Personal Blog #7 | Boat Trip from Lombok to Flores
Our Unexpected Trip
A term I use is, plans are made to be scrapped.
This is what we went through while in Lombok. We were planning on going to Flores but each plan we made just got scrapped, until finally we found what we were looking for.
Plan A was to go overland by scooter. This plan was scrapped due to the size of Sumbawa, the island separating Lombok from Flores. Sumbawa is pretty big and would have been a colossal task to get from west to east on a little scooter. Apart from that, we didn’t have many days left on our visa.
Next, Plan B rolled out and was to get a flight to Flores, eventually this was also scrapped as we came across something much more interesting.
The thing is, when travelling long term a lot of plans quickly change especially when there are more options than you had imagined. In this case we happened to come across an adventurous 4D3N boat trip up to Flores.
We booked this trip with Wanua Adventures, a reputable company based in Lombok.
Wanua's Meeting Point
Lucky us, Wanua’s meeting point was just 20 minutes from our accommodation. So, as usual, I piled up the scooter with the backpacks and set off on the short ride.
By 10 am we were at the office, left our scooter in one of their buildings and went on to make the awful payment process.
Wanua only accepts cash and although this is fine in most cases, when you have to pay 2.3 million IDR per person in 100k or even 50k notes it is a bit of an awkward situation.
Firstly, most ATM machines only give out 2.5 million IDR per day and second if you’re paying, like me, for 2 person you end up with a heap load of papers of money.
But anyway, once we had done our payment it was amusing to see everyone fetch out money from pockets, bags, pouches and anywhere else.
In the meantime while waiting we were offered tea and a light breakfast and by around 12:30 were on our way to Eastern Lombok which is where the boat departs.
Aye Aye Captain
A 2 hour journey later we were finally at the port where the boat was already waiting for us.
We all went up to our bedrooms…… well actually not really a bedroom but just thin pieces of foam placed one next to another on the deck floor.
Not much to say for this day as most was spent at the meeting point and travelling, by land and sea. But we did manage to stop on a small island where we climbed a hill to watch a beautiful sun setting over Lombok’s mountains.
Next morning we arrived at Moyo island, still far away from Komodo. Here we hiked to a fall, snorkeled in clear waters and were off to finally reach Komodo. Trip time, 19 hours 😬
The whole trip is a mix of experiences, meeting new people and visiting incredible places. So, basically the first 2 days didn’t really include much of the incredible places.
On the other hand, we did have an amazing time while cruising. Especially the second evening was one to remember.
While the sun had slowly started to set, everyone got to the ice box, grabbed a large bintang (beer) and we all made our way up to the top deck.
The small boom box was pumping out summer chill tunes, waves slowly crashed against the boat and the sun slowly hiding away creating the most beautiful hues in the sky. Meanwhile, our cheerful guide L threw in some unique dance moves kicking off a small dance party on deck.
Everything Kicked Off From Here
The following day, from early morning we were already cruising along the waters surrounding Komodo National Park.
As the day slowly brightened up, I got up to the front deck and watched in awe, as the beautiful islands and their dry, rugged landscape was uncovered.
Today, we would be visiting Komodo Island, Pink Beach and Long Beach.
First stop was Komodo island, home to the world’s largest lizards, oh that are also poisonous and deadly. 😬
A ranger met us at the park entrance and beside other things he asked us to do as he says, and HOPEFULLY we’ll return to the boat. Hahha, this was getting exciting.
Within a 5 minute trek we had already came across 3 dragons, one larger than the other. And a short walk later even more were all around a restaurant, just lazing around in the shade.
That’s another one off the bucket list. Well this was our last chance of coming here. Reason is that authorities will increase the park entrance fee to 1000 USD which is quite hefty especially for us that haven’t got an income.
The pink beaches surrounding Komodo are without a doubt one of the highlights on a visit.
Our stops were on Pink Beach and Long Beach. To our surprise, Pink Beach wasn’t so pink but compensated for its misleading name with an incredible reef.
The reef is literally full of beautiful corals, loads of fish and we also spent some time drifting with currents alongside a turtle. This was really a magical experience, and that gets me wondering.
So, if swimming with a turtle was a magical experience, I’m not sure what swimming with whale sharks or mantas will be. Hopefully I’ll get to experience this and will man up and not freak out if the water is too deep.
Strangely enough Long Beach is pink too, in fact is like bright fu*#in pink.
Instead of swimming here, I decided to hike up a mountain to get a good view over this bright pink beach.
Bad idea, hiking up a mountain on loose scorching hot rocks barefoot isn’t really the best. I did manage to make it up and got an impressive view but for the pictures…Meh. My feet were on fire by the time I reached the peak and wasn’t willing to walk around to find the perfect spot, I’m content with what I have.
Boat Party Time
All good things come to an end eventually, don’t they? This wasn’t actually the end of our trip but was our last night together so we had to have a night to remember. Also it happened that one of the girls had her birthday and I guess must have been her best so far.
At sunset the party began and was interrupted by dinner time but no worries we’ll continue after our meal.
Once again, the party began and now even the disco ball came out, hahaha yeah really a disco with flashing lights and all.
And we all danced the night away until the early hours… not exactly, we were off to bed at about midnight.
We did have a buzz time especially when there was just 6 of us dancing to golden oldies to the likes of Elvis Presley and other Rock n’ Roll.
Early Wake Up call
To the contrary of other days where I was by myself for sunrise, today everyone was up and running by early morning, apart from a few that aren’t used to getting up so early and were still in zombie mode.
A quick coffee and a short boat ride later we were on Padar Island hiking up a mountain that would turn out to be within our top sunrise spots so far.
The stunning view overlooks rugged savannah mountains and three half moon shaped bays each with a different coloured beach, white, black and pink.
Captivated by the view, I didn’t even realize that I had left Jacqueline behind. No worries, she did catch up and we just watched as the sun slowly rose.
Once the sunrise was over, it was back to the boat along with scores of other visitors and off to another dragon park.
Rinca Island, also home to the dragons was our next stop. Once again the ranger came to meet us and wished best of luck for getting back in one piece. Funny guide, I was like 🤔
Although similar to Komodo Island, Rinca is much prettier and also has some greenery to the contrary of Komodo where everything was dry at the time of our visit.
After just a short walk in the park we came across a group of dragons, only this time the dragons were much bigger thus were somewhat intimidating.
Meanwhile, a large dragon (about 2.5 m) stood up looking pretty angry, and a fight was about to break out. I still remember the ranger muttering in a whispering voice, fight, fight. Without avail, there was no fight and we carried on a trek up a mountain. But hiking a mountain in the middle of the day isn’t the best of things to do, plus the view didn’t really offer much.
Lunch Time And Back To Dry Land
At last it was lunchtime and we finally got what I was waiting for, fish.
Not that I’m such a huge fan of fish but it’s always better than eating rice and vegetables. To my surprise nobody bothered with the fish so after 3 days of really tiny portions I had the chance to have a proper meal.
A stop on a small island about 40 minutes from Flores, was our last leg of the journey.
No one had much strength by now, after 3 nights not getting a good sleep everyone seemed too exhausted and we just dropped down on the sand or took a dip to cool down.
So this amazing 4 day trip had come to an end and along the way we met lovely people and made new friends that we’ve still kept in contact with.
Well I hope this blog can be useful and hope you enjoyed reading it. Until next time!!