I believe one of the best gifts you can do for yourself and the family is the experience of an adventure! Our Komodo trip in July was everything and more; living on a boat, with no hot water, no wifi and a very unique toilet situation..
Our trip was inspired by our friend Julie Greene who lives in Sydney and visited Flores in the beginning of the year. After seeing photos of her trip, Jared and I decided to make the trip 2 weeks before the kid's summer holidays commenced, which gave us (I really mean yours truly) very little time to plan and book the entire holiday.
To cut a long story short, we managed to book The Aboya, it wasn't our top choice but we decided to go with it given the short time frame we had. We made our booking through Barefoot Yatch, a young cruising company based in Indonesia.
To get to Komodo Islands, one has to fly from Bali to Labuan Bajo. There are plenty of domestic flights from Bali but I would advise to book ahead especially if you plan on visiting between June to Sept. We had to stay a night in Labuan Bajo to board the Aboya the next morning so the accommodation situation was another adventure altogether. (Labuan Bajo can get really busy and most of the nice hotels are booked out.)
We really wanted to stay at the Plataran Komodo but it was booked out for the whole month of July so we ended up in Golo Hilltop. It's right in town and is really good value for money as well as being the only hotel in Labuan Bajo that had 2 rooms to accommodate our family. Golo was basic (I mean basic) and clean and is about a 5-7 minute drive to town. The other place I would highly recommend to stay is Le Pirate.
We had a blast during this trip, some people asked if any of us got seasick; thankfully no one did because the water is surrounded by islands making the sea really calm. It was prefect for the kids and seasick prone people like me.
All in, we had a combination of unforgettable memories, from the magical starry nights to the bioluminescence sea waters at night to the Komodo dragons to the wild dolphins and of course the most unique toilet situation! It was definitely an out of comfort zone trip, but so worth the experience.
Here are some memories from our little epic adventure..
Labuan Bajo Airport -One hour flight from Denpasar (Bali)
View from the plane! Shades of blue..
Our first sunset at Labuan Bajo
Boarding the Aboya- a traditional wooden sail boat
This boat would have been a more luxe experience, but we opted for something more traditional.
Pulau Rinca- Walking to the visitor centre to meet our guide. All visitors on the island are required to be on a guided tour to see the Komodo Dragon. The last visitor who didn't almost got his leg bitten off!
Some serious sunscreen is mandatory, the sun was blazing hot!
That is not a statue!
Pulau Mauwang at sunset, pure magic! And we were the ONLY ones on the island.
Prestine water and sand, just like the Maldives!
Most magical sunrise at 5:30am
Boat Ride to Pulau Padar
Mandatory tourist shot with the triple bays of Padar. (Remember to bring hiking shoes when you visit, Jedi and I had to hike barefoot because we didn't have proper footwear)
Another secluded island. That's Jedi and his cousin Rumi! We had the whole island to ourselves.
Jared used up all our sunscreen.. 😂
With our wonderful caption and guide.
Guess who's the UNO champ in our family?
Trying to catch that light, behind the scene of an Instagram moment.
Taking turns to take the plunge..
You jump! I jump! It was so scary but so much fun..