Day 3 - Komodo National Park
At 6 in the morning I was already on my feet and I saw the sunrise. The sun is red and the sea a raft. It seems incredible that there are so many currents. People still take time to stretch and appear on the deck. Each one has breakfast at one end of the ship but at 8 am we are all ready to board the boats that bring us to the Komodo island.
We pay for the camera and glasses for snorkeling in the Natural Park. Although the dragons bear their name, it is easier to see them in the neighboring island of Rinca since the population of these lizards is much higher. Afterwards, we walked to what would be our boat. It was quite similar to that of Borneo. It took us almost two and a half hours to get to Rinca.
The landscape was fascinating. Millions of islands populated that bay of Labuan Bajo and the Komodo National Park. Before arriving at the port they explain that we will do a trekking of two hours, accompanied at all times with rangers. It is important that we never leave the group and the women cannot visit the island since the dragons smell the blood more than 5 km away.
We are in a wild island with wild animals, not in a zoo so we may or may not see these bugs. We start the route. There are trees but all the low vegetation is dry and yellow. It is not that the landscape is very beautiful but at least it seems that if we find something, it will be easier to see. It was like entering Jurassic Park. We arrived at Loh Buaya, where the camp was located and a wooden hut where the guided tour of a park ranger was processed.
We went through a fountain (which is nothing more than a puddle) where they are supposed to drink and there is no luck. We continue walking. After more than half an hour walk it gives us a feeling that we will not see anything until the ranger warns us that there is one. It is huge and walks at a slow pace, looks at us and continues its march.
It is an adult male about 3 meters. The females are smaller and the young live in the trees until 3 years old because of the bad habit that adults have of being cannibals. It is a very big bug but it did not seem fierce or fast. I think they must be very well fed and not interested in any prey that involves an effort to hunt.
We keep walking and again the ranger stops. He tells us that there is another (although I believe it is the same). It is also adult male and very large. It stands still, takes out his forked tongue and watches us. The ranger controls that nobody approaches more than the required while taking photos. When the dragon thinks he has posed enough, he leaves.
After 2 hours away of walking and we have only seen two. We were surprised watching the close combat between the two dragons, and the guide told us that it was very difficult to see something like that live. After recording the video of the combat and the withdrawal of the attacker we continue the path through the jungle. On our way we were seeing wild boars, deer that came out to the step startled by the noise of footsteps, water buffalo, which waited in puddles and swamps to protect themselves from the varans.
We reached the end of the jungle and crossed the country through the highest area of the island from where we had magnificent views of the entire archipelago. Here we realize that the vegetation has nothing to do with the lushness and exuberance of Lombok or Bali.
We get back to the starting point, to the cafeteria and there we see two more. We had already read in forums that it was the place where it was guaranteed to find. They wait for the leftovers there so there is always someone hanging around. The meal consisted of rice, chicken, vegetables and noodles. Some photos and again the boat take us to the site that we have been sold as the best snorkel destination of the trip.
In about an hour we reach Pink Beach. The beach is beautiful. It is large, with white sand and turquoise water. Finally a place where we can bathe well! It's called pink beach because there are tiny bits of coral of that color in the sand. There are many fishes, starfish, sea turtles and lots of colored coral but they had put this place so high that we expected more. When I thought I had lost the opportunity in the Gili to be able to dive with them, they appear here.
We followed them for a long time until they disappeared into the darkness of the open sea. Happy we went back diving to the boat that was waiting for us. We saw a shark relatively close. The truth is that the marine life that we had enjoyed in Komodo had been the best to date by far, both in beauty and in biodiversity, I also keep a special memory for having fulfilled the desire to dive with sea turtles to have stayed with the desire in Gili Air.
There we docked the boat to spend the night. As it was still day, we sat on the stern of the boat to see the sunset and the flying foxes that crossed the sky with the sunset. As soon as it got dark we went on deck to have dinner, chat for a long time and prepare to sleep, while the crew was fishing with a rod. I do not know what time it was when we fell asleep, but I know we woke up with the sunrise and this would be about 6 in the morning.
Day 4 - Manta Point and Bidadari
On the way back to Labuan Bajo, which would take us all day, we had yet to stop at two dive sites, Manta Point and Bidadari. It took us about three hours to reach the sighting point. We spent three hours sunbathing at the stern of the boat. As soon as we arrived I realized that the surroundings were absolutely paradisiacal.
There were some atolls of white sand with palm trees inside. The last stop was Bidadari. They left us at the shore and we went to dive. There we spent the last three hours of the tour, diving and sunbathing in a movie enclave, taking photos and enjoying the end of our stay in Flores.
We arrived at Labuan Bajo around 4:00 pm. Loaded with the backpacks we left the port. We had intended to go to the hotel on foot, but it was on top of a hill and we were discouraged.
The guy who was driving the bike asked us what our plans were and he told us he had a taxi with a couple ready to leave the next morning. We have told him that we would think about it. The price is good but that of sharing with another couple for several days and without knowing what their interests does not convince us much.
We arrived at the hotel and the view from the room is spectacular. The window occupies the entire wall and we are served breakfast on the terrace. It has air conditioning, and is clean and we can take a shower after almost 3 days on the boat. The only downside is that the wifi only reaches the restaurant, not the rooms.
We have asked the reception staff for the price of a car with driver to tour the island. We tried to haggle but it was impossible. They are hard to peel. With so little difference and being able to have a car for us alone, with a stop where we wanted, we decided.
After a shower we walk down a staircase first and then down an embankment to the town that is no more than a long street with a souvenir shop, travel agencies or diving and a restaurant. We take a walk that ends soon and we return to the port for the farewell dinner on the ship.
There we exchanged opinions with those who have been our companions these days. We receive those who will make the trip back and we write down information to those who have traveled the island of Maumere to Labuan Bajo. In this time the ship has moved away from the port and has dropped anchor in the middle of the water.
At 23:00 we asked the boys to take us by boat to the port and return to the hotel to sleep soundly, in a clean bed with air conditioning.