I just arrived in Flores last night after a three day/two night boat trip from Lombok. Usually these types of tourist trips are really my thing. However transportation between Lombok and Flores is pretty limited, particularly if you want to make a stop in Komodo. I must say, even though it's not the sort of thing I would typically do, the boat trip was wonderful. The first day is spent driving across Lombok in a bus. They stop at various sights such as a Tobacco farm, and a village where they weave bamboo baskets. This part of the trip was not the most exciting, but still a little bit interesting. Once on the eastern most part of Lombok you board a boat, which is your home for the next three days. They take you to various islands, most of which are uninhabited and great for snorkeling. You are given three meals a day, and a place to sleep on the boat. For those willing to spring the extra rupiah, you are provided with a cabin on board, but for those such as myself who are too cheap, you have to sleep on deck. The food was great. They really do go all out at meal time. The sleeping arrangements were cramped. There is about a dozen people all crammed in to this little room on the boat. On the second night, I bundled up and slept outside. It was a little chilly, but being able to sleep beneath a sea of stars was well worth it. One afternoon, while travelling between islands, we were accompanied by a school of dolphins. I have never seen a dolphin before, so this was an exciting event for me. One of them jumped up beside me, so close I could have touched it.
On the second day the tour guide dropped a bomb. He informed us that it is actually quite rare to see a Komodo Dragon on the island. Out of the last four groups that went on this trip, only one were able to get a glimpse of the prehistoric creatures. I was extremely disappointed upon hearing this. Seeing the Komodo Dragons was my main reason for coming on this trip. As it turns out we saw not just one, but two dragons when we were on the island. I guess we were among the lucky few. They sort of look like big, ugly, long-necked Iguana's. I took a lot of pictures (sorry, Indonesian Internet is too slow, so I won't get a chance to post them until I get home). It was an unforgettable experience.
So far Flores is beautiful. The people seem really friendly. The only down side is the transportation around the island. Buses seem to run infrequently and getting to any destination seems to take at least two days. If you look on the bright side of things, I guess it gives you a chance to see more of the country.