What an incredible island Flores is. It’s one of South East Asia’s best-kept secrets.

But after almost three weeks driving through its amazing lush landscapes and visiting its traditional villages, it was time to drive back to Bali.

I had a long hike down the mountain from Wae Rebo village, then a long drive back to Labuan Bajo.

Complicating matters was I had no idea where I was! Wae Rebo is far off the main road, and the map.

The sea over the fields.
The sea beyond the fields.

Luckily, the SUV full of Indonesian tourists was going to Labuan Bajo too. Their driver had no idea how to explain the route. There were too many turns. He said to just follow it.

It was a long, three hour drive back to the Trans-Flores Highway on terrible roads. The scenery was nice, but it was so hard to keep up with the crazy driving of the SUV I couldn’t stop to enjoy it.

Complicating matters was I was almost out of gas! There were folks selling bottles of gas in villages we sped through, but I couldn’t stop because if I did, I wouldn’t know were to go. I had to keep up with the SUV.

Kids in the field.
Kids in the field.

My ace-in-the hole was the extra tank of gas I had stowed beneath my seat. I figured if I ran out, I’d just use that.

I didn’t need it, and I made it back to the Trans-Flores, where I quickly bought a big bottle of gas. I was surrounded by a crowd of curious onlookers.

There are two ways to Wae Rebo. To get there I took the route from Ruteng. The place I came out was the turn-off on the Trans-Flores with the huge sign that says “Wae Rebo.” Only there are no more signs marking the way after this one.

I still had about three hours on the highway. I made it back to Labuan Bajo late, and splurged on delicious fresh seafood.

Tomorrow I would take the ferry back to Sumbawa.

An incredible sunset outside of Labuan Bajo.
An incredible sunset outside of Labuan Bajo.
I'm Terry, former cubicle-dweller, and now traveler, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. I quit my job in 2014 to travel to US national parks, then to South East Asia. I write about independent, flexible, long-term, budget travel. Sign up to my newsletter to get the latest news on what I'm up to. I hope you join me on my trek around the world.

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