Riung – Labuanbajo

Post date: Sep 8, 2011 12:21:27 PM

We decidede to take our time to do the 90 miles from Riung to Labuanbajo – so we plotted 2 stops. The first was at Ringgeh where we were inundated with children in canoes wanting stuff the minute we arrived. It was quite uncomfortable and we all hid downstairs – some played loud classical music to try and discourage them. This was the first time we had been so hassled with the locals. Usually they come out gradually just for a look. Some bring things to trade – fish, bananas, coconuts etc. the kids just want to practise their English. We were relieved to leave here.

The 2nd anchorage was at Gili Bodo, another tricky anchorage where another crew helped guide us in. This was a beautiful spot, with wild monkeys running around on the beach, no human habitation and the most spectacular coral we have seen so far. It was so colourful and healthy. The water was extremely clear and the fish were abundant and brilliant. We decided to stay only one night here, although others spent an extra day.

So on to Labuanbajo. This is an interesting port town servicing the western end of Flores. It is also the stop off point for people coming from all over the world to go diving and experience the Komodo islands. We hope to do the same. They have hotels here, tour operators by the dozen – it is a foretaste of what to expect from now on – Lombok, Bali etc.We can get provisions here, although it is not a rally stop, over 30 yachts have come here to partake of dive tours and tours of the inland, which is very spectacular, but the tours are very expensive.

So now we are about to leave the amazing island of Flores. It is so varied and had so much to see and do here. We would love to come back and spend more time exploring the inland, volcanoes, mountain villages etc.

The island is 400 km long but the road that traverses it is 700 km. It takes several days to travel the length of the island because the roads are not always in the best of condition, but there is a regular bus service from one end to the other.

We are yet to see a dragon but on our way westward we will stop off at Komodo and hopefully find a dragon to photograph.