Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
62Trip End Dec 01, 2012
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We arrived at Lemon Badger at around 4 o clock that first night and after a look around town we headed back for our last free dinner (noodles and….well more noodles – that was it!) After dinner we headed onto dry land to the Paradise Bar for a few drinks with the rest of the group and the crew. It ended up being a late enough one and without a proper feed we had sore heads the next day and were gutted to remember that we were still on the boat!
Having decided to take the cheap/backpacking option of not turning down a free nights accommodation on the docked Komodo boat, we stepped off, dirty, salty, sweaty and not smelling the best, in need of a decent shower, not having washed in 4 days
We had 3 options – 1. Try and fly back to Jakarta, involving 2 flights and nearly 180 euros each; 2. Get a bus from Flores to Jakarta… 40 something hours of a bus, neither of us liked the idea of this one but it was a lot cheaper than flying at only about 35 quid each; 3. Write off the flight we had booked to Vietnam and try and spend more time in Indonesia and then try figure out where to next
Anyway back to Lemon Badger, I mean Labuan Bajo. We said our goodbyes to the crew of the boat, and followed Rob and Daph off towards the highly anticipated comfy beds and showers. It was a nice place and they’d gotten a good price, 80,000 a night, and the showers had those huge shower heads that you normally get in expensive hotels at home. We showered, shaved and basically made ourselves feel human again! Felt like a new man. We headed out for a much needed breakfast with Rob and Daphne, I had a bread overload, Karen and Rob went for egg and bacon burgers… that didn’t have any actual burger in them, Karens face was a picture of disappointment
To say we slept like the dead would be an understatement, it wasn’t until, the Mosque next door started up at about half 4 did we stir. In a weird sadomasochistic way I kind of missed the wailing of those tone deaf chaps (at least I know I don’t have a key!) We managed to just catch sunset out over the bay. One thing Labuan Bajo does have going for it is its stunning natural setting, a beautiful bay with many islands dotted on the horizon. But other than that, it’s a bit of a hole! Theres nothing to do and I mean absolutely nothing. Its basically just one busy dusty and dirty street, with crumbling footpaths and open drains. The street is lined with not much else other than travel agencies and dive shops. The dive sites mainly centred around the nearby Komodo National Park, and is supposed to absolutely fantastic diving, but to get to the dive sites from Labuan Bajo involved a 3 hour boat ride there and then 3 hours back
The next morning we woke bright and early, well Karen did, the mosque started up at 4 in the morning (I slept straight through, much to her annoyance). Id say we were probably the first people into the Lion Air office and we were in luck the flight was still there and still the same price. Karen had lost sleep over nothing : ) So it was now nearly 10am and the bus to Moni (town where you have to go to start the Kelimutu climb) leaves at 8am so we had to spend another day in Lemon Badger, and to be honest we were really at a loss what to do
Feeling like slobs, not quite wasting the day but definitely thinking wed weren’t giving the place a chance, we went for a bit of a walk that afternoon to one of the beaches near town. It wasn’t the worst beach ive ever been on, but it wasn’t great, the water was fairly dirty and there was a lot of rubbish. It’s a fairly common theme about most of Indo that people seem to throw their rubbish everywhere. It’s a pity really. We did find this patch of sand down the bottom of the beach that was in front of the only resort there, and the sand was nicely cleaned and looked like it had just been raked. Other than that it the beach was a bit of a kip.
Later that night we caught up with Rob and Daphne, Rob in the same situation as me… dying to see the United and Liverpool game and holding out hope it would be on in the place we were going for dinner, according to the locals the place had the best chance of showing the game
Yup, not much to Labuan Bajo at all really….it’s the biggest town in Flores but like Tom said, it’s just really one 'high street’ along the harbour. It was a bit of a boring and frustrating stay, but a means to an end – can’t stay somewhere mindblowing the whole time! We didn’t end up paying anywhere near what we originally thought for the flights to Denpaser and Jakarta so everything worked out. Thank God we didn’t have to get the bus back to Bali, wait till you read the next blog of Toms recollection of the 16 hour bus ride to Ende!