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WEST FLORES SEA ADVENTURE

As a Flores girl, I am so embarrassed to tell you all that I didn’t know Flores so well.  The only place I visited in Flores was my parents place in Ruteng, my grandparents in Borong and my aunties in Labuan Bajo.

Every time people ask me, “Where do you come from?” and I said “Flores”, most of them would give me an excited look. WHY? Because they want me share about Flores. So, with lack of knowledge and some information on the internet I read, I could only give them a highlight of Flores. It’s irritating, because I have to share beautiful information about the place I haven’t been before and I do really want to explore Flores, but it’s expensive and takes time (if you really want to explore everything).

So, me and my best friend Angel planned to do a sea adventure trip to Flores.  We got information from my couch surfer friend about cheap sea adventure package to Flores. We then googled the package information and contact the agent to set the date. We invited some of our friends to join, and finally its 7 of us (Angel, Doris, Anne, Sonny, Nico, Andreas and I). Angel, Anne, Sonny, Nico and Andreas live in Bandung; Doris is from The Netherlands – she interned in Sumatra; and I live in Bali.

We decided to start the tour on 21 July, where we were on holiday. The sea adventure is for 4 days and 4 nights. The starting point is in Lombok. Here’s the detail of the tour:

Lombok-Gili Bola-Moyo Island-Satonda Island-Gili Lawa-Pink Beach-Kalong Island-Komodo Island-Rinca Island-Kelor Island – Labuan Bajo . Interesting right?

On Sunday, 20 July we met at Padang bay at 11.30 pm. We took Fery to get to Lombok. It took 4 hours to reach Lombok. At 4 am we arrived in Lembar port and book a rent car to Senggigi area, where the office of the agent was. In less than 1 hour, we arrived at Senggigi and yes, it was dark and we decided to put our carrier in the front of the tour office. Doris, Nico, Andreas, Sonny and I went to the beach to lie down and watched the Milky Way; Anne and Angel stayed and took care of our belongings.

As the sun started to shine, we went back to the office and ordered instant noodles and we found Anne and Angel were sleeping like a homeless, not really a homeless, NOMADS, yes the Nomads. The office was opened at 8am; we asked permission to shower before starting the trip. The bus was coming and took us all with other tourist to Kayangan Port, East Lombok. It took approx. 2-3 hours from Senggigi. Before reaching the port, the tour leader gave us time to shop snacks/drinks because they don’t sell food on the boat. After a quick shopping, we continue heading to Kayangan Port.

 

 Our boat was a standard boat which could accommodate 18 pax. The boat only has 1 toilet. There were 3 boatmen and 1 tour leader who drive, cook and make sure the boat will be fine during the trip. Before we started the trip, the tour leader briefed us about the tour and do’s and don’ts.  So, here’s the sum up of our sea adventure trip:

 1. Gili Bola

Gili Bola is located in Sumbawa. We arrived there when it’s dark, so we could only enjoy the sky full of blinking stars. We spent the night mingling with other tourists and sharing travel stories. At around 3 am, the captain turned the boat machine on and we headed to Moyo Island.

2. Moyo Island

At around 6:00 am the sun rose between the horizon and Moyo Island warmly welcomed us. The captain dropped the anchor in to the sea and we were directed to cross the sea by small canoe or by swim to the beach. Doris, Nico and I decided to swim and the rest were queuing to use the canoe. As we reached the beach, we gathered around the small green estuary. We found so much corals were hanging in the mangrove tree. The guide explained us that every visitor tends to hang the coral at the mangrove branches. It’s the symbol of their wishes I had myself hanging a small coral, but deep down in my heart I whispered a BIG DREAMS of mine #crossfinger . The main attraction in Moyo Island is the Waterfall located approx. 1 km from the beach. We did a soft trekking, passed the jungle and rivers. I love the jungle and the landscape. Sooo enchanted.

We arrived at the waterfall after 15 mins walking. The waterfall is so unique; it has small pool like Jacuzzi. The guide asked us to join him to the top of the waterfall. We climbed the waterfall and the roots were the only support to reach the top. What we found at the top was superb. There were a natural pool with root of the tree were swinging at the top of the pool. My Tarzan side was automatically turned on and ready to swing and jump! We spent 1 hour to swing, jump and also exploring the other natural pool nearby. Unfortunately there were plenty of trashes. The beauty of Moyo Island was ruined by rubbishes. As the place becomes crowded by tourists, we decided to go back to our boat and continued our trip to Satonda Island.

3. Satonda Island

Satonda Island was about 2-3 hours sailing from Moyo Island. We arrived there at lunch time. The crystal clear water was hypnotized us to enjoy the beauty first and skipped the lunch. We had our googles on and jumped in to the water. The corals were pretty and we found so many fishes down there. We saw clown fish, angel fish, blue sea stars and plenty of fishes I didn’t know the names. Done with the underwater scenery, we hopped on the beach and explored the island. Satonda Island is so unique because it has the fresh water lake surrounded by the island. Nico and I took our time to swim in the lake, but it didn’t take long since we couldn’t handle the algae’s stink, haha. We still wanted to explore Satonda but we had to get back to the boat and continued the trip to Flores.

After Satonda Island we sailed across the Flores Sea. The guide said the sailing would be a bit pumpy, because the wind was quite big and so did the waves. I don’t know why, I just ignored the information. I had lunch and slept. Feel so tired after plenty of fun activities. We just 5 min away from Satonda and yes the boat went up, down, left and right. I felt fine and continued to sleep. After 1-2 hours of sleeping, I felt so dizzy and nausea. I woke up and saw all my friends were sleeping. I couldn’t handle this and starting to vomit. I spent the whole night slept and vomited. I asked my friend how come they could sleep in peace while I was struggling with the motion sickness; they easily said that they took the motion sickness pills. I was so mad at myself, how come I forgot to have it. At least, I have a lesson to learn “don’t underestimate the power of motion sickness pills”

4. Gili Lawa

Gili Lawa was the 4th destination on this trip. We did a trekking up to the hills to see the stunning view. We were amazed with the landscape. The hills blue skies, the green and yellow hills, the white sand beach and crystal clear water totally created 1000% happiness for us all. I really can’t describe the beauty of Gili Lawa, you guys should come and experienced the real beauty. Here are the pictures of Gili Lawa for an amateur like me.

 5. Pink Beach

One that attracted me much about this trip was the Pink Beach. I really wanted to touch the sand and see with my wide own eyes the how the red sands blended with the white one. I was so happy to finally visited pink beach. YES the sand is PINK #overlyexcited. We snorkeled, took pictures and made a sand formula 1 car with my friend on it. We enjoy the lovely afternoon so much.

 6. Kalong Island

Next destination we visited after Pink beach was Kalong Island. Located approx. 20 minutes sailing from Pink Beach, this island is home for thousand bats. The bats hanging peacefully on the mangrove trees and totally made the island become black. We arrived there at sunset time, where it was also the time for the bats to hunting for food. We didn’t wait for long time until all bats flew in a massive group and in that moment I felt so small in this beautiful world with those beautiful creatures. Thank God, I could enjoy this extraordinary moment. We overnight at this island. The sea was so calm and we all had a good sleep.

 7. Komodo & Rinca Island

On our last day in this lovely boat, we first visited Komodo Island. Komodo Island, as you already knew is the home for Komodo dragon, one of the ancient creatures that still exist. Komodo Island was voted as The New Seven Wonders back then. We did medium trekking in this island to see the real life of the Komodo dragon.

The island was so dry and all trees, grass, bushes were getting brown. We were guided by 2 rangers, they explained about the habitat of Komodo and their habit. By the time we visited, the Komodos were on their mating season, so we didn’t see any but 1 young komodo hanging in the tree. As we finished the trekking and went to the ranger point, we heard some people shouting “over here! Over here”. We ran to the crowd and saw a very big Komodo were walking around the kitchen area to get food. The ranger said it was one of the old Komodos they have in the Island. For me the Komodo is one of the most elegant and prestigious animals. It didn’t do any to attract people, it just stood still in the middle of the crowd and everyone seemed to be dazzled.

 After a mini adventure at Komodo Island, we were ready for the next adventure with Komodo at Rinca Island. This Island also is lived by the Komodo dragon. We did a trekking and saw 4 komodos.This island is lived by the komodos, buffaloes, deers, wild boars and other animals with Komodo as the tertiary predators (predator at the top of the food chain).

Note: Komodo was a very dead full carnivore. It saliva contains dangerous bacteria which could killed us shortly once we got bite by the Komodo. So, please stay close to the ranger and follow all the rules when visiting this island.

8. Kelor Island

Kelor Island became the last (but not least) destination for this sailing trip. This was my second time visiting Kelor Island and it’ll be never enough for me to enjoy the beauty such as the crystal clear water, white sandy beach, colorful corals and fishes. And the top of it stood a charming hill where you can hike and got yourself stutter by the magnificent panorama.

4D4N sailing trip was ended. Labuan Bajo, is the final point where we all will either continue wandering Flores island or going back home. I was so sad to end this trip as I had so much fun with my old and new friends. But one for sure, this trip will be remained in our heart.  Keep wandering!

 

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