Flores Expedition: The Journey to Komodo Island

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After seeing Kangaroo in Australia and Kiwi in New Zealand…it will be absurd if I don’t see this special animal that I can find in my own country, Indonesia– OK. It’s actually just an excuse to cover up my eagerness to go there.

Going to Komodo Island was part of the 7D6N Flores trip which was one of the outings organized by IDE Meetup group. It covered almost 2/3 of the Flores island plus an oversea trip. I tried to create a google map screenshot of the places we stopped by during the trip as you can see on below. Labuan Bajo was not the last stop as we still continued the journey by boat (overseas tour) to the opposite island named Taman Nasional Komodo or Komodo National Park (or simply Komodo Island).

It sounds like I joined the whole trip which in fact, I was sad enough to say that I only able to join the last 3 days of the trip. Better than none. Be grateful, people! 🙂

Night Rush To Bali & Morning Rush To Flores

As fast as I could, I grabbed my luggage and dashed off to Changi Airport from my office to catch my flight to Denpasar, Bali. I was excited because I was about to explore Indonesia again! My flight was at 9.05 pm and I arrived in Bali around midnight. By the time I reached my hotel, it’s already almost 1 am. There is no time difference between Singapore and Bali.

I chose to be in Bali one day earlier so that I could catch my domestic flight to Labuan Bajo on the following morning at 6 am. It also means I had only few hours sleep and I had to rush myself to the airport again after that. It can be quite tiring, but when you are excited, it is not an issue. Yes? 😉

The sky was still dark when I reached the airport and it’s also cloudy, luckily it’s not raining. When I saw the propeller plane we’re taking, I was kinda in between happy and amused because that’s my first time taking such a small plane for domestic route. I just found out that this Explore ATR72-600 by Garuda Indonesia was just launched about 2 years ago to cater destinations with smaller airports in eastern part of Indonesia. It caters up to 70 passengers and all in economy class. So, if you usually take business class, then you can forget about it here.

Stay Awake Or Be Regret

My most favourite seat is still by the window. And usually the moment the plane takes off, that’s also the time for me to close my eyes, relax my mind, and SLEEP. However, it didn’t happen this time. I felt fresh and awake. It could be the excitements kept my eyes wide opened. Then I just looked out from the window and stared at the sky and the clouds, and at that moment, I thought of how regret I would be if I had slept! Because I would have missed all these beautiful views.

The morning sunrise colors beautified the whole scene. I don’t know the name of the mountains but likely one of those mountains is either Mount Rinjani or Mount Tambora as we seemed to fly over Lombok, Mojo, and Sumbawa island. And Yes, you have probably known that most of the volcanoes in Indonesia are still active.

I was so engrossed in taking pictures of those mountains with my camera and without I realized, I reached Labuan Bajo Airport about one and half an hour later. It is not the smallest airport I have ever been but it is a small airport. Got it? Now I understand why my friend was terrified when one of the participants in the group asked him this question,

“Is there any free WiFi here?”

Hello! It is just a small airport. But who knows, right? Probably, at that time, it was just not ready yet.

Labuan Bajo Airport was still under construction when I was there. Its new look is more modern and futuristic with those organic lines. I think the next time I get there, I shall already see the complete look of the airport. And now the question is when will I go back there again?

I walked out from the arrival hall and while I was still thinking of that, I saw a guy came down from a car holding a paper with my name handwritten on it. His name is Iland, the local tour guide for this trip. And then I know, my adventure was about to start again. 🙂

Tracy Chong
Tracy Chonghttps://about.me/chongtracy
I love nature and I wish to swim with whales one day. If I am not exploring and working in front of my laptop, most likely I will spend the day trying out new recipes or spending time with family or friends.


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