After our lovely time in Bali, a few days spent in Lombok, and the magical Christmas in Gili Air, it was time to go further. Further and wilder. We wanted to visit Flores, an island which is situated between Sumbawa and Timor. We planned to visit Komodo Islands, see flying foxes, and explore the new places. We did it all! But let’s start with the beginning.
It took us 30 hours to get to Flores. A bus, a ferry, a bus, a minibus, a ferry again. We finally arrived at Labuan Bajo – the harbour and most famous diving place. The city is not so special, but from there you can visit many small islands around Flores and go diving in beautiful areas. Our first task – find a cheap tourist office and book a trip to Komodo Island. After looong research we met one nice man who sold us the trip and became our friend at the same time.
We were very excited for the komodo adventure. We were going to a small island called Rinca, where were two small villages and many big dragons. Can you imagine, you are walking around in the forest, lalala, the sun is shining, and boom – a dragon in front of you! Well, officially they are just big lizards, but in real they really look like some ancient creatures that survived many years hidden in the bushes. All the tourist offices always guarantee that you will see the dragon. It’s very simple – next to the ticket office there is a kitchen and the dragons always lie down there waiting for some food (or humans hehe). It’s not so easy to meet a dragon in the wild. But we were lucky. We entered the island, headed to the office, and after 1 minute there it was. In the middle of our pathway, walking casually, Mr Dragon.
I was soooo scared. This thing was maybe 2 meters long, had very long and sharp claws, and a poisonous tongue that goes out from the dirty mouth around 100 times per minute (they use the tongue to smell). After that we had a small meeting with five other dragons next to the kitchen.
It was quite scary but also funny to be so close to them. The komodo expedition included a small track to the forest and one hour snorkeling on an island nearby, so it was a really great day altogether.
As I said, Labuan Bajo is not really a busy place and if you don’t dive there is not much to do. We don’t dive, so we wanted to get out of there and look around. We rented a motorbike for 5 days and went to the mountains.
Our first stop was in Ruteng – a very cold and very creepy city that lies between the hills. It was a New Year’s Eve so we decided to have a private party in our room, with warm blankets, chips, and a movie. When we were both already half asleep (10 o’clock in the evening haha) there was a big party outside that woke us up. The music was too loud to ignore, so we joined our neighbours in celebration. It was one big family dancing and having fun outside their house. They invited us for a coffee and some snacks. They were such a great people, we immediately felt like surrounded by friends. In the end our private little party turned out to be something bigger and thank God for that, it was such an amazing time!
After a day rest we went further. We wanted to go to Bajawa, another cold city with beautiful scenery around.
Driving around in Flores is very tiring, because the bigger cities (which are not even cities, more towns) are very far away from each other and you have to drive all around in the mountains, go up and down, turn left and right, all the time. Every day sitting 5-6 hours on the motorbike, hurting our butts and getting wet in the rain. In Bajawa we spend two cold nights and we did another thing from our ‘to do’ list – we visited the flying fox island.
It took us another 3 hours on the motorbike to get to the coast. We arrived at Riung and started to look for a boat. We found the boat, we found the captain, we bought the entrance ticket. And then… wow, wow, wow! The boat was very loud so before we got to the Flying Fox Island the bats were already awake.
There were thousands of them. We tried to capture it on the photo, but it’s just impossible. In 5 minutes the whole sky was covered with huge flying bats. They were enormous! You cannot enter the island because there is no beach, but it was not really necessary. All of the bats were above us. It was soooo cool! The trip took only one hour, but was really amazing. It was worth those 6 hours (to get there and back) on the motorbike. After that we went back to Bajawa, and on the next day to Labuan Bajo to catch the boat to Sulawesi!
Yeah, that was the plan. But our planes often changes within 5 minutes. After 10 hours (TEN!) non-stop driving we were exhausted, and I really don’t want to think back about the pain in our butts. We went to the harbour to get to the boat, and there another hell was upon us. Crowd. I think the word ‘crowd’ don’t really describe what we’ve seen there. Hundreds of people holding big bags and packets and pushing each other. I was very scared to lose Kevin in this jungle. After 30 minutes fighting to get to the boat (that looked like Titanic from the outside), we got in, and I almost fainted. I can travel for a long time, I can sit for many hours, but this was too much. Dirty children sleeping in the mud. Women covered with sweat and flies. Food on the floor, mud on the walls, people sitting on people. Bleeeeh. We run away and that’s how our trip to Sulawesi ended.
The next morning there was an announcement that due to weather problems no boats are allowed to leave Flores. Good we were not on the way to Sulawesi after all! We were stuck in Flores for another 3 days, so we could work a bit online and give our butts some rest. One evening we heard that there is a ferry going to Bali. So we went to Bali!