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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia

Jun 17, 2014 - Climb every mountain

So, what's the title of this entry all about? Well, I've visited three places here in the stunningly beautiful island of Flores; in the first, Ruteng, I stayed in an actual functioning convent, in Bajawa my hotel was called Edelweiss, while in the last place in Moni I climbed up Kelimutu volcano, or more precisely rode up on the back of a motorbike. Flores means flowers in Portuguese and was named by the first Portuguese explorers who landed here. There are indeed many colourful flowers, but there are also soaring verdant mountains,...

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Six months in Asia

Jun 14, 2014 - A Dance With Dragons

The boat trip didn't begin very promisingly, but it turned out it be a great adventure. The website for Kencana Tours promises a maximum of 20 people on the trip, but there were close to 50 milling around the office on the day of departure. Not to worry, I thought, as I'd read that they divide large groups up and use two vessels. After waiting around for an hour and a half we finally set off for a 3 hour cramped bus ride across the island of Lombok to the port on the eastern side. We were not even given a mediocre packed lunch until around...

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Six months in Asia

Mar 20, 2014 - Komodo Island

Komodo Dragons - wow! Thursday March 20th we are visiting Komodo Island. This was due to a change of schedule because of a tropical storm approaching Bali. Hopefully we will still make it there in 2 days time after the storm. Komodo Island is, of course, home of the famous Komodo Dragons. There are 2000 that live here and there are some on other islands but this is the one to visit. We had a guide, a forest ranger and a local man from the island village escorting us on our 90 minute hike, armed with stout sticks to fend off any dragons that...

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AsiaEuropeCruise

Feb 13, 2014 - Larantuka, Flores Island, Indonesia

Flores Island has intrigued me ever since I read in "Lone Survivors," by Chris Stringer, about the hominid discovered there in 2004, popularly named "The Hobbit" because of its small stature and chimp-sized brain. This hominid could have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago, long after the Neanderthals and Denisovas died out 35,000 years ago. Flores Man stood a little over three feet tall, had stone tools, and probably used fire. It's likely he would be descended from a species of homo erectus found in Java, but it remains a mystery how...

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Dec 5, 2012 - Komodo Dragon hunters

Hi friends, today we went to an island in Indonesia called Komodo Island. I saw some Komodo dragons and deer in the wild. We went on a hike around the island. You have to stay with a guide that carries a big stick to protect the visitors from the dragons. They are huge, like 300 pounds. The island is very hot & dry like a desert. All the trees were losing their leaves & looked dried up. Bella fell on a tree and scraped up her arm:-( She will be ok. Your friend, Phillip

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Oct 17, 2012 - Labuan Bajo***continue photo upload here

10/17 Return from Seraya Island, very low tide so we wade out to deeper water where their small boat can take us to the bigger boat back. Met and chatted with a couple of young Berlin surgeons (Frieder and Sonja) on vacation, on our way back to Labuan Bajo. Once back we have to wait several hours for our room at Gardena to be ready since the one we had 'reserved' had been taken, I guess reservations don't mean much. While we wait we have a good chance to chat with other tourists who are waiting to go to Seraya...more Dutch, a family in...

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Oct 15, 2012 - Labuan Bajo

Hotel Rima staff arranged our van for return to Labuan Bajo after breakfast of pancake and tea. Last night we spent quite a lot of time on their internet which was easily the best connection and machines yet in Indo. Gunung Mas showed up once again (we found out later they are the only game as far as this type of service - explains alot), we end up seated in the very back seats even though one of the middle seats is unoccupied! "No, NO" the driver insists and points to the back. All the locals are in the front 2 rows - tourist are 2nd class...

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Oct 14, 2012 - Ruteng - Not Where We Expected to Be! Photo 111 # 2046

Hotel Rima Well, after waiting until 11am the Gunung Mas bus showed up. We had called our fellow, Rickey, at Perama two days ago to confirm our location and Bon repeated that she wanted a seat towards the front of the bus, because the second leg of our trip here two days ago was with Gunung Mas also, and the driver insisted that we sit in the very rear altho he finally let Bon move up to the row just in front of the rear. The driver of this bus was not willing to let us sit anywhere but the very back of the bus. Bonnie said she would get...

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Oct 12, 2012 - Bajawa

Wiki Info Bajawa 10/12 The hired/shared minivan - Perama arranged it - only took us as far as Ruteng where 3 of the 9 passengers got out. Other tourists in the van included a French gal, German gal, and a young Polish couple who'd been working the past 7 years in Ireland. Very interesting story from them, they quit their retail & recycling jobs, respectively, and took off to SE Asia 7 months ago. In Ruteng we waited until 1:30 when we were transferred to another company's (Gunung Mas) larger van losing our forward seats. Bon tried to...

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Oct 11, 2012 - Labuan Bajo

Wiki Info Labuan Bajo 10/11 After our breakfast at Gardena Hotel9incl.in price) we went down to the Komodo Park office, not really helpful, only prices. Fellow said we must arrange our own boat! Bon was hoping there would be a regular boat over to Rinca but no such deal. Checking more and finding all boats leaving to Rinca go before 8am - now half past - and include snorkeling, not just a hike on the island. Also, none of the agencies put together groups so we tourists must put our own group together. We go to hang out at 'The Lounge' where...

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Oct 10, 2012 - Sape via Bima and Ferry to Labuan Bajo, Flores

Our onward Dunia Mas #2 bus arrived just before 10pm and took us - somewhat uncomfortably - to Bima by 3am, earlier than we had expected. There was a local bus sitting at the station which took us to Sape ferry terminal but only after we sat on the bus until 5 am. We traveled from Bima just as the sun began to rise and during our 1+ hour ride I enjoyed seeing the unfolding valley of rice and waking/walking children to school along the way. We were both very tired after now on the move for 24 hours and still not at our destination. We got...

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Mar 5, 2012 - Komodo Island

We sail through calm waters and anchor off the shores of Komodo Island. The tiny island is sandwiched between Sumbawa and Flores in Indonesia. The humidity is high and low clouds are hanging over the top of the mountains. The foliage is lush green with palm trees and the accompanying undergrowth of grass and bushes. It is quiet and calm here. There is only one small fishing village on the island as this is a national park and home to a fierce and rare species of reptile that looks like a dinosaur. It is called a Komodo Dragon but it is not...

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