. Well it turns out the next boat leaves the next day. ( we researched for hours on the internet and calling the ticket office and they never said anything about this boat) Anyways when we went to the office to buy our tickets we had a choice of me being in 1st class and raya in economy or the both of us in economy. so we chose to ride it out in economy.....it cant be that bad right.....Boy were we wrong! we were told to board the boat at 10am 2 hours before departing to get some beds. when we arrived all the beds were full people were setting up there blankets on the stairs and every bit of deck outside was already taken. we clearly arrived way too late. We found a spot under the stairs outside to possibly sleep but i knew it would be rough. So i left raya with the bags and i went on the hunt for something better. After talking to some of the crew i met the 2nd in charge. i explained our situation and said i was willing to pay a little extra for something nice. Our man got on the phone and hooked us up. All he said was follow me. After weaving through 100's of people slleping on the ground we walked through a door to the air conditioned area of the boat. On that door it said crew only. We went up some stairs to the bridge where they drive the boat and next door was where our man said VIP only. For slightly more we had our own room with hot water, TV, A/C, and all our meals included. I went and found raya still sitting on our bags looking Oh so happy and told her i got something..... When i showed her to the room she was delighted, we hadnt had hot water in weeks. we got cleaned up and headed to the restaurant for some dinner. Our boat ride was a breeze then. we arrived in flores the next day not wanting to get off the boat but ready for the next island.
We left the tongeans and headed further south. originally we had planned to head up into the mountains to check out these caves the locals have filled with their dead relatives which is supposed to be neat, but along the road there we were told the road was close cause of a land slide but we could still go there if we wanted to. the normal way is 80km the alternative to go there was 500km. back home 500km is about 5 hours on the highway. On suluwesi the roads are so narrow that everytime you encounter another truck you have to come to a almost standstill and sometimes reverse till you are on a wider bit of road. our average speed over our trip was 40km/h. So another 500km was out of the question. we debated breaking up the trip by staying in the town we originally planned to go to but we decided that we would tough it out all the way to makkasar making our 8 hour bus ride a 24 hour bus. We got to makassar early in the morning and we looked into the boats to head south to flores