July 21-25 Indonesia boat cruise
This is the story about Lombok and going on a four day boat cruise.
Please read my whole blog. I do not want to frighten, scares, or make you block my post. Lol. I like to express what I feel in the moment. I like to tell the truth and make you feel what I am feeling at the present time. So please read the entire post so you can have the whole delightful experience as well as I did, without you doing all the homework as I had to do. I am a budget traveler and it is sometimes hard getting important information on the islands of Indonesia as well as it changing dramatically fast every year. So enjoy, comment and share away to help the next traveler abroad.
So getting to Lombok I didn’t know which direction to turn. I know the ferry to head to Flores was on the northeast side. The volcano to go do a three day trek was central north. And all the beaches was south. Well, the airport was stationed central south west and going from Gili to the harbor was in the north west side. So my original plan was to head south go see some beaches and then head central north to the volcano to go do the three day trekking, then head to the harbor and get on a ferry. O how much changed when I got here.
So walking around the first day to ask about the trekking and see if I can get any deal or find some information out. Well what I gathered was the trekking would be very hard to do by yourself. As to many told me I couldn’t do it by myself and to finally find out the real reason is. Because it is not a full circle of a trek, as vehicles pick you up at the end, to drop you back off at the beginning and it is quite a far distance. So if you did do it by yourself it might take you five or six days. But from what I had heard previously about people paying around $150 usd. I was getting prices in Kuta Lombok from $110 to $150. I didn’t really wheel and deal with anyone just trying to figure out my map. So while seating at a booth I also seen a tour boat cruise to Flores. ‘Well this is where I am going.’ This is much more important to me since my days are numbered in Indonesia while this country being so massive. It is very aggravating to only get 30 extra days on your extension.
So I am looking at this cruise and seeing the prices are not that bad. As well as seeing the adventure looks awesome. So I gather up some information and head to homestay to look up some reviews and check this cruise out. Basically there is two types of cruises they try to sell to you in Kuta which is the “Star cruise & Waune Adventure Cruise.
The Waune has the better reviews and seemed like a nicer business. So while reading hundreds of reviews I found some that talked about the prices. The original price that most places were selling was around two million and more for the Waune Cruise. But the reviews had said differently with people getting both prices In a range from 1.3 – 1.8 mill. So I stuck with the price 1.6 not knowing exactly where these reviews were from as I am coming from Kuta and it is at least 100,000 to get to the harbor. What I was informed about the Waune trip from Kuta is they pick you up at hotel then you have a meeting point at Bangsal harbor and get on a bus and get transferred to the other side at Kayanga ferry harbor. Which makes absolutely no sense but I wanted the Waune trip so I said ok. So only to later find out some real truth.
When we had stayed four days to wait out the tour because we had got there on a Tuesday and the boat leaves three times a week. Or so the agents say. Leaves out Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Which also sounds very weird now, that only two boats going to Flores by the same company star cruise, which takes a four day journey. The reason I am on the star cruise is because the day before I got on board which was Saturday because we just arrived Tuesday night and wanted to see the beaches in the south. The beaches are pretty nice and Merese Hill is a stunning place to see the waves crash over and feel the wind while watching monkeys and ice cream scooters driving around. If it’s good weather you will see a lovely sunset. As far as restaurants go, I enjoyed Warung Flora which has amazing tacos and much more such as chicken Gordon blue and seafood and fish. So much superb foods and can ask for some extra garlic and get a bowl of garlic in butter. Yummy. I had read lots of reviews and tried many restaurants and this was my favorite in the area. If you want a burger then definitely go to the zone burger place. Very yummy.
Now for the tour agencies, I went to three of them. The final one that seemed like the best still lied to me. So in my eyes they all lie. Even I meet a German girl and she told me she had been here three years ago and it was the same thing dealing with everyone lying to you as well as them calling you “My Brother, My Sister, My Friend”.!. Well I will tell you right now, they are not your friends or family. They for one are sales men and for two straight up liars!
When I first got to the tour agents they really have a hard time keeping the same story and always try and confuse you by keeping you thinking they are a good person which they are not. When asking questions about the boats they all tell you a different story of which boat is leaving on what day or this or that. One will tell you this company doesn’t run now and will tell you it runs only on two days a week and another company will tell you the total opposite. So now being on the boat and seeing the same company have two boats running side by side and telling me at the harbor their third boat is no longer in use through the star cruise. I believe that the Star Cruise and Waune adventures actually work together. But I cannot confirm this but I do know this. It is completely impossible for a boat to do a tour for four days and come back which would be 8 days having no days in between and having only three boats in service but they say one is no longer in use. With only two boats in service, how is this possible. So what is the truth. I believe these agents work with what ever boat is available at the time. Meaning they will lie to get you on any boat. They will lie about the date, time and journey as well. They know if you wait out two days for a boat then you will wait another day. They will already have their money once you deposit it and once you drive to the boat and it is the wrong one then what do you do. It is one big scam.
One way or another they will lie or scam you. I am now on the boat and writing this journey pretty much as a daily blog. When I was at the agency they tell me the boat will have brand new masks as to so many reviews complain about the mask of either not having enough or them being so dirty you cannot see anything.
So we get picked up first in an suv where seven people are loaded into it and this is where the lies began. From the agent telling me he would drive us to telling us there will be six people in the vehicle and now we have 7. We meet the German girl and she went with another driver and left twenty minutes after us and beat us to the harbor. I am guessing we went through the mountain instead of around it like her driver did. She also said she had paid 1.5 mill and went to four agents until she got that price, because her friend had went before on this tour and he gave her a run through about the operation. The German girl name is Anna and we were neighbors at our homestay and had meet that morning for breakfast.
When we get to the harbor this is where I find out the third boat is not running. Well I wanted to go fishing so I take no chances on them having equipment, so I go to buy my own stuff and one of the guys gave me a ride after asking them. At the harbor we arrived at ten am and people were there since 8 am. They keep telling you they are waiting for the police to clear everything which might be true. And I was waiting at Bali immigration for nine days, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit, on waiting for these government people.
TIP; If you are gonna extend your stay do it on another island beside Bali. Just a tip.
So I grab some extra food and buy a case of beer and get some fishing tools and we head off at 1’ o’clock. (Update, they sell beer for 45,000 on the boat and can buy at harbor for 35,000) The police did however come and check how many people were on the boat which we have two boats with 20 each.
(Another stupid thing they do to make profit is drop you off 200 meters before the star cruise facility so the horse men can make some money)
We are off finally.
Well they tell us we are pretty much driving all day and throughout the night to reach are next destination which will be an 18 hour journey. We stop before the sunset and go swimming was our only stop for the first day. Our lunch and dinner consisted of rice, vegetables, tofu and that is it. So it does seem the reviews are correct. The waves did get a little bumpy at night but they also carry sea sick pills.
Tips for being on a boat:
Number one rule is safety; know where the life vest is. Maybe keep one on you, if you do not know how to swim. At any given time something could go wrong on a boat. Know where safety equipment is, the fire extinguishers or even a bucket, life boats and how do they operate, bathroom, food and who the captain is and perhaps who speaks your language or a language you can understand. These notes should always be embed into your brain for any boat or even anything you do not know about. Ask questions and do not be afraid. This is your life.
This is a life boat:
The night time was cool and nice. I would recommend rolling up your own towel and using it as a pillow. Also if you are feeling sick generally the back of the boat is the smoothest place to be. The sea sick pills work about every 8 hours, be on time. If you are a big eater bring extra food.
We stopped at around 3 am and I did not bother to look but I woke up before sunrise at 6am to see we are at a commercial ship harbor. Why? They claim we are waiting for police to clear us again. Geez. Ok.
So while eating breakfast which is just one pancake, EVERYONE in the cabin was complaining about their sleep. Either that it is to hot or to smelly. People was feeling sick from the fumes and being stuffy. DO NOT BOOK THE CABIN if you oCcur any of these problems and do not want to have a bad experience on the boat. So after waiting until 1 o’clock to leave we are on our way again. They tell us we are going to go see a waterfall today and be there in four hours. More update soon. ( I wrote most of this on the boat experience to fulfill my time and write with my expression and feelings as much as possible. )
Another update; if you do book a cabin I understand they charge both people the same rate which a cabin is already almost double price. I personally think the agents just pocket this money, thinking that a cabin is for two people already so why are they charging almost twice for a place no one really wants to be. So my tip would be, if you do choose to book a cabin and have two or more people with you. Only one person book the cabin and the others book the deck. That way you save on money and you have choices of where you would like to be on the boat.
So I am going to start my writings this morning at 9:30 am on the third day.
The second night was absolutely amazing. When the sun went down it was going to be a nice sunset but the clouds got in the way at the last minute and it was clear skies above but up ahead look like rain. Driving another hour we got into some heavy clouds which sucked because I wanted to see some stars out while meeting a guy aboard he said his friend took this cruise and had seen the Milky Way. So going to bed early because of the clouds we did however run into some sprinkles of rain but luckily no more than that. Going to bed at 8 I woke back up at 1:30 am watching the moon beam through the boat being more than half full with a hint of orange color going down over the horizon looking out the back of the boat top deck. Amazing and I wanted to get a better look I opened my window and looked up and it was clear skies and had a lot of stars. YES. So I waited another half hour for moon to go down so I could see even more stars and when I got to the platform outside to look. O’ My’ god’ Just absolutely stunning! There was millions of stars and stars I have never seen before. The Milky Way was fully showing her beauty. Being in the Southern Hemisphere on a clear night on this boat made everything worth the while. I seen so many things in the sky that was new to me. From a peace sign straight north, to a heart beat nw north to a cluster of stars that look like plankton shinning on the east horizon and moving much faster than our planet about the size of your thumb if held up and seeing about a hundred different sparkles at any given time. I counted 11 shooting stars on this night. I seen plankton gushing off the heel of the boat crashing on the waves while hearing hundreds of little bait fish perhaps anchovies jumping all over the ocean. I was thrilled😎 astatic 🤩 and in aye 🙀. The Milky Way stretched from one side to the other and was bright. The night was a perfect night to watch some glorifying life outside of our own life. I hope tonight will be another great one as well.
So waking up at 8:30 am only to be in some white cap seas. Went to the back to grab a pancake and they caught a Mahi Mahi. Yeah boy.
So I grabbed my fishing stuff but soon after the lines got tangled so now we just have one line out. But later we are suppose to be going to this pink/ red beach and do some fishing there. This Mahi is about 2 feet long (2 men shoe sizes) so will feed about five people. Hopefully we catch more later and have a shit load of fish to eat. We went past the volcano Sangeang API, which blew like three months ago and can easily still see all the black ash rock particles scattered over the small island that is still probably an active volcano. Lava was pouring out three months ago for only about a weeks time. Throughout the earth we are definitely going to be seeing some more and more activity of volcanoes and weather changes especially now because we have entered a time where all our planets are on one side of the sun. And 85% of the time when this happens, we reach maximum pressure on this earth for something dramatic to happen. At the same time a full moon is approaching. Around each full moon more pressure is occurred inside of our earth to cause more chaos. If you don’t know how powerful the moon is, just look at our tide system and how much the moon can control this much water on our earth, which makes up 70% of the planet. It is always important to note that our body is also 70% water. Odd or mmmm, something might add up to something. It is quite amazing to me that everything from planets, stars, snow, rain, blood and even the smallest atoms. Everything is a circle.
I will note this down from yesterday also. We stopped at the island that I guess was made from the volcano in 1819. I might have the story a little wrong or Udo might of got it a little wrong. So bear with me. The island we stop at to see the waterfall supposedly was underwater at one time and you can clearly see this walking through the island to get to the waterfall you see many corals and lots of calcium rocks and even calcium built up on the volcano rock. So I guess during the time of Marco Polo had wrote at this time when the volcano did erupt it was freezing cold and ash was in the sky for months. While this volcano was a huge hit especially for the Indonesian island chains. This island springs up not only land but also fresh spring water. For this island to be two hundred years old it already has a vast amount of big trees with wild life and a water system that reminds me of a cave. I am going to guess that this landmark is so rich in calcium from it being a ruptured volcano to having volcano rock in the ocean where fish, coral and microorganisms can nourish and survive easy by high nutrients and rock that is easy to hide in. So lava rock is actually a start to a coral reef with microorganisms that make new rock formation straight out of calcium. This is how a coral reef is built. Once this island that got pushed up from the pressure creates this spring which evidently has a lot of calcium still in it. Because the waterfall is straight like a cave with groves of rock formation that look slick but has a grippy sand paper feel to it. When reaching the top of the waterfall it was quite deep and they had a little rope to jump off of and have some fun. The water felt amazing and the area was absolutely unforgettable. A memo to remember and a memo to teach on. I just absolutely love learning new things and especially learning this kind of stuff on your own is amazing. It was a fantastic day to see what I had seen. Keep in mind. That a natural spring with fresh water near an ocean has to go down further than 100 meters or 300 feet just to reach the aquifer of fresh water. The earth is truly amazing project. Same as the human body. In my eyes it is quite sad how most would love to worship a fake image, instead of worshipping what we walk with, on this majestic piece of heaven filled with the pressure of cold and hot.
So we will see what today will bring. Update later🤠
So after passing the volcano it was really high and had a lot of clouds around it. As we passed it the clouds begun to show us through of the smoke coming out of one of the two peaks. So it is definitely still active. After we had cooked the fish, we actually all got a couple big pieces and it was delicious and everyone was very thrilled to have some incredible meat on the menu for food.
On this third day we didn’t do to much. Seen the volcano, caught a Mahi, and trekked up this hill top to over see the seas which was an amazing site. It can get steep and it is pretty rocky. After reaching the top it is all worth it.
We went looking for the manta rays and searching for an hour and found none. The water was very choppy and the rays don’t like rough seas and plus very hard to spot. Bummer. And after the month of July the weather really starts picking up. So we docked after riding another hour or so and one of the workers named Susha wanted to take me squid fishing. So we got into the little tiny boat and headed out. When you squid fish you have a colorful jig with line tied to a small stick. The boat is moving paddling at all times while flicking your wrist. “I got one”, so I jerked the line like it’s a fish. Susha said, no no, you have yo whats up be slow. ‘ o ok, I don’t know’. Lol. Good times. After that we each caught one came back and grilled them up.
Me and Udo ^^^ tour guide
A very beautiful site and everyone was very thrilled. Udo the tour guide walks everywhere with just his feet.
He definitely has a good sense to him. Even others where following suit and walking around on the whole trip wearing no shoes. After the hill we got back on the boat, tried to catch more fish and nothing came about. Tonight is a big party and putting the big stereo system on while they mentioned we were gonna have CHICKEN. Well I had accidentally bought coconut extract to cook with thinking it was coconut water and it was a great accident to have. We mixed the chicken with the coconut and I put my chef skills together. I mixed onion, salt pepper, chicken paste, tomatoes, lime juice and cooked it for twenty minutes. Made a strong spicy dip of garlic, chilies 🌶 , peppers, and some lime. Was absolutely delicious food.
The chicken was gone so fast. And it was a fantastic last dinner to have on the boat. After many people partied I however went squid fishing and caught only one, but was a good experience. Came back late after looking at the stars and moon with our one squid and cooked it up. Tried staying up again to watch the stars but I was super tired. I put my alarm on but only shut it off. There was some people that stayed up all night and had said it was to bright and didn’t get to see the Milky Way but the stars were out.
We arrive at red beach. Swim over and the beach does have some red sand from coral very beautiful. If you have a good camera you can get some amazing shots off. One thing that amazed me in the beach when we arrived were deer. Yes deer was roaming the beach and certainly not afraid of the tourists. Fleas a crazy experience. They have cameras around with speakers for people safety because of the Komodo dragons. They will eat just about anything, so be aware. But we never seen no komodos here. It is mating season now and they are primarily at one spot because the females lays her eggs in the same spot year after year. Another thing I learned when we got here to the park was that many female dragons will help watch the eggs of others. And while this helps keeping the eggs safe, the mother will also dig multiple holes around to trick other dragons that both male and female will eat. These dragons will eat each other as well as a mother eating her own young.
When we get to the island spot with all the dragons. Who aah. Wow a monster one under the tree. Huge slow moving creations with insane quickness. After the brief description the group can choose three routes. Short medium or long. We choose the middle and once the tour was finished we had seen a total of 9 Dragons. Even the tour guide couldn’t believe it. Usually people only get to see maybe a couple. It was certainly a good day. After we went back on boat ate some food and headed towards the drop off to end are tour. Another couple hours on the boat and our four day tour has been completed. We arrive at Labuhan Bajo harbor and wow. So many boats. Now ready to shower and sleep on land. But everyone is going to meet at the fish market for dinner and then head to paradise bar. The bar had an amazing local band, the fish market was good and good price but paradise bar was kinda expensive. The bar does provide free transportation though. Truck usually parks near paradise dive center. This dove center is also one of the cheapest and best dives shops in the area. Equipment is very good and the leaders are astonishing. Can also stay in their dorm for 50,000 a day with breakfast.
So being on this boat getting a tan, looking at the Southern Hemisphere of stars, fishing, having new experiences, seeing great views, snorkeling, and meeting some incredible people. The experience overall was well worth it. I would definitely check the weather. Ventusky.com is probably the best overall world view of a weather program to see just about everything you need for upcoming weather. And if weather permits I’d go on this tour again.
Sleeping on the boat after the tour, is nearly impossible. So don’t listen to the tour agents when they tell you this. First off they clean up the whole boat so there will be no more beds. And next they sometimes park the boat out from the docks so other boats can park on the docks. So these things you would have to deal with and on top of that, the crew doesn’t know any English. In Labuhan Bajo harbor you can find many hotels and hostels. If you leave the harbor go left on the street and you will immediately see an alley to the right and down there is Centro Hostel for 80,000 a night with a/c and breakfast. This is where we decided to stay. Have fun and be safe. Hope this has helped anyone going on this tour or another tour.
Like, comment, share. Farewell folks!
When you sign up for the tour agency make sure you have them add the 50,000 rupees of tax, that the main office will charge you after you pay your remaining balance.
So about the masks, they did seem to have enough but we only had twenty people on the boat. They also did have brand new life jackets and the boat was in pretty good shape. As for the masks, some leaked, many had problems and some worked perfect. So if you do not want to risk anything then buy one before you go.