Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2/22/15 Day 402 Planes, Boats & Birthdays in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia

As much as I feel like the right thing to do as a backpacker is always to take the longer, slower, cheaper and generally more agonizing journey, in this day and age sometimes flying is as cheap and you don't have to bargain, so here we are forty minutes after our flight took off from Ende in the middle of Flores and we are now on the far West in Labuan Bajo, there were no chickens onboard and 10 kilos of luggage flew free with us. It is a dusty town with not much going for it besides the Komodo National Park gateway and some of the best diving in the world. The food is expensive and the restaurants westernized the accommodation is dingy and overpriced. Not to mention the town itself is barely in motion as it is the off season and most of the dive shops are closed for another month still, many of the restaurants and lodging are under renovation and there are very few tourists about. We book a room at the Manta Manta, high up on the hill with a view of the harbor for 150,000 rupiah, it is a touch higher than our budget but the rooms are clean for a change so it is worth a night or two. There is a nightly fish market at the north end of town overlooking the fishing boats swaying in the waves. It is some of the only local food in the whole town, so we frequent it during our days of stays. Bored with the same, we rented brand new squeaky clean motorbikes for 65,000 a day to scout out some of the surrounding beaches. We zoomed up the hilly path of the peninsula north of the fish market and had to gun it through the mud to make it anywhere. It was not too long before Julie and I were walking while Gus and Jevin skillfully navigated through the deep mud ruts. These bikes were definitely not making it out of this as clean as they came into it. We celebrated Julies 24th birthday the American way; cake, candles, gifts and of course western food, we found a great Italian place to tantalize our tastebuds. 

One last look at Ende
All aboard for Labuan Bajo 

This might just be the cleanest homestay in all of Indonesia

Fish on fish on boats on plates

The 15:00 afternoon Labuan Bajo storm, like clockwork

Indo-style, outriggers for stability when the boat just isn't stable enough on its own

We rented motorbikes and found a bit of mud on our adventure


Afternoon storms on the daily

The loneliest beach, south of town

Julie's birthday dinner

Beautiful birthday girl

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