May 13th, 2018
Here we are on the brink of another Sabretoothed Chickens adventure, this time to another part of Indonesia – The Emerald of the Equator. For the first time, it will be a little different with only three departing. Prunella and our two youngest, Reuben and Felix heading to the Lesser Sunda Islands.
A little background…
This adventure came about as our family is evolving to be less consumer with a focus on experiences and connections. So last year we decided that instead of major Christmas 2017 or birthday 2018 presents, we would start a tradition where the boys are increasingly involved in planning and taking trips. A natural progression to our travels as our boys grow in independence.
We wanted to acknowledge that they are growing up and their interests are diverging. We wanted to try to create trips customised and personalised to their individual desires, within the limits of the resources we have as a family. As our eldest, Lucas, turned 13 this year, we thought it would be amazing for him to go with just Graham on a trip – a little “coming of (teen)age” trip. Having travelled extensively overseas of late, he chose to see more of our great country and travel to Sydney. Read about their adventures too…
Prunella turned to our other two boys and asked, “Where would you like to go?” Reuben (10 years old) said Japan and Felix (now 9) said he wanted to see the Komodo Dragons. After deciding we couldn’t really do both; weighing up time, budget and other considerations, we decided it would be Indonesia this year and maybe Japan another time? Our rough budget was under AUS$2000 all inclusive for the three of us, the time period about two weeks and the ultimate goal to finally meet the Komodo dragons.
About eight months before departure we started to make flexible plans for this adventure. First we booked some super cheap air fares via Denpasar, sketched out a rough plan to fly to Ende on the opposite side of Flores, head overland to Labuan Bajo then a boat trip to Komodo, Bali and home. Lots of research. Next, we booked in five couchsurfing hosts (choosing to stay with locals, where possible) and an end of our overland leg, Lux treat, as we would be weary by then. We realised the boys’ passports would be not be valid for six months duration by May, so had to renew them both. The night before, the boys enjoyed exploring our route via Google Earth. The rest we filled in as we went.
By coincidence we left on (Australian) Mothers Day. We had time to enjoy a lovely morning together plus a Korean feast for lunch with the extended family. We packed our bags sticking to our under 7kg per person limit. With a bit of juggling we ended up with two bigger backpacks, two small daypacks and a travel handbag. Prunella also took a money belt travel pouch to keep valuables together and concealed.
After 8pm we excitedly boarded the plane at Perth Airport and the Komodo Dragon Kaper began…