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July 7, 2005

DAY: 22 LOCATION: Larantuka, Flores

DAY: 22
LOCATION: Larantuka, Flores Island
LATITUDE : 08 degs,20.57'S
LONGITUDE: 122 degs,59.19'E

We had to wait for 5 hours yesterday morning to make a 10 minute crossing from Adonara island to Larantuka where we are now. Being such a narrow passage for the water to flow during tidal swings things can get quite intense - the tide running at up to 8 knots. But patience is a something we're getting a lot of practise at! The same body of water that would have overturned our kayaks just an hour before turned out to be near flat calm by the time we crossed at 1pm.

One of the concerns when arriving in a town is finding a hotel close enough to the beach that we can carry the kayaks and the gear without it being a major hassle. The Rough Guide book for Indonesia had recommended the Hotel Rulies, a Dutch era wooden building with 'bags of atmosphere and friendly staff'. We made a rough guess as to where it might be in relation to the ferry pier, and magically the very spot on the beach we landed ended up being directly opposite the hotel. Add to this the fact that they had just 3 rooms left for the night AND they had cold beers inside AND the place is indeed friendly and charming - well, clearly it was meant to be!

Within 10 minutes we had all the boats plus the gear inside the hotel - costing just 15,000 rupiah ($2) for some local lads to help us out. It's great to be traveling through a sea-faring nation where there are always a dozen or more pairs of hands on any given beach to help haul dugout fishing canoes, or in this case plastic kayaks, 2out of the water and up onto the beach.

April is somewhere in transit from Bali as we speak. Poor thing she's been traveling for over a week now, 4 days of this on buses from the western edge of Flores. Crazy. There are 16 hotels here in Larantuka, and I doubt she's managed to get online to pick up my email telling her which one we're in. So this could be an interesting detective exercise...

Posted on July 7, 2005 8:15 AM