Alor

Sunday 5 May 2019

I was meant to fly to Alor at 9am today. But my flight was cancelled and moved to 12.40pm. Annoying. So another day wasted as I’ve missed diving later today.

In Alor I was picked up for the 1 hour drive over to the dive centre that I’m staying at for the next 5 days.

We drove through small villages, each complete with a big church. The island is Alor is 80% Christian. It’s Sunday which is why I assume it was really busy everywhere. The island is very green and tropical, but no beaches – just volcanic black rocks.

I have my own jungle bungalow with an outdoor bathroom. It’s cute.

It was 3pm by the time I arrived, so no time for doing anything today which was a shame.

Monday 6 May 2019

Time for diving!

The water here can be cold, there are thermoclines down to 19 degrees Celsius. So I was warned to wear my wetsuit. Which I hate.

There were dolphins in the bay, on the way out of the dive centre!

The reefs are amazing. So much diversity in coral. And so untouched. I didn’t see anything that I’ve never seen before, but it was really pretty.

We did 2 dives, before heading back to the dive centre for lunch. Enroute back to land, we saw 2 mola mola on the surface! By the time we jumped into the water they were scared off, so I didn’t manage to get a photo. A shame. Last time I saw mola mola I didn’t get a photo either!

Food is good here – tempeh, tofu, rice and vegetables.

The afternoon dive, at 3pm, was at a muck site in the bay. And it was incredible! I found a halimeda ghost pipefish. I have never seen one of these before!! Every day in Malaysia I looked out for these, but never saw one.

I also found a thorny seahorse and a rhinopia. The guide I had found a rhinopia too. I barely needed him! It was so good.

Sunset is early here and starts around 5.10pm. It was really pretty. Local men rowing past on their small fishing canoes. And the surrounding mosques starting their evening calls to prayer.

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Every day is the same here.

Breakfast (fruit and granola).

2 dives.

Lunch.

More diving.

Sunset.

Dinner.

The diving continued to be great.

⁃ 8 hammerheads (there were more, but I was swept in the current)

⁃ Lots of frog fish

⁃ More halimeda ghost pipefish

⁃ Ornate ghost pipefish

⁃ More rhinopia

⁃ Marbled shrimp

⁃ Hairy shrimp

⁃ Lots of nudibranchs

⁃ Leaf scorpionfish

⁃ Devil scorpionfish

⁃ And the biggest star fish I’ve ever seen in my life! Literally 1m across.

The only thing that is lacking is large schools of fish. There are sometimes many many small fish. But no schools of snapper or jacks.

Alor is easily one of the best places I’ve ever dived. Huge diversity, from reefs to sandy bottoms, from hammerheads to small things.

Friday was my last day of diving. And coupled with the news that my flight tomorrow morning back to Kupang is cancelled. Meaning I’ve also missed my connection to Bali.

So I spent the entire afternoon rebooking a new flight to Bali. Not impressed. Waste of £100.

Saturday 10 May 2019

I did nothing all morning. Went for a short walk. But mostly just nothing.

I was picked up at 10.30am for the one hour drive back to the airport, ready for my rescheduled flight to Kupang.

After a lot of negotiating, I appeared to be able to check my bag all the way to Bali.

But the 1.40pm flight departure time came and went. And no plane. It finally arrived at 2.40pm. So not looking good for the 3pm flight out of Kupang.

Then after speaking with the girls again, they gave me a new luggage tag. My bag is now only going to Kupang.

Indonesian airports are just a continuing mystery of things changing and everything being too difficult for everyone.

By the time we landed in Kupang, it was 3.30pm. And the flight to Bali (the last one of the day) had departed 15 minutes ago. Without everyone on my plane. So frustrating.

It took over 2 hours for the airline to accept any kind of responsibility and book me (and all the other people) onto new flights. And after refusing to be on tomorrow’s 3pm, I’m now on tomorrow’s 7.15am flight.

So having to spend another night in Kupang. But this time in a crappy hotel near the airport that the airline are paying for. Very unhappy.

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