Monday, March 23, 2015

Flores: Blue Sea and White Beaches

There are 29 islands scattered around Komodo National Park; Rinca, Padar, and Komodo are the three main islands. Due to the limited time available, we couldn't visit all the islands therefore a decision has to be made and we've visited some of the most popular destinations: Kanawa, Gili Lawa, Rinca, Komodo, and Kelor island. On the first day, we've visited Kenawa, Manta Point, and Gili Lawa. Our island hopping trip began with Kenawa which we didn't spend an awful lot of time, we just snorkeled for one hour then we continue our trip to Manta Point where we encountered Manta rays! And lots of it. It is a joyous occasion when you swim with the Mantas dancing around you with their gracious moves, it is as seemed the mantas are welcoming us. After a delightful afternoon with Manta Rays, we moved on to Gili Lawa to see the sunset and then rest for the night. It is worth noting that there are no settlements or building or whatsoever in Gili Lawa, we spent the night on board our boats docked at Gili Lawa beach.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Flores: Welcome To Labuanbajo

Flores is one of the gem located in the eastern part of Indonesia, to be precise it is located in East Nusa Tenggara province. White beaches and ancient villages are scattered across the island, you may find many diving and snorkelling hotspots around Flores. One of the most notable spot is in Komodo National Park (more on that later) where also the world's biggest lizard lives.

Our journey in and around the island took one week which consisted of sea and overland trip. We spent three days on a boat to visit several islands and then continue our journey by car to Wae Rebo, Bena Village, and finally Mt Kelimutu, it took four days by car to reach Kelimutu from Labuanbajo including one night stop at Wae Rebo and Bajawa. There are multiple ways to get to Flores, some of my friends decidedly took the more adventurous method which consisted of a train ride from Jakarta to Jogja then several bus and ferry rides before they reach Labuanbajo, it took them several days. I took direct flight to Bali from Jakarta and then continue on another flight to Labuanbanjo.

There will be several posts for this series due to the large number photos involved, please do come back!

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Labuanbajo Harbor

Saturday, September 20, 2014

First Climb, Mt. Gede

I was a little intrigued after hearing stories from one of my friend who've just recently climbed Rinjani Mountain in Lombok, I wouldn't say I have travelled that much but I think it is time for me to try something different. Luckily, that same person invited me to join her friends to climb Mt. Gede over the weekend. To share some background, Mt. Gede is located in three cities; Sukabumi, Bogor, and Cianjur and it peaked at 2,958 meters above sea level. It took just a couple of hours drive to the south of Jakarta in mild traffic to Gunung Putri outpost where we started our climb.

As this is my first time to take my camera to the great outdoors and taking into account I'm also an amateur climber, I've struggled with the decision which kit to bring for this journey and how to carry it practically. Decision has to be made and finally I choose 35mm paired with my trusty 5D, carried using one of Lowepro's Toploader strapped to my backpack using ThinkTank's backpack connecting kit so the Toploader hanged in front of my chest. I choose this carrying option because I want fast and easy access to my camera, although on the downside it looked a little bit silly! (but whatever).

Our little journey began when we left our office at 5 pm, we've made several stops to pick up rented equipments and to pick one of our friend up. Finally we set off at 9 pm towards our meeting point in Cipanas area. After wading through Jakarta's horrendous traffic on Friday night, finally we've arrived at our meeting point on 00.30 am. I was estimating it would took longer but I think we were quite lucky, the traffic on the highway to Bogor and Puncak area is not so bad hence we've made it in 3.5 hours. We reached our lodging at 2 am because we have to wait for others at the meeting point.

Not rested enough and not having breakfast (a mistake I won't make again), we set off from Gunung Putri outpost at 6 am to Suryakencana Meadow where we will break camp. The night at Suryakencana can be quite cold for the tropical person, it may reach below zero degree celsius and was proven by the frozen condensation found the next morning around our camp. Even though Mt. Pangrango situated just adjacent to Mt. Gede, we didn't went there as It would took longer and some of us has to get back to the office the next day. All in all in my opinion Mt. Gede is a good exercise for a beginner like me in mountain climbing. Here are the photos taken from our little trip to climb Mt. Gede.

Mt. Gede
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