Danny and Helen's Journey Home 2006 travel blog

The pre-historic landscape of Rinca

This is the dodgy plane that broke down

Bottlenose dolphins

Bintang and Attolls make for a great afternoon

Having flown to Flores, it was straight to the port to take a small boat from the harbour out towards the island of Rinca. All of their meals for the next 2 days were to be served on this boat and Danny was delighted that this regularly included curry - often also for breakfast!

The three hour trip out to Rinca was a chance to prepare to see the Komodo Dragons. Sitting on the boat, bottlenose dolphins were spotted by Danny who performed tricks around the boat as the boat made its way through the attolls of the Indonesian sea (the Dolphins not Danny).

After two days at sea - Danny and Helen returned to Llabonbajo and had an afternoon drinking Bintang Lager in the rain and returned to the hotel to join the owners for a curry. During the meal the phone rang and the person on the other end informed the owner that tomorrows flight was cancelled (but the previous days flight, which had also been cancelled, would have a chance to board some other mystery plane). The next day (using all of the energy they had with a Bintang of a hangover) Danny & Helen were the first people at the airport at 6.45am.

Now, the scenario faced (when the staff arrived at 9.30am) was this - 90 people all clamouring to get on one 45 seater plane - what do you do? Danny & Helen wasted no time, along with a dodgy looking frenchman, in asking for seats. "No the flight is full up" was the broken English response... "but we have a connecting flight"... "FLIGHT FULL" ... "well would it be full if say, you had this? (holding 50,000 rupiah note)" ... "Hmmmm, flight still full, but maybe stand by"... This nudged the frenchman into a joint response ... "Well (in a french accent) what about if you had this as well? (another 50,000 note)" ... "Hold on .... you pay departure tax also?" ... "Yes" (Danny) "Yes" (Helen) "Oui" (Frenchman). The check-in man now had a total of 130,000 rupiah (about $15).... "Okay here are three boarding passes but please go into the other room and don't tell anyone"

And with that (5 hours later when the plane arrived), their trip to Flores was complete and hangovers a faded memory.

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