A week ago the news has been spread about the re-opening of Komodo National Park phase by phase. The first part is the so called “Simulation Period about Visitor Service” that will last from 29 June until 5th July.
Following this step the Phase One will start while the National Park and some land attractions of it will be open for the people from the West Manggarai Regency and those who have been in Labuan Bajo since March 2020. And based on the evaluation of the Phase One and considering the situation with Covid-19 the Phases Two and Three will be implemented allowing tourism for all guests – yet no deadlines have been set for the last two phases.
All phases consider the implementation of the new procedures: there shall be a new online registration system for all tourists, health protocols for both the guests and the tour operators. We will keep you updated and let you know the new procedures once they have been confirmed. Meanwhile we study and prepare ourselves to work in accordance with them – make ready our dive centre, our boat and train with the team.
In the meantime, while the tourism has not returned yet, we check for you the other land sights on the Island Flores – thankfully the roads outside of Labuan Bajo have been opened again.
Hence, we went all the way up to Ruteng – the capital of Manggarai Regency. An early morning start, just before the sun gets too hot. We started our trip with a coffee-donut break at the view point “Puncak Watu Api” where we could enjoy the view on the green Flores’ hills and the Komodo National Park.
Following the “Flores Highway” through a serpentine road we went up to the top of the mountain, along the small villages and single houses, where the women sell some vegetables, fruits or sopi (a famous natural light-alcoholic drink), the men serve their motorbikes and the kids play with self-made “cars” that would be a simple wooden long stick with two wheels at the end.
Being dizzy a bit (no, no, not from sopi) but from the road and the beauty of the island (cos you move your head from left to right in order not to miss any of the sights), we descend the mountain and reach the flat, wide Lembor area. It is still morning time, the sun is high but not yet on its peak and the whole area is full of light-green, fresh and still growing rice fields. It is just worth a stop! We leave our car near the field and take in the first glimpse of the extensive rice fields and the surrounding landscape.
Just another 5 minutes ride we reach and see the uniqueness of Flores Island – the famous spider web rice fields.
We enjoy the view, get to know the system behind the spider web rice fields, take hundreds of photos and continue to Ruteng. There, the highlight of our trip, lies the world’s famous hobbit cave Liang Bua. It is the cave where at the beginning of our century (a big sensation!) scientists found the skulls and bones of the ancient “man of Flores” (Homo floresiensis), a discovery of a potentially new species of genus Homo.
It is quite a big cave and up to 25 meters high, guests can enter the cave after a registration in the nearby office that represents a small museum at the same time. The museum shows some photos from the time of excavation and a skeleton layout (the original one is in Jakarta), and explains that Homo florensiensis has been just 106 cm high and weighed 27.5 kg only.
A trip through Flores is worth it all! We were lucky with the sunny weather, great views, and friendly people – recommended to all. At the end of the day we counted 300 km of beauty and astonishment.
Now, let’s wait for the development of the re-opening of the Komodo National Park so we can plan new adventures together with all of you!
Send us an email or WhatsApp for more info. See you soon…