Saturday, 10 December 2011

Travelling overland from Lombok to Flores

After the brilliant Gili T we decided to make our way towards Flores and Komodo. This is an epic journey across Lombok, Sumbawa and the seas that separate. There are a couple of ways to get to Flores, you can fly from Bali or take a 4 day 3 day night cruise from Gili T which involves some snorkelling and visiting places along the way. We decided to go for the cheap option which was a bus and boat combination that was supposed to take 24 hours.

The journey: a boat from Gili T to Lombok where we would spend 1 night in Sengiggi then a bus to the eastern side of Lombok, a boat to Sumbawa, a bus across Sumbawa and then a final boat to Flores!

We bought our tickets from Sengiggi in Lombok for around 275,000 Rp and were told to be ready for 10.30am the next morning. We were picked up the following morning in a minibus and taken to Mataram where we were told that the bus would not be leaving until 3pm!? The minibus driver then tried to sell us a variety of medicines/flights/tat for a couple of hours before giving up.

There was a comedy fish carrying man to keep us entertained for a few minutes!

The first bus took around 2 hours to cross Lombok and we drove straight onto the ferry to Sumbawa.

Where we played lots of poker with some interested locals

The next bus journey was a test of nerve, the roads across Sumbawa are dire. Worse pot holes than Glasgow and thats saying something! About and hour into the 10 hour journey people started throwing up - it was contagious starting with little kids and ending up with massive blokes throwing up and then wiping their faces with the bus curtains. We were hemmed into our seats with sacks of rice in the aisles and a box of live crickets twittering away behind our seats!  

We then transferred onto a second smaller bus for the last part of our journey across Sumbawa. We arrived at the port at 8.30am to find that the ferry had left 30 minutes earlier - surely the only mode of transport to leave on time in Indonesia. We were told the next ferry would arrive at 5pm.

The ferry arrived at 6pm and set sail at around 10pm.

We slept on a carpeted stage thing and arrived into Labuan Bajo in Flores at 7am the following morning. The journey was epic but there was some fantastic scenery and it felt like we had battled to get there making it feel really satisfying and like we had done some 'proper' travelling :) 

I made sure we flew back to Bali 


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