I saw my friend’s profile picture on his Whatsapp one day. He was standing on top of somewhere with a background of something like an ocean that is cut by land across them. It was a unique view which later on I found out that the photo was taken at Padar Island. Padar Island is one of the many islands located within Komodo National Park area in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
Sailing to Padar Island. Yay or Nay?
After attending Komodo Travel Mart (KTM) on 23rd March in Labuan Bajo, I with my other travel blogger friends were also invited to join the one-day familiarization trip (or well-known as fam trip) organized by ASITA (Association of The Indonesian Tours & Travel Agencies) East Nusa Tenggara Region to Komodo Islands. And yeap, Padar Island was one of the stops that we went besides Komodo Island and Pink Beach. Excited enough to get a chance to go there.
So, all of us gathered early in the morning at Labuan Bajo Harbour then we took a small boat to a bigger boat that had waited for us quite a distance from the harbour. Island hoping by speedboat is possible though but as we were going in a big group, a sailing boat is more appropriate. The journey from Labuan Bajo to Padar Island with our sailing boat that has 6 cabins takes about 3 hours. If knowing that for at least 3 hours you won’t be able to go anywhere but on the boat only has already freaked you out, then I should tell you that all the worries are actually unnecessary.
Grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit at the sundeck with the view along the way to Padar Island, the hills and the sea and also the sea breeze that we don’t get to enjoy everyday, those will get that 3 hours gone easily. Plus, as we may not get the network reception all the times, so, just keep all the gadgets and look at the people standing or sitting closest to you and….
… start a conversation.
It’s a perfect time to be ‘more human’. 😉
I remember that morning the weather was good and I saw those blue creatures that we called plankton, many of them, near to the sea surface and it was beautiful. It reminded me of the time when I and my friends were on an unexpected night boat trip at Raja Ampat, where our captain was fighting hard to control the boat and find a way to get over the big wave that keeps pushing us further.
It was dark and I was sitting near to the captain, with no lights on our boat, I looked at the sea and I saw those blue plankton shining like the stars in the sky. Plenty of them, it was fascinating. So, probably you may want to include this sea sightseeing activity into your “Things to Do on the Boat” list in any case you get bored on the boat. You can take this idea of sea-gazing seriously or as a joke, but hey, I spotted one sea turtle and the dolphins! 🙂
Surrounded by the sea and all those hills and rocks formation, somehow it did tickle my imagination that I was at the period when all those largest land animals were believed alive a very long time ago. #ExploreJurassicLand, no wonder this has been chosen to be one of the keywords for the campaign. When I told my sister that I had this image, she replied, “Trust me. You must be seasick!” Haha…I was not. Trust me, too! Sometimes I just like to let my imagination gone wild.
Trekking to the Top of Padar Island. Yay or Nay?
We were done with sailing at the moment. Padar island was in front of us but our boat stopped a few meters away as the water was too shallow. Thus, we had to use the small boat that was tied behind the boat all along to bring us to the island. I knew that we need to walk or trek up to the hill but I didn’t know how far and how tough. So, I just brought one bottle of water and my DSLR camera on my backpack and there I went with the small boat to the island.
“Don’t think too much. Just go as far as I could.”
We departed late this morning, the sun was already quite high when we got there, it was almost 11 am. Looking at the hot sun then fixing my backpack strap, I made a move up to the hill. The beginning of the path was steep and a little bit slippery because of the loose tiny stones and sand.
The hills looked golden or brownish that day. If we were there during or after wet season, we shall expect to see more green all around. For me, whether it was golden or green colour, the breathtaking scenery along the trek was still worth every step I took. The path was gradually uphill with very few flat grounds I would say.
“No. Not here. Should be further up.”
Hot and sweat all over but I continued walking happily. Every few meters I would stop and look back. Besides checking my friends behind me, I also curious looking for the spot where my friend took his photo. Remember, I told you I saw my friend’s photo taken at Padar Island before at the beginning of this post?
I didn’t know how long I had walked, following my friends who had gone ahead of me, we stopped at one pretty big rock where there was a tree that was big enough to give us some shade. Then I looked back, oh…that view! I think it is here! My friend started to take photos.
“Me..Me..Me..please help take photo of me!”
My friend, Hartadi (@kopertraveler.id), kind and patient enough to help me take a few shots even though the weather was hot. The spot where we were standing at wasn’t the top of the hill yet, but it was a good spot to capture the iconic three bends of the island. You see the blue sea on the left and right with the brownish hills in between, how cool it is!
I still walked further up following my few other friends after taking photos at this spot. There were one or two more stops with flat ground before we eventually got to the fully exposed area where there were no trees at all. I actually didn’t know where was the top of the hill, so I just walk and walk and walk until I think the area was considered high enough to see the 360º view of Padar Island.
One of my friends said that the most top was still further up, just a little further. But I felt the heat of the sun was going to burn my skin soon if I were to stay there any longer. The sun was right on top of us, so, I decided not to continue and make my way down earlier. I can stand of cold but not hot weather, it will kill me slowly. No..oh..no…I ran out of the water! *starting a little bit drama*
Anyway, I made my way back to the boat safely. 🙂 Likewise, at the beginning of the path that was a little bit challenging to trek up because it was slippery, it was also challenging when I made my way down on that last few meters before I reached the starting point. In total, it took me about 1.5 hours for both ways.
If you ask me if that worth my time and effort to going up there? I would still say yes. Just my advice that if you want to go there, it would be better as early as possible before noontime, to avoid the sun at its hottest. I heard that some people going there in the late afternoon for the sunset as well. It sounds good, too. Always check with your local guide before making a decision. 🙂