Flores Diving Komodo Waters
Flores lays on the eastern side of the Indonesian Archipelago. Best know to be the gate to the Komodo National Park. Dotted with fabulous beaches, Flores is blessed with a world class pristine underwater eco system. This corner of the world belongs to the triangle formed by the Philippines, Bali and papua New Guinea. This triangle has the richest underwater fauna and flora in the world. The Island on the north west of Flores are home to more than 1000 fish species, from giant pelagics, sharks, whales, and mantas to the tiniest of pipefish. I was heading to Labuan Bajo, Flores capital to dive of course and to discover the National Park and its giant lizards called the Komodo Dragons.
I met Moritz in the plane we both boarded in Bali. During the short hour flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo we found so many common interests – photography and diving among others – that we decided to catch up in town. Moritz founded and runs the Komodo Dive Centre, a first class diving facility that offers day trips that include a stop on Komodo Island and a visit of the Park and liveaboard several days adventures.
We explored the east of the Island during the next few days. Flores is a large island of some 13,500 Km2 and home to nearly 2 millions mostly Christian Indonesians. Portuguese traders and missionaries landed in this paradise in the 16th century and their influence is still palpable. In 1851, the Portuguese governor sold half of the Island the the Dutch who soon took over the entire territory.
Flores became part on the independent Indonesia after the second world war. With such rich history the local people and traditions are well worth the discovery. But nature has much to offer to the visitors. The Kelimutu is a volcano containing three amazing coloured lakes. Their colours change depending on the oxydation state of the waters. So you will not take the same picture as the visitors who preceded you. Traditional villages have an architecture which is unique to Flores. The rice fields are often shaped like spider webs. The traditionall way of dividing the communal land among farmers is very specific to the island. Each member of the village lays one or two hands – depending on his rank and status – at the center of the field and rays are drawn outwards. Those having laid two hands will inherit of larger field. The island is dotted with caves, hidden valleys, pristine beaches mostly untouched. Its coffee is famous around the world for its heavy body and sweet chocolate and floral notes.
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Copyright : The Tribe Press Agency / Photos Moritz Drabusenigg, words Jacques Maudy
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