Justin and Gill recently returned from Alami Alor in Eastern Indonesia.
Alor feels quite different – no beach, several villages and small homes near by, the sound of call to prayer from different directions, ferries and fishing boats. It feels like you are in Indonesia – but definitely not a tourist area ( Justin was surreptitiously photographed by women at Kupang airport!). The resort is probably not a place for non-divers unless they are happy to sit on the porch and read.
The resort feels quite small and contained. The rooms and gardens are extremely well kept, bedrooms are really spacious and very comfortable. Fabulous views from your window, great AC and well designed bathroom.
Food and service is very high quality – they work on a clear timetable during the day – for meals, menu etc. This makes sense in terms of working with and training staff – but they were not really up for flexing this – e.g to a packed lunch, so we could stay out on the reef. So very lovely but with a not very flexible regime.
Our experience is influenced by the fact we were the only ones there, or there with one other couple. So this made it very quiet. But we also got to have lots of space on the boat and have choice in sites. As all meals are family style we got to spend quite a lot of time with Max and Lauren who were great – we really liked them and enjoyed their company. They run the place extremely well.
– most importantly the dive sites are really fantastic.
If people like muck diving and are keen to see the top list critters this is definitely for them. The regime is two dives out of the bay in reef area and the third as a muck in the bay. We also did a number of night dives in the muck area – they were very accommodating about these. The house reef is also very good- baby blacktips and some nice coral patches. The visibility when we were there was pretty awful for the first few days, but got a lot better. Highlights included the anemone fields which were just amazing, hammerheads (hooray), a thresher shark, watching local fisherman dive down to their pots, the caves which were fantastic, great walls, and the incredible diversity and density of fish. Not so much big wow stuff but some very interesting and beautiful sites. And tons of tiny fish.
The currents are complex, change frequently and seem highly unpredictable. As there is only one boat at the moment you will dive to the ability of the least able diver which might restrict options (we suspect a full boat will feel pretty full). We frequently went to a site but moved to another due to current – the fact there are so many options made this part of the adventure. I think they err on the side of caution – and don’ for example do drift dives.
The boat crew and Max and Lauren combine a relaxed atmosphere with professionalism – really good briefings and always a very well managed boat
So all on all a success – thank you. And if you are going there with a group I think you will have a fabulous time. And if you really like rhinopia you will be in heaven.0