Cruising back West to Lombok

Cruising back West to Lombok

Clock ticking, it was with some reluctance that, after my third day of diving, I walked off the dive boat and instead of turning left at the end of the jetty to head up to Paradise Bar for Sunset Bintangs, headed the other way to make my way to the commercial harbour and onto the next leg of the journey.

I’d met some fantastic people – Guy from Dive Komodo was a great divemaster, Erin the random Aussie (never quite worked out what she was doing on Flores) was huge fun over fish kebabs and two sisters from my old home Jersey – dive buddy Sarah and the LOVELY Emily – were rare examples of un-annoying Brits in SE Asia.

But, onwards now – for the next two nights and two days I’d be on the Perama boat, heading west from Labuan Bajo to Lombok, via stops on Rinca, Gili Moyo, the village of Labuan Haji and Gili Laba. Perama are the godfathers of Eastern Indonesian tourism – impeccable Western standards of customer care hooked up with irrepressible Balinese hospitality and friendship. Not dirt cheap, but ultra reliable and absolutely vital if, like me, you’ve only got limited time to get about.

Our boat, Perama 114, is a 23m traditional Phinisi schooner with a choice between a handful of cramped cabins or deck class – sleep where you want, assuming a crew member hasn’t put their mat down first. When the engine’s running, there’s power and water and when it isn’t there isn’t. Food is a simple combination of rice, fish, chicken, salad and noodles served with smiles by the friendly crew. Just two shared shower/toilets sounds a bit limiting, but both are basically wet rooms open to the sea, so are surprisingly clean and pleasant. There’s cold beer until the ice melts, then it’s warm Bintang all the way, but great company and awesome sunsets make up for any absent “luxuries” of civilisation.

I slept on deck the first night, waking at dawn as we motored steadily towards Rinca for a perfect couple of hours sitting out on the bow drinking indo sludge coffee and getting my besok and bagus confused (Bahasa for “tomorrow” and “good”), much to the amusement of the crew.

Perama 114

Perama 114

Cargo boat, Labuan Bajo harbour

First night drinks on Perama boat

My bed for the night

Wakey wakey...

Perama 114 crew

Sailing into the night

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Responses to Cruising back West to Lombok

  1. James Clark says:

    Hi Christian, great review of your boat trip. I was in Lombok and was contemplating the Perama boat tour, but I ran out of visa time. Something I still want to do.

    I liked you “random Aussie” comment as well. I tell you there there seems to be a random Aussie everywhere you go, closely followed by random Dutchmen.

    • Christian says:

      It was a highlight of the trip James – I was lucky in that the dates worked for me. VERY impressed with the pics on your blog – looking forward to a proper look around that – I’m new to all this but enjoying learning!

  2. Sabina says:

    Oh, I would love to spend a couple of nights on a boat like that! Nice! How was it sleeping on the deck?

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