The bus drove through the night, arriving in the eastern port town of Sape at 8am, just in time for the ferry to Labuanbajo in Flores. The helpful tout dude from Maluk yesterday ripped me off good an’ proper. I paid 150,000 Indonesian Rupiah for a ferry ticket that was worth 40,000. 150,000 is about US$17: enough for three nights accommodation in a Indonesian flea pit hotel. I may have to return to Maluk and kill him.
He also lied about the speed of the boat: this was NO ‘fast boat’, it was slower than a West African internet connection and didn’t get me to Labuanbajo until it was almost dark. This a merry man did me not make. I checked into the cheapest joint in town and headed out to find out the times of the ferries leaving Flores for Kupang in West Timor. Easier said than done. According to the Lonely Planet there was a boat leaving Larantuka on Wednesday which sounded good, but nobody could give me confirmation and Larantuka is one the far, far east of the long skinny island of Flores – two days drive from here. It was doubtful I could make it in time without spending a ridiculous amount ($200!!) on a taxi. Like in Splash.
Unfortunately for me there was no confirmation, timetable, inkling nor educated guess on offer with regards to if, when and where the next ferry to Timor would be leaving FROM ANYWHERE ON THE ISLAND. I would have to visit the port first thing in the morning and see if they could help me.
I settled in for the night in a great little bar called The Lounge which (if I had arrived earlier) would have been a great place to watch the sun set.