After 16 hours of sailing over Flores Sea, I had the worst sea sick. I bet everyone on board also felt the same, of course except for the captain and his crew. Albeit all that, we finally arrived to the Komodo Island.
It was Gili Lawa or Gili Laba. In my own words, I’d rather call it The Entrance Gate of Jurassic World since it looks like one. Upon arriving the Komodo Island waters, I felt like entering a different world with very unique landscape combined with a deep blue sea as can be seen on the picture. It was strange and magical, almost surreal. Now I can agree if people said that Flores is among the most beautiful places in Indonesia, and it is definitely worth to visit.
We planned to hunt for sunrise atop of the hill where I took this picture but we came late and were slow to reach the spot so we missed it. One of my fellow heard a strange sound coming from the sea below and when I faced east I saw water burst. Some said it was a whale but if it turned out wasn’t one, well, lets pretend it was.
I always love how the sea has contrasting shades of blue due to difference of depth.
Your waves ride high, while mine are low. You head to sea, you’re sailing free. (Frau)
If the sun did not shine too bright, we would let ourselves to stay there longer. However, we were scheduled to visit Manta Point in Taka Makassar. Not everyone is allowed to go after the manta in the sea due to heavy current. I hesitated at first but I thought it was once in a lifetime experience. So, I decided to jump without wearing life jacket. It was fun. So many mantas were dancing and circling around us. Since I didn’t own an underwater camera, I came home empty-handed but full of the image of wild mantas in my head.
The heavy stream drained our energy quickly but we still have more places to explore, the infamous Read Beach of Komodo Island. There are only 2 Red Beach in Indonesia, the other one located in Lombok. It was also favorite destination among tourists, both local and international. When we arrived the beach already full of foreigners. It was a perfect spot for sun-bathing.
The picture was taken atop of hill near the beach where we could have better view of not only the beach but also its surrounding.
The red/pink color of the beach originated from this kind of red coral that could easily be spotted.
Amazing gradient of color from white sand to pink, crystal blue, and then the deep blue sea.
Not only the pink sandy beach was unique, but it also had beautiful underwater view. But of course you have to swim rather far to get better picture. We spent 2 hours at least here and it was not enough. After stepped on the deck, we decided to take shower. It was the best shower with a magnificent sea view. Just note not to use any chemical be it shampoo or soap as it will contaminate the water.
It took some couple hours to reach our next destination, Padar Island. It is already looked extraordinary when we first landed. Turned out, it was required to hike for at least an hour to see the whole landscape of the island.
Sea view from the shore.
This picture was taken by Mbak Windhar. :*
It was not easy to get to the top. There was footpath already but with long track and and the climb, it was short of exhausting, beside it was about 3 PM and the heat was unbearable. But, it was all paid off once we reach the best spot to snap some pictures.
2 out of 3 signature beaches of the Padar Island.
Finnally! It was the most stunning sunset I’ve ever seen.
We went down to our boat after almost dark. We spent the night here, in our boat, not island since there’s still wild animal and presumably komodos there, by singing and making fun of each other. It was fun and we got used to each other after days and nights together.
At dawn, we went back to the island to see sunrise. It was dark and we couldn’t see our surrounding clearly. We got to see beautiful night sky atop of the hill and spotted some fallen stars. Unfortunately, when it’s the time for the sun to rise, it was a bit cloudy so we couldn’t get the best of it. We still had fun, nonetheless.
Good morning from Padar Island.It was satisfying to be able to get to the top of Padar Island, not once but twice.
After long waiting, it was time for us to finally see the main star of our whole journey, the komodo dragon. This time, we were not going to visit Komodo Island, we go to Rinca Island instead. Both islands is part of the Komodo National Park which was also included under UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The park itself consists of 3 main islands, namely Komodo, Rinca, and Padar. We chose Rinca Island mainly because they hosted more Komodos and it could be easily spotted here although it slightly smaller than Komodo Island. The island itself mainly consisted of dry savanna but there was also papyrus trees here and there.
Komodo National Park is famous among tourist. We saw various kind of boats full of foreigners coming here just to see the ancient creatures.
Some guys posed in front of the gate upon entering the dragon’s nest.
There was 3 choice of track to explore the island, short, medium, and long. Since we only have limited time, we chose the medium track 2 hours. During the tour, we were accompanied by 5 rangers. It is mandatory to have ranger with us because in his own habitat Komodo was very aggressive and become the main predator, placed at the top of the food chain in this island.
First komodo we saw here. We thought it was a statue at first. It wasn’t.
Komodo was not the only animal living in the island, of course.
There was deer, monkeys, and buffaloes. But only deer in sight.
Short briefing by one of the ranger before we went on tour. They carried the y-shaped stick to keep the komodo in safe distance from the tourists. It will pin the komodo head should they come near the ranger.
Baby Komodo will climb trees soon after they are hatched to avoid being preyed on by the bigger one.
A mother Komodo guarding her nest.
The last komodo we saw during the tour.
The picture of Rinca Island landscape.
After 2 hours of trekking down the footpath and following our ranger guidance, we reach the top of one of the hills in Rinca Island that showed its beautiful view.
Rinca Island was the last island we visited before the boat docked in Labuan Bajo, our last stop after 4 days of sailing across Flores Sea. As we would say goodbye after the trip end, taking a last picture was mandatory.
The picture was taken by Mas Seto, our tour leader for the whole trip, along with captain and the boat crew. It was really nice meeting them. Another perk of joining an open trip is that you can to meet a lot of nice people. You meet them as strangers, but part as friends.
A sweet farewell from the Flores Sea.