Posts Tagged With: flores

An angel on the sea

a part of the angel island's beach

a part of the angel island’s beach

Angel is always associated with beauty. I think everybody agree with it, since we haven’t’ heard nor seen an ugly angel. So everything that bears the name of angel must be pretty  🙂

Off the shore of Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia, there is a small island that bears the name of angel. The island is known as Pulau Bidadari, which can be translated literally as the Angel Island. The island is within the Komodo National Park area. Traveler can reach the island in 20 minutes boat trip embarked from Labuan Bajo.

The island has beautiful sandy beach with calm and clear water which is good for swimming. The sands on the beach are unique, because it has pinkish color. Some part of the beach has decorated with corals.

Unfortunately most of the 15 hectares island is privately managed by a resort operator, and opened only for them who spend their days in the resort. Only a small part of the island that is opened for public. Because of that, the small part is always crowded by travelers who just want to spend a short time on the beach on their way to or from Komodo Island.

At that time, on my way back from Komodo Island, I was also stopped by at that free-small-part of the island. I admit that the beach where I stopped by was quite pretty. Can you imagine how pretty it was on the other side of the island which is said more beautiful than the public part?

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Sunset over the port of Labuan Bajo

As I said in my previous post, Labuan Bajo is the main city of West Manggarai District in Flores. It is located at the western part of Flores Island, Indonesia. Beside can be reached through the air, Labuan Bajo can also be reached through the sea. The former small fishing village now is one of the centers of tourism. Many ships mooring around the port of Labuan Bajo transporting local and foreign travelers who want to visit Flores and many interesting small islands off the shore of Labuan Bajo.

the port of Labuan Bajo as seen from atop of a nearby hill

the port of Labuan Bajo as seen from atop of a nearby hill

It is said that in the past, the place was the landing point of Bajo tribe fishermen that came from Sulawesi. In the local language, to land can also be translated as “berlabuh”. Thus the name Labuan Bajo was derived from “tempat berlabuh suku Bajo” or the place where the Bajos were landed.

After visited the Batu Cermin Cave, in my way back to the hotel, I passed through a hill overlooking the busy port of Labuan Bajo. I decided to stop for a while to see the port from a far. Fortunately, not too far from the place I stopped, there is a local café where travelers can spend time to enjoy sunset while sipping a cup of hot Flores Coffee. So . . . I followed my friends who directly went to the café and ordering a cup of Flores Coffee to be brought to the verandah overlooking the sea to watch the sun took its daily break while sipping the delicious coffee  🙂

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Journey to the darkness

Last November, I visited Labuan Bajo, the main city of West Manggarai District in Flores. It needed more than 1 hour flight from Denpasar, Bali, to Labuan Bajo, Flores, since Flores is located far to the east of Bali.

The journey to the darkness happened when I went in a natural cave not too far from Labuan Bajo. The cave is known as Gua Batu Cermin or Batu Cermin Cave. Literally, the word ‘batu cermin’ can be translated into ‘mirror stone’, so Gua Batu Cermin can also means the cave of the mirror stone. It has its name since in a certain time, usually in the morning, the sun rays that penetrate the cave darkness through a small gap at the cave’s ceiling will be reflected to a certain wall inside the cave. The reflection is very bright so that the usually pitch-dark interior will be illuminated and people in the cave can see their surroundings without any torch or flashlight. It is like the rays are reflected by a sheet of mirror.

Gua Batu Cermin (Batu Cermin Cave) is a living cave. It means that its stalactites and stalagmites are still growing. Water is still dripping in some part of the cave which by the passing of time turns into beautiful stalactites and stalagmites formations.

the mouth of the cave

the mouth of the cave

For travellers who want to go into the cave, it is advised to wear a helmet and bring a flashlight as well. Inside the cave is always totally dark except at a certain times when the sun rays are reflected by the wall. In some part, ceilings are so low, travellers should squat or even crawl to enter a chamber behind a low ceilinged corridor. Roots of giant trees outside the cave penetrate through crevasses in the rock and hanging like ropes high above. Travellers can also find small animals that live in the cave, such as bats, spiders, and centipedes.

What is so interesting with the cave? Well, it is believed that the cave was a part of the sea bed in the past. Travellers can still find sea-corral fossils inside the cave, even there is a turtle fossil in one of its wall. The stones in the cave are also glittering with salt crystal when illuminated by the flashlight.

Gua Batu Cermin just founded in 1951 by Theodore Verhoeven, a priest who was also an archaeologist. In 1986, it was opened for public, and then in 1993, after the local government added a stone stair to help travellers who want to go in, the cave’s name started to attract tourists.

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