Visiting Indonesia’s Komodo Island and seeing Komodo dragons in their natural habitat is on many a traveller’s bucket list. However, getting there on a budget isn’t exactly a quick and easy trip. We took a four day boat journey from Lombok to Flores, which resulted in an almost shipwreck and a few disasters before we finally made it to Komodo Island.
After finally getting a board our home for the next few days, we were eager to set off on our journey.
Our boat was dazzling white and the crew kept telling us it was brand new.
We sat on the white bench wrapped around the side of the boat and took in our home for the next few days as the crew finished loading their supplies.
The sleeping area was a low loft above the helm. We were relieved that there would only be six of us sleeping up there, rather than a full boat of 20 travellers.
Once it was time to set off, we didn’t get off to the best start, as the boat almost crashed into the boat docked in front of us. The crew on both boats had to use long sticks to push the boats apart.
As we slowly floated along Lombok’s coast, there was lots to see. The mainland was still close and we saw fishermen standing in the water, single drivers steering canoe-like vessels with engines, and bigger boats that dwarfed ours.
After a couple of hours at sea, we stopped near a tiny island. This was Gili Kondo, home to only a few fishermen and farmers. Gili Kondo looked like a paradise island. We jumped off the boat for a swim and some snorkelling. The captain kept telling us there were squids in the deep blue water, making me nervous despite my almost certainty that he was joking. He also said they had a tendency to grab you and pull you down, but to call him if it happened, as he had his harpoon!
We covered more distance before we dropped anchor again for dinner. One of the crew passed a thin bottle of rice wine around. Dinner was tuna in a broth-like sauce with vegetables and noodles. There was a salad with lettuce and tofu and bananas for desert.
The guys started to play karaoke videos of local music up full blast, but none of us were really up for a karaoke session! We all hung out on the deck, reading and playing cards.
We were just about to go to bed just one of the guys told us to head up, as we were about to set off again. The engine roared to life just as our heads hit our thin blue matts which immediately began to vibrate.
The boat rocked soothingly and I looked out at the stars in the clear black sky as I struggled to fall asleep.
More on our Komodo Island boat trip next week.
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