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Old 12-07-2011, 08:19 PM   #78
The Bigfella OP
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Dooral Dooral, Eastern Oz
Oddometer: 2,356
I watched a battle of life and death whilst suffering in the bog on Rinca. The lizard won...



The locals were back at our boat early in the morning.... this time to sell fish and squid. No such thing as retirement on a pension over here. This guy will fish until he drops



... and thank you very much, fresh squid.




The guys on the other boat bought that lot. Here's their galley being put to good use




This is the fishing village on Komodo. The Dragons have been known to eat the occasional villager, but it doesn't happen often



We had a bit of a chuckle with the actions of these three women. Two jumped on board after they'd pushed their fishing boat out a bit... then the chubby one tried, and tried... and eventually got on, much to everyone's amusement




We got our guide to ask the skipper if we could dive with the Manta Rays on the way back in.... so, it was on with the gear and over the side when he spotted them... a fair way out from the nearest island



This is a bit of a crappy shot, but our guide snapped one of a 6-8' Manta Ray as it went past us



At one stage the Rays had moved away, so the skipper had me grab the busted up, swinging ladder.... and towed me over to them again. Rather strange sticking my head under water and looking at the prop going around behind me as we went along. Not sure a tourist operator would do that at home.

Andras and I had a fabulous time snorkelling with the Manta Rays. One large one we were following did an upside down loop under us, white belly up and then came up behind us. Fabulous.

We pulled into another island for a snorkel over the coral, not too far out of Labuan Bajo. Plenty of other boats there and I ended up chatting to a Dutch woman and inviting her to join us for the Reggae night at the bar where we were staying.

Speaking of which... it was nice to relax there with a Bintang and watch the world go by after a couple of fabulous days out in the archipeligo



Here's the Saturday night sunset from the Paradise Bar - we were staying in the adjacent hotel rooms.



Our American friends Doug, Joanne and Heather, who we'd met out at Flying Fox Island (oh yeah... there were plenty of flying foxes out there btw)



Doug graciously bought us dinner.... he said our travel tales were well worth it.

After they left, we were due to do a Karaoke bar tour....but I was somewhat relieved when the Dutch woman I mentioned earlier showed up as we were getting on the bikes. The Karaoke bars are dives... and mostly crawling with women trying to convince you that they love you.

I stayed at the Reggae night at the Paradise bar. Even did a fair bit of rusty dancing. We met up with the Russian girls we'd also met at a couple of beaches and who'd been on the Dutch girl's boat. They spent all their time at the beaches posing for each other's camera.... and making a lot of eyes pop. The Russians are on the outside... I sure wish I'd got some photos in their bikinis




Here's a video of the band that played at the Reggae Night. I thought they were pretty good.... some of the "entertainers" I've heard in tourist areas in Asia are like listening to comedy routines, they strangle songs so comprehensively.




You may recall I posted a photo of a couple of the band members at the wedding we attended in Moni, about 500km away. I think they were also in the photo of the 30 or so guys in that giant bath tub at the hot springs




Meanwhile, Andras went to a couple of the local bars with our guide Flory (far right) and his brother... who was the guide for the Americans.



They ended up back at the Paradise bar... and we had tears and hand kisses from the guides as they left after the bar shut at 3am. They were very emotional.

Andras decided he wasn't going to make the ferry at sparrow-fart, a 7:30 am departure to Sumbawa on Sunday morning - which would mean getting up no later than 6am to load the bikes, get tickets and get on board. Sumbawa is a "dry" island btw... entirely Muslim and no alcohol on sale apparently, although an Aussie guy in Bali had told me there was an international resort somewhere that did serve it.

I was going to try for a 2 or 3 day blast through there, then on to Lombok. My daughter had a ticket into Bali (thanks to her Dad) and was going to get the fast boat over to Gili Trawangan to meet me.

I had to do 4 trips up the hill to load the bike. I was still dripping sweat profusely an hour after I'd sat down on the ferry. Bike just leaned up against a ferry wall - although eventually one of the crew tied it in a bit. Sumbawa was a mid afternoon arrival. I ended up having to pay a crew member an extra 15,000 rupiah because I sat down in 1st class on an economy ticket.

When I got to Sumbawa, I hightailed it through to Bima and found some dive of a hotel.
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