Slow boat to Lombok – fast boat to Bali

We arrive from our road trip through Flores back to Labuan Bajo, where we embark on a two-day, two-night slow boat trip to Lombok.

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Labuan Bajo, waiting for transfer to the boat
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Our passage

After an overnight on board, our first stop is Rinca Island, another habitat for Komodo dragons.

Of which there is no short supply. These hang around the ranger station because they smell the pigs that the rangers keep for food.

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A lounge of lizards

We learn that KDs can move surprisingly fast. Normally, they are the most torpid of creatures. Something catches the eye of one and it takes off like greased lightning.

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On your mark. Get set…

Good thing the guides carry a crook-like staff to ward off any curious dragons.

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Windy hiking on Rinca
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View to the sea

The crew from the boat takes a group photo.

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Say ‘Keju!’

We return aboard and sail on to an island (whose name we forget) for some snorkeling.

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The good ship Upun 115

We sail on through the night over rough-ish seas. We’re tossed in our cabin like dice in a cup. I like it, but Maria resorts to taking her motion-sickness medication. (Which is worth its weight in gold on our mountain-traversing land journeys.)

The next day dawns bright and calm.

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Westward Ho!

We stop at Moyo Island, off the northern coast of Sumbawa Besar. After breakfast, we go ashore and hike to some waterfalls.

Moyo’s population consists of six small fishing villages.

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On Moyo Island

Our next stop is Keremat Island, northwest of Sumbawa.

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Keramat Island

The sole inhabitants are a fisherman, his wife, and one well-fed, friendly cat.

It takes 10 minutes to walk around the entire island. Nice white sandy beaches. Beautiful coral reef and marine life for snorkeling.

That evening, we arrive at Labuan Lombok, on the east coast of Lombok. We take a bus to the west coast town of Sengiggi to spend the night before catching a fast boat to Bali the next day.

(Why do we not spend more time on Lombok? It’s my contention that people often visit Lombok mainly so they can say they’ve been ‘someplace besides Bali’. We’ve been to enough slightly-off-the-map places to forgo this justification.)

On the way to Bali, our boat stops at the three Gilis.

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Gili Trawangan

In 1989, I spent an indolent week or so lounging on  Gili Trewangan. At that time, the permanent population was 80. There were three homestays offering a bamboo hut and three meals. Generator-supplied electricity was on only a few hours a day. Reaching the Gilis involved a dodgy small boat ride from the mainland of Lombok.

Theses days, Gili Trewangan looks more like this. Thankfully, there are 17,000 islands in Indonesia to choose from.

Sight or Insight of the Day – Slow boat

When we arrive at the falls on Moyo Island, there is a rope swing that you can use to leap out into the abyss and launch yourself into a pool.

Everyone’s dubious about this at first, envisioning broken necks and snapped spines. The locals demonstrate. When they emerge unscathed, a brave few take the plunge. Eventually, everybody gets into the act.

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Ready. Steady…
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My turn…

You can see a brief video of more age-inappropriate activity here.