This account is compiled from my little notebook and from emails sent to friends during my two month journey from Denpasar in Bali to the island of Morotai in Maluku, travelling east and then north via Lombok, Flores, Sumbawa, Lembata, Alor, West Timor, Ternate, Tidore, and Halmahera in the northern Spice Islands.
I have just a rather vague itinerary for this year's trip (not unusual) with the ultimate destination being Halmahera in North Maluku, travelling via the islands of Nusa Tenggara, east and then north. From reading other travellers' reports, it seems that if I can survive independent travel through Lombok - reportedly daylight robbery attempted at every turn - then the rest should be OK - more or less! I've read about the notorious bus journeys on long and winding roads through the island of Flores, but if I can limit my travel to four of five hours a day it should be survivable.
Arriving at Denpasar airport around midnight Sunday August 1, I did my usual trick to avoid the taxi touts, walking outside beyond the gates to the main road to catch a regular cab to the always good Nakula Familiar Inn. Slept late next morning and decided to stay a second night. Tuesday morning I walked to the Ubung bus terminal and a bus to the ferry to Lembar, on the Island of Lombok, to the east.
I found a room at Losmen Tidar, the only hotel - I'd stayed there one night two years before. Behind the façade, it's a dirty mossie trap with none of the good food listed in Lonely Planet. I awoke from pussycat-stroking dreams to find a 'tikus besar hitam' - A BIG BLACK RAT, sniffing my hand! I had been eating peanuts before bed and I guess the smell attracted him; he wasn't in a hurry to leave either as he slinked off the bed and out through the hole in the door - rat-flap ….?
Continue reading in 'The Travels of the Lincot Man'