Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A Boat to Rinca, Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, March 2nd 2014

Man and a boat, Flores sea, Indonesia

Banana pancake drizzled in chocolate sauce for breakfast before heading off to Rinca (Rincher) Island in the hope of spotting some Komodo Dragons. But first I have to find the boat down on the quayside - get the wrong boat and I shall be stuck on the ocean for 3 days surrounded by a crowd of boozy Westerners! As arranged, a stomp back up to the ticket office and I can get a ride. It's on the back of a moped and after a few stops to ascertain which boat and to grab some pre-packed lunches here we are on the quayside and looking for the boat.

Plenty of people milling about, locals trying to sell trip tickets and passengers waiting to be shown their boats. I'm getting the distinct impression that the good folk running things around here may not quite have a grip on the situation - probably waiting to see if more last minute passengers turn up then cut a deal with some obscure boat owner. In the Uk we are used to the phrase 'Man with van' round here it's 'man with boat' and whichever boat it is, better have life jackets! Quite a plethora of wooden boats tied up and some anchored in the bay - dive boats being loaded with gas bottles and various other paraphernalia associated with diving plus food, just need passengers. These must be day boats here, and I guess those big ships anchored in the bay are the Westerners party boats that take in the scenic Flores sea over 2 nights and 3 days.

8.30am as our little wooden boat chugs out of the harbour setting course for Rinca with five passengers, including Tom from Wolverhampton who I met on the ferry yesterday. Small villages and beaches passing by, only accessible by boat I should
Imagine. Certainly no signs of access through that thick jungle. A very scenic picture as small islands pass by surrounded in at least 3 shades of blue and the larger landmass covered in lush green mountains. Sadly, and somewhat inevitably there is a significant amount of garbage floating around - bottles, packets and plenty of brown weed, sea weed of course!

Unfortunately nothing from the sea to keepÅ· us entertained - no dolphins, no jumping fish, not even a shark. So, with little to do or say over the loud rumble of the boats engine, time to relax and take in the tropical panorama on the way to Rinca Island.

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