Sailing Trip: Lombok – Labuan Bajo
In early 2014, operators that arranged sailing trip to Komodo Islands were still rarely found. I found Kencana Adventure from a page of an Australian blogger that ever experienced a sailing journey with his family (including kids). Because it looked so fun, I decided to contact Kencana Adventure for a 4-day-4-night sailing trip for 5 participants.
Later I found out that living on board for 4 days was not easy for an individual who can’t stand of living several days without showering like me. Salty water wouldn’t do, it would only make my skin getting sticky. Thanks to Eva, for telling me how to struggle aboard cleansing my body with a small tower and mineral water 😀
The trip started from Lombok. The operator arranged a morning pick-up service from our hotel to their office.
START SAILING, CAPTAIN!
We finally started sailing at 4 pm from Labuan lombok. The first island to visit was actually Gili Bola, but we didn’t make it to dock the boat and enjoy the sunset on the island because it was already dark.
In the morning while we were having breakfast, the boat started sailing again, now to Moyo Island in Sumbawa Regency. This island has national park of many animal species, vegetation and marine reserve. We used the chance to take a bath in the waterfall, our last one until the trip ended.
The 2nd stop was Satonda Island, an uninhabited volcanic island that’s famous with its saltwater lake.
The boat was supposed to sail for 18 hours after visiting Satonda, but it became 20 hours because the engine got problem in the middle of the night. I could feel the boat swung by the strong wave while others were sound asleep.
Our 3rd stop was Gili Laba or Gili Lawa, and island in the north east of Komodo Island. Gili Lawa Darat is wholly covered by grass that makes it look like a desert barren land. The tour leader warned us not to swim around the island due to timing, but after trekking session some guys couldn’t take it anymore, the water was too clear to tempt us.
Pink beach, one of seven pink beaches in this world, was the next stop. Time for snorkeling around the island and beaching! I forgot to capture some pictures on the beach, though 😕
Again, we were late for a sunset hunt on Pulau Kalelawar (Bat Island). Moreover, we lost the chance to explore Komodo Island in the afternoon because it was already 6 pm when we arrived. They didn’t allow us to do the trekking because it was getting dark soon. After some arguments, two trip participants decided to stay overnight at the island while others kept staying on the boat until the next morning.
We also went to Rinca Island (Loh Buaya – second home of Komodo Dragons) to watch Komodo Dragons live in action before we snorkeled around Pulau Kalong.
We reached the final destination, Labuan Bajo, after an hour sail from Pulau Kalong. Before flying back home the next morning, the five of us prefered to find a guesthouse nearby to rest and have a proper shower while some participants decided to stay overnight on the boat.
Labuan Bajo is famous with its Warung Seafood (outdoor seafood restaurant) with cheap price and wide selection of fresh fish, squid, crabs and many other. We didn’t want to miss the chance to try them while we were in Labuan Bajo. I gathered 4 other new friends Eva, Ulfa, Johannes and his girlfriend to join us.
It was really an adventurous journey even though we missed the sunset hunts. If I have another chance, I will go to Pulau Kanawa, Pulau Padar and some underwater spots around Labuan Bajo too.
Nowadays people can have short sailing trip (2 nights) arranged from Labuan Bajo to Komodo, Rinca, Gili Lawa, Padar, Kanawa and several other islands before sailing back to Labuan Bajo but I don’t think it’s adventurous enough compared to living on board for 4 nights. If you need the contact details of operators for Labuan Bajo trip – by traditional phinisi boat, please leave a comment.
From Labuan Bajo, while you are in Flores, I suggest to continue with overland journey that ends in Maumere. I didn’t do the overland trip straight after this one because I had to go back to work. I came back later to Labuan Bajo for an overland trip after a year, in 2015. The posts about Overland Flores were published on lovecreatewander.com: