We booked a cab to the airport and took a short flight to Labuan Bajo, AKA Komodo airport!
The side trip to Komodo was my favourite part of this whole trip, and though the actual tour we did was just one day, all my top memories from the trip are from here. I wish we had planned this part to be longer and I wish I had gone diving here as well. I only snorkeled and the scene underwater was truly epic (but we unfortunately did not have a goPro!)
The scenes from the flight of the whole area were breathtaking.
Labuan Bajo is a tiny port town and most of it can be walked. We walked to the hotel we had booked- Golo Hilltop Hotel. I would recommend this place to anyone, we had a great stay here.
Once we dumped our luggage at the hotel, we walked into the main street looking for a shared tour to Komodo island the next day. We found one easily enough on the main street, and spent the rest of the evening in paradise bar, overlooking the same scenery above.
The next morning’s tour started very early, at 5 am, before the hotel breakfast was open. The staff were kind enough to suggest they would pack our breakfast for us, on hearing we would leave early. This was much appreciated later in the day.
We met our guides from the tour company at the harbour where the others in our group also assembled, and we started off our boat ride to our first stop -Padar island!
Padar island is famous for it’s stunning view from the top of a short hike, the very instagrammable spot. And it was seriously spectacular, did not disappoint! We got all my favourite photographs that day.
After that spectacular first stop, we headed off to Komodo national park, to see the endemic Komodo Dragons.
The park offers three trails- short, medium and long. As we were on a timed tour, our guide suggested we take the short trail. Once we purchased the park tickets at the office, a park guide accompanied us, presumably to ensure none of us got bitten by the foul mouths of the Komodo dragons.
This park guide was a great fan of all Bollywood movies and spent the entire trail singing ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’
The Komodo dragons all seemed to hang around rather lazily right near the entrance, so it was pretty much guaranteed we would see one!
The people of the island actually lived there in elevated houses among the dragons.
We also saw a number of birds, a wild hog, and several Timor deer (natural prey of the Komodo Dragons)
Sadly, we departed from there and had a packed lunch on the boat, provided as part of the tour. Our next two stops were pink beach (sand wasn’t even slightly pink?) and Manta point, both for snorkeling.
Now, these tours didn’t provide any life jackets, so if you don’t know how to swim, you may want to tell them to get along some floatation device for you from the tour office, before you begin! ROhit had a scary time, but did manage to jump in the water at pink beach to see the spectacular coral reef. It was straight out of finding Nemo <3
Manta point was further out in the sea. No pictures unfortunately, but we did see several Manta Rays, Eagle rays and even a turtle!
The experience convinced me that I need to get my scuba license and come back here some day.
We returned to the harbour late in the evening and headed back to the hotel for dinner
he next day we went for a short walk into town to buy some Komodo themed souvenirs, and a small hike around the island (to a small hill called Bukit Cointa), before heading to the airport to go back to Bali.