday, December 24, 2015

Flores: End of Sailing Trip

Besides Komodo Island, Komodo Dragons can be found at Loh Buaya. It is located in Rinca Island on the other side of Kampung Rinca. We are luckier this time as we saw a lot more Komodos than in Komodo Island, we even saw the juvenile ones. People said this was probably the size of Rinca Island therefore the Komodo Population is quite denser. There were also short and long trekking routes available to get around the national park, we took the short one and it ends on a hill behind the outpost, we can see the outpost and the bay where we dock our ships.

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Flores: The Kids of Rinca

Besides the spectacular landscape, Flores is also the land of some of the nicest people in Indonesia. My friend jokingly said that Flores is the land of the 'high fives', which to some extent I find that this were true, most of the people (especially kids) will raise their hand and try to give you a high five! During our island hopping trip we made a stop at Kampung Rinca, it is a small settlement located on Rinca Island. When we arrive on the settlement, we were greeted by a bunch of local kids. Some philanthropist established a school on this island - "Taman Bacaan Pelangi", where local children learn to read and study some elementary school lessons, it is also run by locals. We brought some books to add to their collection, you should bring some too when you visit the Island. The warm greetings given by the kids and the people of this island made a visit to Rinca an unforgettable experience.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Flores: Magnificent Padar

Padar is the third largest island in Komodo National Park, the island is uninhabited although our captain said there should be one or two rangers who live there although as far as I can see there are no manmade structures on the island, perhaps they live on the other side of the island. Komodos are sadly no longer present due to illegal hunting activities by humans.

After our encounter with the Komodo at Komodo Island, we sailed on to Padar Island where we will spend the night there. We reached the island several hours before sunset, the island doesn't have any docks whatsoever so our ship has to drop anchor several metres from the beach and we have to get ourselves wet to get ashore. Some of us decided to go explore barefooted (a decision we all regret several minutes later) because the captain said the trek was easy. As it turns out the trek was full of small sharp rocks, it was like walking on top of lego bricks. Even though the terrain was like that the captain still ran all the way to the top of the hill. Apparently our captain has developed a thick skinned foot as he claimed he rarely wears any footwear in his entire life! No wonder he claimed the trek was easy, for him at least not for us city dwellers.

After a long and treacherous path we finally made it to the top of the hill and oh boy the view was one of the most magnificent I have seen in my entire life.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Flores: Komodo Dragon!

We woke up early in the morning to climb atop the hill on Gili Lawa to see the sunrise, it was quite a struggle when we made the climb as it was pitch dark that time; favorable condition when you want to shoot milky ways although not so good condition for trekking, but the climb was worth the effort.

The sunrise was indeed, glorious.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Flores: Blue Sea and White Beaches

There are 29 islands scattered around Komodo National Park; Rinca, Padar, and Komodo are the three main islands. Due to the limited time available, we couldn't visit all the islands therefore a decision has to be made and we've visited some of the most popular destinations: Kanawa, Gili Lawa, Rinca, Komodo, and Kelor island. On the first day, we've visited Kenawa, Manta Point, and Gili Lawa. Our island hopping trip began with Kenawa which we didn't spend an awful lot of time, we just snorkeled for one hour then we continue our trip to Manta Point where we encountered Manta rays! And lots of it. It is a joyous occasion when you swim with the Mantas dancing around you with their gracious moves, it is as seemed the mantas are welcoming us. After a delightful afternoon with Manta Rays, we moved on to Gili Lawa to see the sunset and then rest for the night. It is worth noting that there are no settlements or building or whatsoever in Gili Lawa, we spent the night on board our boats docked at Gili Lawa beach.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Flores: Welcome To Labuanbajo

Flores is one of the gem located in the eastern part of Indonesia, to be precise it is located in East Nusa Tenggara province. White beaches and ancient villages are scattered across the island, you may find many diving and snorkelling hotspots around Flores. One of the most notable spot is in Komodo National Park (more on that later) where also the world's biggest lizard lives.

Our journey in and around the island took one week which consisted of sea and overland trip. We spent three days on a boat to visit several islands and then continue our journey by car to Wae Rebo, Bena Village, and finally Mt Kelimutu, it took four days by car to reach Kelimutu from Labuanbajo including one night stop at Wae Rebo and Bajawa. There are multiple ways to get to Flores, some of my friends decidedly took the more adventurous method which consisted of a train ride from Jakarta to Jogja then several bus and ferry rides before they reach Labuanbajo, it took them several days. I took direct flight to Bali from Jakarta and then continue on another flight to Labuanbanjo.

There will be several posts for this series due to the large number photos involved, please do come back!

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Labuanbajo Harbor

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