Jan 31, 2011

Kanawa - Indonesian snorkeling spot

There is not much you can do on Kanawa. Snorkeling, suntanning, socializing and playing chess would deplete the choice. But if you do snorkel...

We landed in Labuanbajo, Flores, east of Bali, and were quite depressed - shabby town in the middle of nowhere, hot and not much friendly. After not being able to rent a car on our own, without driver, we gave up on travelling across Flores and bought a trip to Kanawa, small island managed by local hotel Gardena.

For 20 euros for 2 you get to be taken by boat of suspicious condition to Kanawa and back with one night stay in bungalow on the beach. Additional day costs another 20. And then you are, on tiny, rocky, dried up piece of land with ten shabby bungalows on the beach and office-restaurant haunted by tens of Indonesians without particular functions.

Frankly speaking, there is lot to concern about - neglected huts without fans, closing windows and decent bed nets; outside toilet with water running only from 6 - 10 PM; poor service not much willing to cooperate and not much tasty food served also only since 6 PM. Earlier they advise you to snack on crackers. Advertising is much exaggerated!

However, it's hard to deny that the beach and landscape is kind of idyllic as snorkeling just couldn't be better. Reef is very close, all around island and in pretty good shape so turtles, reef sharks, murenas and barracudas are easy to spot along with poisonous catfish. It's quite there, romantic and with a bit of luck can get socially interesting - we spent 3 days with young folks from Finland, Germany, France and Italy and even made some good friends.

From both Labuanbajo (hotel Gardena or any local tourism office on the main street)and Kanawa, you can organize boat trip to Komodo Island or Rinca to see famous Komodo dragons.

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