We have booked our liveaboard to Raja Ampat, so now we need flights. One of my tricks to finding out what airlines fly to where we need to go is to go onto the airport website of the city where we need to end up. In this case it is Sorong, West Papua. I check out the Arrivals and Departures information for airlines and where they are coming from. This time it was a little difficult because I could not find the Arrivals and Departures info, just lots of government type info.
So, I resort to Skyscanner and wego and get a list of airlines and cities to fly from. And now the hard work begins. It takes days working on and off in between my activities. I ask questions to Murray….”Do you want to fly through Jakarta or Singapore?” “Do you want to fly Garuda?” His answer was preferably NO to the Garuda question as he was not impressed with them a long time ago when he was in Indonesia.
We narrow things down and start asking ourselves, “Are we going to do some touring while we are across the ocean, or just scuba dive and go home?” Should we stop on another island and dive more, since we are there, of course. We make a decision to stop on Sulawesi as Murray as wanted to go there for a long time.
While we book a dive resort to stay in on Sulawesi and continue our search for flights, we get a call from our friends L&R.
L&R had just spent time on a Wild Frontiers tour in China where they met an American tour participant who happens to be a tour guide, and lives, in Japan. L&R got quite excited about visiting Japan, and since we had discussed this possibility with them awhile ago, they wanted to know if we wanted to go to Japan in the fall. Well, what luck!
We explained that we were booked for September already and if they wanted to go to Japan in October, we would meet them in Tokyo on our way home. They agreed that this plan would be great!
After some more searching of flights, we found a definite route to Sorong. We book the flights backwards. Short haul ones first and long haul second. We give ourselves sometimes a night, or a day in most places to catch our breath and stretch our legs. We double and triple and quadruple check the time zones and crossing the international date line. After much angst and charging of credit cards, we have flights (backwards, of course!):
Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia to Sorong, West Papua return
Singapore to Manado return
Vancouver to Singapore outgoing
Singapore to Tokyo, stopover Tokyo, then Toyko to Vancouver coming home.
Edmonton to Vancouver return
The next step is to book hotels in the myriad of cities we are traveling through.