Labuan Bajo on the NW corner of Flores is a "major"
port on the island and has been since the Portuguese first arrived in the late
1600's. A dusty, dirty, ramshackle place it was still a welcome change after
weeks spent in the outer islands and gave us an opportunity to restock with
supplies of fresh food, bread, beer and soft drinks.
The girls went ashore to the markets will the boys
went off to do internet stuff and plan for the journey ahead.
All shops, stalls and eating places are lined along
the main street with small houses of all shapes and sizes behind.
Most houses have satellite but few have running
water and sanitation and in the noon day heat the smell was
As a major jump off point for the Komodo islands
the town is fast becoming a tourist destination and there were some
signs that the western owned or run businesses were
trying to get the place cleaned up. At present it is more a
and adventure tourist destination. Many of thr
trips are on board live-aboard local boats, many of which were beautifully
built and maintained... but not all.
The town is also a major trading hub and boats come
from throughout the region, many loaded to tipping point.
The harbour is very dirty with flotsam washed into
the sea from the town on each tide. Really sad to see how little is
of the damage being done to this world heritage
national park and yet another indication of the impact of modern
on cultures that until recently used only
biodegradable materials and could simply throw them away to rot
We anchored well south of the harbour away from the
dirt and noise but local boats pass by day and night but we always felt safe,
never worried about theft and met only helpful,
smiling, friendly people.