Born in a big city like Jakarta, has shaped me into who I am today. Living well, went to a decent school and university, got a decent job with… ya, I could say, enough salary. I even don’t have to cross to another island by the boat or to hike another hill only for a living. I am not trying to underestimate people who are doing that way, I even really appreciate what they do.
At least, that’s what I thought last time when I was on Padar island, one of the big islands in Labuan Bajo, Flores. I really appreciate people who are starting to make money in there, that is why no wonder if the price in Labuan Bajo and surrounding island, not much different compared to Jakarta. In some things, the price even higher. As we know, it might not easy for them to get some of the food products in their area, because lack of accessibility and availability to get all of the food products.
The first night we stayed in the small boat, with limited electricity, no AC or fan, no wifi, even worse no phone signal, makes me realize two things. First, how hard my life was if I have to do it for 7 days without those things. And the last, the positive sides, me and my husband tried to live with those limitations with our own way, we talked and laughed more, we shared stories.
He was the one who always gave me his spirit to support and cheers me up. For example, last time when we hike in long and high stairs in Padar island, he kept patiently support me. He always told me that I can do it to the summit, even I am the one who wasn’t feeling that way. For those who already went to Padar island, I am sure you know how it feels. The hills have a lot of stairs till the peak, some even only have stones step. Our tour guide even told us, a few years ago they even did not have the stairs, so people had to hike with little bit steep and slippery land.
As you can see, the island is mostly savanna-covered, surreal landscape fringed by bright green-capped mountains. It’s all surrounded by three turquoise bays and each one of the bay’s beaches has different coloured sands; one is more pearly white (the right one), the other is charcoal black and the third is a baby pink one. Which makes it a very rare combination, yet makes it a very unique island.
The second day actually was my favourite day! Simply because I finally could see the Pink beach. The pink beach was already in our bucket list, even before we got married. And I can’t believe, after 2 years made the bucket list together, we finally made it there! I was speechless and happy at the same time, I feel like I don’t want to leave the beach. After snorkelling for 15 minutes, then I just sat on the beach, felt the pink sands and the sea water on my skin. That was very PINKISH! The wave was a bit strong at that time, which made me and my husband were carried by the waves a few times.
Well, finally I had to face the reality that we had limited times to stay in the pink beach, so we went back to our boat and continued our journey to the Komodo island.
For me Rinca island looked wilder than in Komodo island itself, they also have a seashore, I don’t really know if its allowed and safe to swim in the seashore, but I saw there are few foreigners who swim in there in late afternoon. We can also easily found reindeer, monkey, wild boar, and beautiful birds on this island.
Actually, our tour guide already mentioned that we can’t expect to see Komodo dragons a lot in here, because many of foreigners complained that quite rare they could see Komodo dragons in this island.
Because last time it was already a bit late in the afternoon, like around 3 or 4 pm, we decided to take the short trek one. After 5 minutes walk, we found at least 3-4 Komodo dragons which were in the middle of the forest. Foreign tourists were gathered with their groups and exchange to take pictures with the Komodo.
So we did too!
The sun slowly sets, after accompanying my husband to buy some Komodo souvenirs, then we back to the boat to enjoy our last night in our Garuda boat. We were so lucky that we had a brand new boat with 2 nice crew boat and a very good captain! When we parked our boat on the other side of Komodo island in which a place where the house of villagers lived in, all of sudden came two little kiddos who paddled their ‘boat’ which was only made of thick styrofoam, came close to our boat.
Yes, they came to our boat to sell their souvenirs. They brought small Komodo dragons, pin and magnetic refrigerator. I was very amazed yet feel pity with them at the same time. After school, they have had to help their parents making money for their lives. With very limited English that they have, they tried to persuade my husband to buy their souvenirs.
When I looked at them, I suddenly had mixed feelings. I still feel so lucky, blessed, grateful with my life but at the same time, amazed by them. They really inspired me to live my life even we have to face many difficulties, obstacles and challenges. I really wish they will always be healthy, growing as smart kids and enjoy their childhood while they can.
Can I get some ‘amin’…?
(to be continued)