Fanastic Flores and the Dodgy Leg?
Trip Start May 06, 2008
48Trip End Ongoing
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On arrival at the airport I agreed a price to the town with a taxi driver of 10000 Rupiah. We hit town and struggled to find somewhere for me to stay that was half decent and available. We had to drive about for 10 minutes but we found somewhere. I thought I better give the driver a little extra so handed him 25000 Rupiah. He refused to take it because he didn't think it was enough. The owners of the hotel told me just to give him 10000 and sod him. To be fair though I told him that he should take it given the extra 10 minutes we spent looking
The town itself was dirty. There is a lot of rubbish strewn everywhere and what buildings there are are not great. There is a fishing port nearby and plenty of tourism so I wouldn't have thought that it should have looked that way.
Anyway on to the main point of me being here, the diving and the wonderful island scenery off-shore. The first day I arrived I met a bloke staying at the same hostel as me called Peter who was from Oz - Perth I think. He was a good down-to-earth kind of bloke and we both wanted to get out and experience the water before the next day's diving. We got a small boat to take us to an island about 45 minutes away and got some really nice snorkelling in. The trip over afforded us some lovely views of the dozens of islands in the area. Peter and I dived with different companies but we would meet up in the evenings for a sun-downer and to discuss the relative merits of our day.
The next day I went out with Bajo diving and enjoyed a couple of decent dives. Unfortunately a couple of people in our group had just bought a camera and were stopping to take photos of everything of interest to them. In that scenario the group moves at the pace of the slowest. We had 1 DM leading 8 divers and she didn't want the group splitting. Like I said the dives were nice enough but we didn't achieve the aim of the dive and surfaced before hitting the spot of best interest.
The following day was a different matter altogether and we hit 2 or 3 of the most famous dive sites in the Komodo National Park in an area close to Komodo Island
During my 2 days diving I had a number of equipment failures. 3 times I dived with a depth gauge that was faulty but far more worrying was a fault with the first stage filter on my regulator set. I as at about 15 mtrs and breathing normally. I had just checked my air and all was good at 100 bar (half of what I entered the water with). Suddenly I took a breath of air and it felt like the last one in the tank.....you get something but not a full breath. I checked air again, saw it was good so immediately switched to my spare second stage. I was already finning towards my buddy and by the time I got to him I just ripped his spare second stage out and replaced mine. Once I had been able to get a few normal breaths I tried mine again whilst monitoring my air. If I sucked really hard I could get something but the needle on the reg set was swinging from 100 to 20 bar which is not a good sign wheras the lack of air from the reg is generally thought to be quite a serious problem for humans underwater. It served as a very good lesson in why diving with a buddy (that you can get to quickly) is critically important
During the last few weeks since Borneo I had been suffering with a similar problem to the infection I had suffered in Samui on my leg however this time it was on my other leg and I knew for sure it wasn't a bit. It was just a little spot that formed and then got much much worse and painful. On my last day in Flores my knee was swollen and my leg hurt from the knee up to my groin. I have to admit I was a little worried and began to think that 6 weeks of taking chemist administered anti biotics instead of seeing a doctor was not wise. I resolved to visit a doctor as soon as I got to Bangkok...now that was another matter!