Home Hunting in Labuan Bajo

It’s my Birthday! Today we’ve started the day with squishy cornflakes (strangely but enjoyably foam like) and a view across the water with the Komodo National Park in the distance – it’s a nice way to begin the end of my twenties, no doubt. Aaron and I plan the day ahead whilst we enjoy a local coffee (think filter coffee without the filtering bit.. mmm, nice, I know but you do get used to it).

First thing is first today, we need a home. We’re back on the bike and taking a look more locally to see what we can find that includes a western toilet, a double bed (not a mattress on the floor) and a solid door and roof… Not too much to ask?

Well, around here these commodities are few and far between from what we learnt on our first day here. We want to be local, that’s one thing we know  so we’ve parked up at the start of town and head up the side roads to ask about home-stays and rooms as best we can.

Not long into our search and we’ve come across a room in a hotel – Solid door, check! Double bed, check! Western Toilet, check! Not to mention, A/C – check! The owner is happy to rent out to us for long stay with breakfast and daily room service included. We’re staring at each other in disbelief. All this for a small percentage more than some of the other awful places we’d seen without the perks of wi-fi, breakfast or dry ceilings. We decide to go and mull over it with a mojito at a local restaurant.. yes, it is only 10.30am but it is also my Birthday though we’re secretly really excited about this place, it’s rude not to!

It’s difficult to decide what you want to pay for accommodation when travelling and what you need from it, there’s always an initial expectation of cost from locals, and standards really vary from place to place as do people’s budgets and necessities from their lodgings- so regardless of advice you have to make your own mind up on what you need and how much you think it’s worth. We decided that for us, it was worth spending a little more, being just a three minutes walk away way from the main strip was neither too close nor too far and the accommodation being off ground level makes us feel more secure as individuals staying here. It’s never easy to commit to a place so early on without really knowing a place but It was clear to us, having seen a large variation of locations and standards of accommodation that we’d struck a great deal here and we are happy to pay for it. So we shake hands, sign papers and get excited about moving in.

We’re not exaggerating when we say it really and truly brightened up our day… (warning: you may need your sunglasses)

(Oh wow – we know!)

The excitement increases tenfold, because now we have it sorted we can go diving! Time to see the Dive Shop, drop-off our gear and sign up for some fun dives tomorrow!

The afternoon is spent blogging and editing through a massive thunderstorm, chatting with family and friends and a quick shower before we head out for a birthday meal.

Dinner is at a little place which looks like a big boat sticking out of the ground, we’ve reserved a spot upstairs on the end of the plank that extends out of the restaurant and into the night over the harbour. Small issue which we didn’t consider, is that it’s extremely busy tonight and we’re in the furthest most isolated location in the entire place, romantic, yes – buuut, we may find ourselves pushed overboard before we eat. Thankfully the food arrives, along with our drinks and the whole evening is a delicious, open aired celebration; up and away from the dusty roads and lit by the glow of the World Cup being played on a big screen inside, we’ve got the bets of both world’s here. We think about how far we’ve come and what we might be doing on any given Tuesday night in London.. Certainly not this. What an Epic birthday.


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