#2285 – 2019 Spring Trip to SE Asia (Part IV: Labuan Bajo)

ENGLISH

Posts in the 2019 Spring Trip to SE Asia series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Bali
3. Part II: Bali
4. Part III: The Flights to/from Labuan Bajo
5. Part IV: Labuan Bajo
6. Part V: The Komodo National Park (1)
7. Part VI: The Komodo National Park (2)
8. Part VII: Yogyakarta
9. Part VIII: Singapore
10. Part IX: Back to Europe

In total we spent four days and three nights in the Komodo region. Of which, three days and two nights were spent on a boat exploring the Komodo National Park; and the rest was spent around Labuan Bajo. This post focuses on the latter, while the former will be covered in two future posts 😀 .

***

Arriving at Labuan Bajo

We were joined by six of my mom’s friends on this part of the trip. They took an earlier flight from Surabaya, and we all met at the Komodo Airport after our Garuda Indonesia Explore flight arrived from Bali.

To get around Labuan Bajo, we hired two taxis (well, or three when we were travelling from/to the airport, haha). From the airport, we were provided with a cool view of the small town and its busy port. The port was our destination as it was where we would be taken onto our phinisi ship for our adventure in the Komodo National Park. Two days later, we were picked up at the same port and were taken to our hotel where we would stay for a night before leaving the next day.

Labuan Bajo and the port.

We were very lucky on this trip, btw, where the weather was really good during our entire time on the boat. In the afternoon after our Komodo National Park afternoon ended, it started to rain cats and dogs. And not only that, it was super windy too! It would have been very inconvenient, to say the very least, had we still been on our boat trip at the time!

Look at that cloud!

Luckily that was pretty much the only time when the weather was bad. We had half a day the next day and thankfully the weather was good. Our guide recommended us to visit a place called “Batu Cermin” (roughly translated as the “Mirror Stone”) during this half a day; and so we did.

Batu Cermin and the bamboo forest

In short, Batu Cermin was a limestone cave nearby Labuan Bajo. We had to walk through a small bamboo forest to get to the cave, which was quiet cool even though there were a lot, lot of mosquitoes, haha 😆 . To the point that we were actually given mosquitoes repellant at the ticket counter, lol.

Batu Cermin

It turned out we had to crawl to get in the cave through a small and short opening, which was really cool! For protection, some construction helmets were given to us who were willing to go in. I, of course, did, haha. The helmet was very important, btw, as I had to crawl really, really low, and a few times my head “bumped” the low ceiling of the small opening. To be honest, I felt a little bit like Indiana Jones! Haha 😆

Protective helmets at Batu Cermin

It turned out the cave used to be under water. As such, we could see several fossils of sea creatures “attached” to the wall. There was even a fossil of a tortoise … on the ceiling of the cave. It was really cool!

A tortoise fossil at Batu Cermin

For the believers, there was a mysterious and interesting part of the cave wall. The part’s colour was lighter than the rest, and it resembled the form of a woman in a veil. Some interpreted it as Mother Mary, the other as Guanyin, etc.

The white part of the cave wall in Batu Cermin Cave resembling a woman in a veil

The reason why the cave was named “Batu Cermin” was the special opening deep inside it. When the time was right, light would enter the cave through the opening which would light up the cave. Unfortunately, it was not one of those time.

From Batu Cermin, we went to the fish market of Labuan Bajo. One of my mom’s friends told us that the “ikan cara” (cara fish) was very famous and hence would be a good gift. In short, ikan cara was basically Labuan Bajo’s version of salted dried fried fish. It had strong smell, though, but the seller was experienced enough to pack it tight for us to bring on a flight.

The Labuan Bajo Fish Market

Speaking of the food, naturally Labuan Bajo was famous for its seafood, haha. So for our last meal before going to the airport, we had lunch at a famous seafood restaurant there. The food was good, though I found it to be rather spicy, haha. But of course there were options other than seafood. The evening before, as I was quiet “tired” of seafood, I ordered a Floresian pork dish, which was also nice 😀 .

Seafood at Labuan Bajo

From the restaurant, we all went to the airport to catch our flights. My mom’s friends would go back to Surabaya while we would go to Yogyakarta (via Jakarta).

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri Perjalanan Musim Semi 2019 ke Asia Tenggara:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Bali
3. Part II: Bali
4. Part III: The Flights to/from Labuan Bajo
5. Part IV: Labuan Bajo
6. Part V: The Komodo National Park (1)
7. Part VI: The Komodo National Park (2)
8. Part VII: Yogyakarta
9. Part VIII: Singapore
10. Part IX: Back to Europe

Totalnya kami menghabiskan waktu selama empat hari dan tiga malam di Komodo. Yang mana, tiga hari dan dua malam dihabiskan di atas kapal untuk menjelajahi Taman Nasional Komodo; dan sisanya dihabiskan di sekitar kota Labuan Bajo. Posting ini akan fokus pada yang kedua, sementara yang pertama akan kuceritakan di dua posting terpisah nantinya 😀 .

***

Tiba di Labuan Bajo

Enam orang temannya mamaku bergabung bersama kami di perjalanan ini. Mereka menaiki penerbangan yang sudah mendarat lebih dulu dari Surabaya, dan kami bertemu di Bandara Komodo setelah penerbangan Garuda Indonesia Explore kami tiba dari Bali.

Untuk berkeliling Komodo, kami menyewa dua taksi (eh, tiga sih untuk pergi dari/ke bandaranya, haha). Dari bandara, kami mendapatkan pemandangan yang kece dari kota kecil dan pelabuhannya ini. Pelabuhannya sendiri adalah tempat tujuan pertama kami karena di sana lah kami akan diantar ke kapal pinisi kami untuk menjelajahi Taman Nasional Komodo. Dua hari kemudian, kami mendarat dan juga dijemput di pelabuhan ini untuk menuju hotel kami dimana kami akan menginap semalam sebelum pulang keesokan harinya.

Labuan Bajo dan pelabuhannya.

Kami beruntung banget di perjalanan ini dimana cuacanya oke banget di sepanjang waktu kami di atas kapal. Di sore harinya setelah penjelajahan di Taman Nasional Komodo kami selesai, tiba-tiba hujan deras dong di sana. Dan bukan itu saja, anginnya kencang banget! Wuih, membayangkan berada di atas kapal di bawah cuaca seperti itu kan nggak enak banget ya! Malah mungkin bisa jadi seram!

Lihat deh itu awannya!

Beruntung cuma kali itu saja sih cuacanya kurang oke. Keesokan harinya kami memiliki waktu setengah harian di sana dan untungnya cuacanya baik. Guide kami merekomendasikan untuk mengunjungi tempat yang namanya “Batu Cermin” di waktu ini. Ya sudah kami pergi ke sana.

Batu Cermin dan hutan bambunya

Secara singkat, Batu Cermin adaah gua batu kapur (limestone) tidak jauh dari Labuan Bajo. Kami harus berjalan melewati hutan bambu kecil dulu sebelum mencapai guanya, yang mana lumaya keren juga, kecuali nyamuknya banyak banget di sana, haha 😆 . Sampai-sampai kami juga diberi lotion anti nyamuk di loket tiket, haha.

Batu Cermin

Ternyata dong ya untuk masuk ke guanya kita harus berjalan merangkak dan merayap melalui lubang gua yang kecil dan pendek, yang mana keren dah! Untuk pengaman, helm konstruksi diberikan bagi mereka yang mau masuk. Jelas dong aku mau, haha. Helmnya beneran penting loh, karena aku benar-benar harus merangkak pendek banget dan beberapa kali kepalaku “membentur” langit-langit lubangnya yang memang pendek banget. Tapi bener deh, rasanya kayak Indiana Jones! Haha 😆 .

Helm pengaman di Batu Cermin

Ternyata dulunya gua ini berada di bawah laut. Sebagai akibatnya, kita bisa melihat banyak fosil binatang-binatang laut “menempel” di dinding guanya. Bahkan ada fosil penyu … di langit-langit gua dong. Keren dah!

Fosil penyu di Batu Cermin

Untuk yang percaya nih, ada bagian tembok gua yang menarik dan misterius. Bagian ini berwarna lebih terang daripada sekitarnya, dan bentuknya bisa dipandang menyerupai bentuk seorang wanita dengan kerudung. Ada yang menginterpretasikannya sebagai Bunda Maria, ada yang sebagai Dewi Kwan Im, dll.

Bagian putih di dalam gua Batu Cermin yang nampak seperti wanita berkerudung.

Alasan mengapa guanya bernama “Batu Cermin” adalah lubang spesial yang berada di dalam perut gua. Jika waktunya tepat, cahaya masuk melalui lubang itu yang membuat terang seisi gua. Sayangnya waktu itu bukan lah waktu yang tepat ini.

Dari Batu Cermin, kami pergi ke pasar ikan di Labuan Bajo. Salah seorang temannya mamaku bilang bahwa “ikan cara” sangat terkenal dan cocok untuk dijadikan oleh-oleh. Bisa dibilang ikan cara ini adalah ikan asin a la Labuan Bajo gitu deh, haha. Aromanya kuat banget, btw, tapi penjualnya sangat berpengalaman kok untuk membungkusnya dengan rapat untuk bisa kita bawa di pesawat.

Pasar Ikan Labuan Bajo

Ngomongin makanan, jelas dong ya di Labuan Bajo mah banyak seafood-nya, haha. Jadiah untuk makan terakhir kami di sana sebelum harus pergi ke bandara, kami makan siang di sebuah restoran seafood yang terkenal di sana. Masakannya enak sih, tapi bagiku terasa pedas aja gitu, haha. Tapi tentu saja ya pilihan selain seafood juga ada di Labuan Bajo. Semalam sebelumnya, karena sudah “bosan” dengan seafood, aku makan sebuah masakan babi ala Flores, yang mana juga terasa enak 😀 .

Seafood di Labuan Bajo

Dari restorannya, kami semua harus pergi ke bandara untuk mengejar penerbangan kami. Teman-temannya mamaku terbang kembali ke Surabaya sementara kami akan pergi ke Yogyakarta (dengan transit di Jakarta).

BERSAMBUNG…

Advertisements

15 Comments Add yours

  1. nyonyasepatu says:

    Ikannyaaaaa Zi, seger2

    1. zilko says:

      Iya, menggoda banget ya ikan-ikannya Non

  2. Eky says:

    Haha merayap berasa Indiana Jones :))

    Duduk manis nungguin cerita di national park-nya!

  3. pinkuonna says:

    Seru baca ceritanya..Apalagi pas bagian merayap masuk ke gua…Jadi ikut ngebayangin gimana kalau aku yang merayap di sana 🙂

    1. zilko says:

      Iya, berasa banget petualangannya!! 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s