Labuan Bajo***continue photo upload here
Wiki Labuan Bajo
Return from Seraya Island, very low tide so we wade out to deeper water where their small boat can take us to the bigger boat back. Met and chatted with a couple of young Berlin surgeons (Frieder and Sonja) on vacation, on our way back to Labuan Bajo. Once back we have to wait several hours for our room at Gardena to be ready since the one we had 'reserved' had been taken, I guess reservations don't mean much. While we wait we have a good chance to chat with other tourists who are waiting to go to Seraya...more Dutch, a family in particular whose son is married to a Jakarta native. The father is an electrical engineer/mathematician working for NXP Semiconductors (part of Philips company in Holland), has been for over 25 years. Very interesting to hear his view and assessment of his work and economy and euro in general. He sounded optimistic that all would be done that was necessary to save the euro. This coincided with the view by Frieder, German doctor, who also thought in the end they had no choice but to go forward with the euro. I'm not sure they understand the implications of going forward but who knows. They are all professionals and have a stake in seeing things come out well whereas the unemployed and more middle or lower class may not have as much to lose and have a different view from the bottom of the economic ladder.
Today we check out from Gardena since we join the 'tour' with Perama boat for 2 days to Lombok via Rinca and (......................), ending up on the 20th in Senggigi.
While we wait having breakfast we meet up again with Dutch mother, Micker, and daughter, Joan, who've returned from Seraya. The mother is taking her daughter on this trip as a graduation present having gotten her degree in Industrial Design, the same area of expertise that two Swedish fellows we met earlier who'd just finished their doctorate project sponsored by Electrolux. We also met a couple who've been traveling for a number of years, he UK, she Dutch, and shared many of the same experiences and insights with them w.r.t. travel, tourism, society in general. I'm somewhat amazed when we meet people who have the same ideas as if I expect us to be the only ones who've noticed these things yet if you are at all atuned to what's happening and really have your eyes open and your brain working you can't help but think the same thoughts!
As it turns out we find that perhaps the fiasco with transportation to Moni was a present in disguise! Here in Labuan Bajo today, the Indonesian president is arriving and all transport will be interrupted for the next 3 days between here and Ruteng where he scheduled to go today. If we had gone to Moni we most likely would have been trying to return today and because of this 'glitch' we might very well have been stranded in some town the other side of Ruteng or Ruteng itself and missed our boat tonight! Bon always says that things turn out the way they are meant to, we just do not know at the time how this will be. I'm too much a twit sometimes, impatient with not knowing how things will turn out. My abilities to 'Be-Here-Now' often have to be relearned. But after soo many instances where all has come out for the better, maybe my mind is beginning to accept this and I can take the opportunity to relax and enjoy each moment as it comes!
The couple we spoke with earlier today had a harrowing tale of bus crash in Cambodia in February. They said contrary to other reports, either the brakes on the bus failed on the way down a switchback section of road or the driver tried to switch to a lower gear and failed. Instead of pulling the bus over early on the driver continued and made one turn only to find that the speed of the bus increased and he was never able to brake or get it back into gear. Miraculously, he maintained the bus on the road through several more switchbacks until it reached a straight stretch but because the bus suffered tire damage and in rocking back and forth, fell on it's side sliding several hundred meters before stopping.
And we thought our tiny bus incident was bad, ha! These folks were injured but lived to tell about it. Angels are out there somewhere.
Video News Report of Accidentl
U Tube Video of Accident
We boarded the Perama boat about 6pm and once settled in with the 16 other passengers (3 Czech, 2 French, 2 Americans(honeymooners), 2 Spanish, one Icelander - our first- and 6 Dutch) we were treated with a very fine meal/party with 19 other tourist types who had just arrived after their 3 day trip from .... Music, crew and some passengers dancing plus just chatting, getting to know the others on board.