A Travellerspoint blog

Komodo Natl Park Liveaboard - Night Dive

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Scotty our cheerful energizer bunny divemaster suggested a night dive so off we went! The highlight of the dive was the Spanish Dancer Nudibranch. Check out the video. Soon to be posted....

Siaba (night dive)
59 minutes, 11.9m, 27C
Spanish dancer
Big strange nudi
Nudi on green tinsel stuff
Sea urchins
Giant sea star
Blue spotted sting ray


Posted by mjschrum 05:49 Archived in Indonesia Tagged night park national dive komodo siaba Comments (0)

Komodo Natl Park Liveaboard - First Dives

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We signed on for our first diving liveaboard in the Komodo National Park off the coast of Flores. We were lucky enough to be the only two on a beautiful boat designed to accommodate up to 8 passengers plus the divemasters and crew. Our excellent divemasters Scotty and Valerie did a refresher course at Sebayur and then we had a lovely shallow dive with very rich coral. Tatawa Besar was a fast drift dive where we scooted along with the current and enjoyed the show. Swam upcurrent with a black tip reef shark for a minute for more viewing before he decided to swim off.

56 minutes, 19.1m, 28C
Cuttlefish x2 (1 big)
Leaf scorpion fish
Various reef fish

Tatawa Besar
58 minutes, 14.1m, 28C
2x turtles
Black tip reef shark
Lobster x 5
Clown triggerfish
Batfish sweetlips

Posted by mjschrum 18:11 Archived in Indonesia Tagged park national komodo sebayur tatawa besar Comments (0)

Bena, Flores

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Raining this morning in Bajawa so we prepared mentally for an uneventful day, little did we know… We switched rooms – unhappy with the boxy accommodation on the hill so we went to Happy Happy Hotel where the name says it all. The amazing owner fed us another breakfast and then we decided on making a hike of a village out of the main destination of the day – Bena.
Bena lies on the flank of the Gunung Inerie and is one of the most traditional Ngada villages. Houses with high thatched roofs line up in two rows on a ridge, the space between them filled with ngadhu, bhaga and strange megalithic tomblike structures.
Most houses have male or female figurines on their roofs, while doorways are decorated with buffalo horns and jawbones – a sign of the family’s prosperity. (LP)
We arrived in Bena and had a lovely walk through the village, empty of any other tourists. We had lots of photo opps and villagers were very welcoming and unassuming.
Afterward we set off down the hill on a walk to a hot springs and another village – Nage. The trek was simply amazing – jaw dropping views of the surrounding volcanoes and sea, through mixed banana, palm and bamboo forest.
We made Nage in 2.5 hours and had a quiet walk through the empty traditional village – we had the place to ourselves. It was a smaller village but we were impressed by the locals - they clearly were doing their daily biz and not putting on a show for the passersby.
The hotsprings were cool-looking, we opted not to jump in with the other expats bathers present. The waters were a bit murky.
We looked for ojek (moto transport) on the way back and lucked out when we stumbled on a few guys fixing a moto on the trail. They whisked us back to Bena as I had a moment of panic when they turned right instead of left at a turnoff. I screamed STOP and they explained this was the other way around the valley that would lead to the same destination. They were such earnest young guys that I felt reassured and enjoyed the alternative route back. (Equally exotic and beautiful all the way back) I was salivating thinking of what a beautiful mountain bike loop it would be.

Posted by mjschrum 01:24 Archived in Indonesia Tagged flores bena nage Comments (0)

Riung, Flores - 17 Islands Natl Park

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The outstanding tourist draw of the small fishing town Riung is the 17 Islands National Park. The first stop is Flying Fox Island where there are thousands of Fruit Bats resting during the day before they take over the town of Riung at night.

Afterward our boat cruised to a few more islands where we snorkeled from the boat and hung out on the beach to look for shells and relax. The visibility was really good and the water was warm and inviting. Another unexpected feature was the coastline. We crossed the north/south ridgeline over Flores from Moni and drove down the mountain through savannah and grassland. It could have been the California coast –evening sun setting over the golden fields. Beautiful! It made us homesick for Sonoma.

Posted by mjschrum 03:06 Archived in Indonesia Tagged islands park national 17 riung Comments (0)


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Welcome to Wologai village! (established 8 generations ago.)
We stumbled upon a ritual to initiate and place the cornerstone for the 8th traditional house in the ancestral village.
Sacrificial pig was bleeding to death and they were digging the hole in which to place the ritual objects, presided over by the first and second traditional elders. The second elder approached us, invited us to take photos and told us that we were very lucky to be there that day and witness this ritual as this was a very special day for the initiation of the 8th traditional house.
They placed a gold bead in a vial of white liquid and a live chick, which had been held by a traditional elder woman next to it in the hole. These were entombed with a flat stone which was then smeared with pig blood and blessed. The first elder was given a glass of arak, local firewater. He splashed some over his left shoulder, poured some on the stone, said a blessing, splashed more over his shoulder, then drank the rest of the glass. The second elder was then given a glass of arak and repeated this ritual. Numerous stones were then placed on top. The house cornerstone was then lifted by 8 men and placed on top of this.
Only traditional ritual persons can wear the traditional sarong and scarf.
We were then invited into the home of one of the village elders, which was one of the existing 7 traditional houses. We sat on the floor of the main room with the first and second elder and several other elders. The women gave us coffee and biscuits.
The second elder, who spoke surprisingly good English, then gave us a tour around the village to explain the different houses and let us take pictures.
In the middle of the houses was a special traditional kitchen used only for special occasions. This was where they were preparing and cooking the sacrificial pig. We were invited into another home, but had to decline as we had a long drive ahead to Riung.

Posted by mjschrum 15:02 Archived in Indonesia Tagged people traditional village lio wologai Comments (0)

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