3 weeks Ubud to Komodo...Diving, chilling and yoga
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Nov 17, 2012 5:08 AM Last Post By: GrandmaJohn
Sep 8, 2012 11:51 AM
3 weeks Ubud to Komodo...Diving, chilling and yogaI am planning a 3-4 week trip in October. My focus will be diving and yoga with brief excursions to other highlights. I do not plan to visit Bali other than Ubud and Lembongan.
A few questions:
1. Do I need to fly in and out of Denpasar or is there a way to fly out of somewhere on Flores back to Canada?
2. Is 3 weeks enough to cover this distance? I am not a move every day or two kinda person.
3. Is a live-aboard in Komodo worth it?
4. What are the highlights of this tour??
Any help would be much appreciated.
Edited by: islawardrobe
Sep 8, 2012 9:55 PM
11. Yes, there are no flights to Canada from Flores.
2. Yes, I did a similar trip early this year - overland to Flores, then back to Lombok on a Perama cruise.
3. Yes, I slept on the deck of the Perama boat for two nights.
4. Highlights include:
a) I took off to Ruteng to see the cave where the remains of the Hobbits (hominids) were found. Travel in Flores is slow. A journey between Labuan Bajo and Ruteng took 4.5 hours to cover 140 km. Every bemo driver will lie to you that their bemo is full and about to depart. Instead your "full" bemo will wander for an hour extracting passengers from houses and warungs before setting off. Roads are narrow and are made up of endless hair pin corners with traffic banked up as a truck needs both lanes to negotiate a hairpin corner. In Flores, I was determined to see the Komodo Dragons and the cave where the Hobbits (hominids) were found. The Lonely Planet Guide to Indonesia is misleading as it states that the track to the Hobbits Cave could be impassable in the wet season. In fact there is a narrow sealed road right up to the cave. The floor of the cave, really a natural amphitheatre is about 300 sq m. The archaeologists have only dug up about 30 sq m where they found the hominids and the stegadons (miniature elephants). It does not take much imagination to wonder what the archaeologists will discover in the other 90% of the cave floor. It also upsets the previous view of pre-history in having Homo Sapiens travelling through uninhabited islands to reach Australia 50,000 years ago. It seems that these ancestors of Australian aborigines would have met the hominids on their way south. The country between the coast with a plentiful food supply and the cave is so rough, you can understand that Homo Sapiens may have initially stayed near the coast and left the hominids alone. The caretaker of the cave and the children were friendly and not pushy. The caretaker offered to introduce me to a local dwarf (cebol), but I thought that this was tacky and I refused. I did sign the visitors book and pay Rp 20,000. I travelled to the cave and back with an ojek for which I paid Rp 50,000.
b) I took the Perama trip as I was trying to kill two birds with one stone. I could not stand the thought of doing the 36 hour bus/ferry trip back to Lombok, as I had already done the trip before but in an easterly direction. I also wanted to see the Komodo Dragons, but the tour operators in Labuan Bajo wanted a lot of money to go to Rinca Island and were looking for groups of four or more and I was travelling by myself. I now realize that the Komodo National Park charges visitors Rp 200,000 each and this fee is included in the Rp 1.235 m I paid to Perama. That is probably why the trips to Rinca Island from Labuan Bajo were so expensive. The Perama trip is for the hardy not the super fit. I slept two nights on the deck though cabins with two bunks are available. The seas were quite rough around Sumbawa and I got seasick. The rough seas broke part of the wooden superstructure of 22 metre wooden boat. The food was Indonesian, served buffet style. There are no tables, you eat sitting on the floor or with your plate on your lap while sitting on a bench. The guides were all Indonesian and were competent. We took a small dinghy with an outboard motor ashore several times to visit Moyo Island to see the waterfall and to go snorkelling. Boarding the boat from the dinghy was tricky in rough seas and one lady fell, but only suffered bruising. On the way to Senggigi, we stopped off at Moyo Island, Sumbawa. There we swung on a rope over a waterfall and dropped 6 metres into a water hole. Part of the filming of an Oliver Stone film "The Savages" was done on Moyo Island with lead actors Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson and Blake Lively. Alas, my spectacular drop into the water hole will not be in the film, as filming finished in February 2012. One of the actors Taylor Kitsch appeared on the David Letterman show, spruiking the film. He told an anecdote about the Imigrasi in Bali, but somehow confused the Philippines with Bali! When I was on Rinca Island, I saw a dozen Komodo Dragons near the kitchen hut, but nowhere else on the island. The guide did show us the burrows where the female Komodo Dragons lay their eggs.
Sep 9, 2012 1:11 AM
Sep 9, 2012 8:24 PM
3Great reply above....Just to expand a bit....
#1 Only international flights are out of Bali (and beyond). But you can easily fly from Bali into Labuan Bajo and out of Maumere (or vice versa).
#3 the Perama tour is totally different than a liveaboard. And there is no diving. Perama is a transport boat that stops for snorkeling. There are also many other boats that do exactly the same thing with the same safety standards. There are a few "famous" dive sites you might be able to do on day trips, but there are hundreds of other sites and you only start to get a good feel for the diving here after a few dives.
If you dive, you should not overlook Komodo at all. This is one of the most amazing places for diving you'll ever get. There are the famous currents, but also Mantas, Sharks, Muck Diving, incredible reefs and more. It part of the Coral Triangle and It's most likely the highlight of your trip. I loved it so much I moved here :)
#4 The highlights depend a lot on what you like. The Hobbit cave is amazing if you know the backstory (there's even more, as the head archeologist took the bones without permission, they disappeared for a couple of years, then some were found at auction and lots more....). But the cave itself is...well...a cave. On the other hand you get to say you've seen dragons, hobbits, etc....
There is great scenery, lots of things not listed in the book and many things overestimated by far (like the road to the hobbit cave...but the current edition is 3 years old). There are hidden beaches, hot springs, the lakes, rivers, 4000 year old megaliths and more.
For me the real highlights of Flores are the people. Not just nice people in the same sense that Balinese are....but in the way a big smile is like straight from the heart and takes over the whole body. Flores has some of the most amazing people I've met and it is so much fun. A simple flat tire will give you hours of hilarity and dozens of new friends.
Sep 12, 2012 8:47 PM
4Sounds like a great trip planned but try not to rush yourself. That's a lot but it's good to stay in certain places for a while. Ubud will be your spot for yoga and there's several studios for daily classes and other retreat options there. Lembongon is good for surfing but not so much for yoga. The Gili islands have yoga studios and diving. A Canadian woman runs a yoga and freediving place on Gili T that's pretty popular as well. Enjoy.
Nov 17, 2012 5:08 AM
5Hi blisspassport, do you have a name or a link for that Canadian woman who runs the yoga and freediving place on Gili T?
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