Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Stop 10: Labuan Bajo, Flores Island, September 4 - 6 2016

We only spent 1 full day in Labuan Bajo but it felt like a week. We motored for 4 hours from Gili Bodo around the corner to Labuan Bajo, Flores and anchored at 08 30.42S & 119.52.43E in 15 meters of water. Most of the time stern to the beach, but very good holding, nice and flat.

As soon as we rounded the headland to Labuan Bajo I loved it. This place is a feast for your eyes. The landscape is a mix of lush and barren lands, its very interesting. It's also very busy as Labuan is a major port and tourist area. We were glad we could anchor out of the mayhem in calm water and well out of the way of all the boat traffic.

Arriving on the 4th at 10 am we all went to shore and had a good look around. Enjoyed lunch, a good stroll around and ended up staying there for dinner. We did some shopping and enjoyed being able to meander around soaking up the local area. Our dinner venue provided us with spectacular sunset views.

Our view from our dinner venue.

A view from our lunch venue.

Our lunch!

Pretty clever use of tree branches as art.

Our choice of lunch venue was pretty cool.

Guess what we had for dinner?

Another spectacular sunset.

We've both been enjoying loads of these.

On the 5th we spent the morning going to Rinca Island, Komodo National Park to see the Komodo Dragons. Our trip over in the long boat was very enjoyable, even when we lost steering. True to form of most Indonesian folk, our driver and assistant weren't not fazed by the least, they simply got in, fixed it and off we went again.

Me, practicing with a friends long lens (gee these are heavy),

Collected skeletal remains from the Komodo Dragons feasts. (not joking)

Great advertising and senses of humour here.
Entering the komodo area to see the dragons was very interesting and the anticipation level was high of what they were actually going to be like to see in real life. OMG they are huge animals. As we approached the rangers station we could see there they were: about 6 or 8 of them. They like it here as they get fed!

Everyone was duly reminded these are wild animals and on average kill one human being a year (good grief). We had 3 rangers with our group and as a group, we picked the middle of the range walking track, not to long and a mix of jungle with open spaces to enjoy.

Along the way we saw a few more dragons and some with their nests. Interesting but hot and to be frank we simply could have stood for much longer at the rangers station to watch these creatures.

Mummy guarding her nest and very well camouflaged.

She wasnt too happy about the onlookers so we didnt stay long.

Another mummy.

On leaving the Komodo Park area, these monkeys were not fazed at all by us walking past.
Along the way we saw a green viper snake. I have posted a friends photo and used it with her permission (cheers Pepe). It was surprising to see the viper was so small, but its deadly venomous and it was good spotting from our guide as it was snuggled up in a tree branch hollow.

On the way home we passed many different and interesting boats moving about the local waters.

Once back we all went ashore again. Found the markets, which was fantastic to buy fresh produce from and had dinner out at a Mediterranean place which produced interesting plates of food for us.

On the 6th we hauled anchor and went over to Makassar Reef to try and snorkel with the giant manta rays.

We have every intention of returning to Labuan Bajo and the Komodo area for more exploring!

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