Sunday, December 29, 2013

foiled plans

The arrival hall in Labuan Bajo, Flores is one roomed with an open window which serves as baggage claim. With the hoards of passengers fighting their way to their bags, Esther and I hung back for a while waiting for the crowds to dissipate. On the walls hung giant posters advertising hotels, tour packages and the must-see's of Flores. I slowly circled the room, stopping 3/4ths the way around at a corner. There, on the wall, showed a picture of where I couldn't have a greater desire to see. The Ngadha and Wae Rebo hill tribes. The people looked intriguing, and their architecture, amazing. It was a bit of a jaunt to reach them, but something I was more than willing to do, and thankfully Esther was too.

But it was our two day Komodo adventure, with its buffering relaxation days that stretched our time thin. Time that was very quickly running out... for me. My 30 day Indonesian visa was five days away from expiring. And the journey alone from one side of the island to the other with tribal visits would swallow a week's worth of days.

We spent precious hours debating what could be done. But the other wrench in the plans was Esther's already renewed visa, which was set to expire in 12 days time. No matter what, she'd have to leave the country in order to renew it a second time around. Even if we flew to the other side of the island, and waited the presumed amount of days for my visa to be processed (which took 9 of for Esther's to be processed in Bali) she would have to leave a handful of days later. That is when we made a spur of the moment decision to make a visa run into East Timor and hailed a taxi to the airport. 

1 comment:

Patti said...

I can hardly wait to hear the rest of the story.