A Land of Komodo Dragon

I can still picture myself sitting on a propeller airplane to Labuan Bajo, Flores last summer. It was one of the best moment in my whole life, I mean what can I ask for more? Spending a 10-day holiday with 18 of my (awesome) friends to the most beautiful place in the world. This trip was some kind of an expedition where we travel Flores island from the west to the east coast by 2 minibuses.

The journey started on 26th of June 2015. It was a 2.45 hours of flight including a transit in Bali. Sun is shining really bright, the wind is breezing, the weather was perfect! Not long after a short briefing inside the airport, we directly went to the hotel where we saw an exquisite view of the ocean along the way. On the day we arrive, we didn’t do much though, we only checked in to Centro Bajo Hotel and ate our dinner in Paradise Bar Restaurant where we can enjoy the most fascinating view of the sunset.

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My view on the way to the hotel.

On the next day, we made it to the harbor to start our “island adventure”. While waiting our tour guide, I played with some Flores kids who were trying to fish with a simple fishing rod. They tamped a rice ball and finally got some fish to eat! That joy really did arose on their happy face.

Our first destination was Pulau Kelor, it’s a small island where we have our snorkeling schedule. The water was completely clear, the visibility was great! Before snorkeling, we had this amazing short-hike experience to the top of this island. The hike was easy but it was really hot. Well, here’s a photo of it! It was beyond beautiful. Right after the hike, we snorkeled through the clean waters. The flora and fauna’s variety are endemic to its area which is East Nusa Tenggara.

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The 20-minute hiking track from above.

Amazing snorkeling experience, but we have to continue this journey to Rinca Island. That was where we got to see the komodo dragon. Surprisingly, there was a komodo lying beside the kitchen. They told us that we were really fortunate because they rarely came out from the forest. Maybe that’s because it smelled meat scent from the kitchen.

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A portrait of the komodo dragon. Photo by Albert Lowe.

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The komodo dragon in Rinca Island

Next, we went trekking for about 2 hours where we pass through meadows of yellow grasses and the ocean view. We did passed some hills and valleys, but the magnificent view vanquish it all. In the middle of the walk, my guide showed us a hole where the komodo dragons lay their eggs, it wasn’t too big.

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The meadow and ocean view.

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A preview of Rinca Island.

Following the next destination, we sailed the next 2 hours to Padar Island where we stayed for the night. The sky seemed to be really clear, I took some pictures of the milky way with stars surrounding it.

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Vertical milky way with stars around it.

The next morning, we trekked the peak of Padar Island to experience the sunrise, plus having breakfast in one of the most beautiful spot of the world. That day, we went to Loh Liang Island where we got to see another komodo, but this time we saw a baby komodo in the middle of the forest! I guess its only about 60cm in length. Afterwards, the only activity we did today was snorkeling in two different spots, the coral reef was sustained really well, it seemed untouched! Unfortunately on the second spot, which is Manta Point, we didn’t have the chance to see the manta rays because the day was too dark. We should’ve arrive earlier!

The next morning, we spent our last 4 hours snorkeling around Kanawa and Bidadari Island where we can see more variation of the sea animals like spiny sea slug, colorful starfishes, and white sea urchins. After 4 days on the ocean, we finally made it back to Labuan Bajo port and ready to continue our next journey.

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