To Labuan Bajo
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sun 4 Sep 2016 22:57
To Labuan Bajo
Daybreak at Gili Bodo.
The select trio of Wirraway, WT and Afar VI waking up.
A local fisherman arrives and Hybresail.
It was very difficult to tear ourselves away from this little piece of heaven but onward and across to Flores once more. Anchor up at a quarter past six and out through the reef behind Matilda for the twenty mile journey to Labuan Bajo.
Flat calm and no wind, we follow the coast westward.
A left turn at the end.
One of the many islands in the area to our right.
Labuan Bajo comes into view (in the middle).
The vista to our right.
Labuan Bajo was once a sleepy fishing village, now a major tourist hub especially for the daily sightseeing trippers who flock in their thousands (about four thousand every day) to Rinca and Komodo to see the living dinosaurs, the Komodo dragon.
Traditional and modern tour boats in the natural harbour as we head over to the anchorage.
A small local tour boat chugs by.
Within seconds of the anchor setting the salesmen were upon us showing their wares. Soon ashore we found the shawl sellers relentless.
We found a restaurant and as soon as we were seated a lady appeared with tiny plastic bowls, filled with water, an extra strong mint dab was added and soon sprung into a face wipe.
Dirty boy had the special, an enormous pile of crabs in a chilli sauce, (watched in awe by Gary on Wirraway who had also ordered this mighty meal). Dirty – it was up to his elbows by the time he had waded through. I settle for local chicken and rice and my meat looked no more than chick size. I put just the tippy end of my fork in a red sauce and it nearly took my head off, even the harden spice folk proclaimed it should carry a government warning. Bear did say that perhaps the chilli sauce was best described as a kicker.
On the table opposite our four boats sat Helen and Mark (Coomera) and Tom and Christian (Astahaya). After our meal we all chatted and suddenly Deb remarked on how big Toms feet were. I know she has feet like a toddler hobbit but wow, we couldn’t disagree with her. Loaded on the front of Tom’s shoes the pair gave us all a good laugh as they toured the floor space. Then stood for the comparison shot.......... We had been given the number of the boat owner who had taken a group of rally crews to Rinca, before we set off to explore the town Michael was on the phone to Ivan organising our visit to see the Komodo dragons for seven in the morning. Thirteen of us would form a group to see the dinosaur lookalikes.
Outside we were met with yet another shawl, scarf and bedspread man. He was given a very, very hard time and left feeling ravaged with a much lighter load. Ladies of the fleet are soon gaining a reputation for driving a hard bargain.
The dirt road was edged with dodgy paving that had everyone watching their every step, thankfully it was a one way street which helped with negotiating the myriad scooters, trucks and cars. A side alley, some builders taking a break and a view over the harbour as we all headed for the supermarket.
Roxy’s has become our Tesco’s. Bear found me a jar of gherkins and egg-covered peanuts while I watched a girl load rice from a sack into a kilo bag and seal it with a candle.
Somehow the afternoon disappeared so we found a terrace to enjoy a sundowner. The six crews settled for a delicious supper – somehow Bear found room for a steak and half a bottle of red wine. I so hope his snore ring can take up the challenge..........
ALL IN ALL A BUSY TOURIST HUB
A FULL AND FILLING DAY.............