Monday, August 31, 2015

Flores: The Kids of Rinca

Besides the spectacular landscape, Flores is also the land of some of the nicest people in Indonesia. My friend jokingly said that Flores is the land of the 'high fives', which to some extent I find that this were true, most of the people (especially kids) will raise their hand and try to give you a high five! During our island hopping trip we made a stop at Kampung Rinca, it is a small settlement located on Rinca Island. When we arrive on the settlement, we were greeted by a bunch of local kids. Some philanthropist established a school on this island - "Taman Bacaan Pelangi", where local children learn to read and study some elementary school lessons, it is also run by locals. We brought some books to add to their collection, you should bring some too when you visit the Island. The warm greetings given by the kids and the people of this island made a visit to Rinca an unforgettable experience.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Flores: Magnificent Padar

Padar is the third largest island in Komodo National Park, the island is uninhabited although our captain said there should be one or two rangers who live there although as far as I can see there are no manmade structures on the island, perhaps they live on the other side of the island. Komodos are sadly no longer present due to illegal hunting activities by humans.

After our encounter with the Komodo at Komodo Island, we sailed on to Padar Island where we will spend the night there. We reached the island several hours before sunset, the island doesn't have any docks whatsoever so our ship has to drop anchor several metres from the beach and we have to get ourselves wet to get ashore. Some of us decided to go explore barefooted (a decision we all regret several minutes later) because the captain said the trek was easy. As it turns out the trek was full of small sharp rocks, it was like walking on top of lego bricks. Even though the terrain was like that the captain still ran all the way to the top of the hill. Apparently our captain has developed a thick skinned foot as he claimed he rarely wears any footwear in his entire life! No wonder he claimed the trek was easy, for him at least not for us city dwellers.

After a long and treacherous path we finally made it to the top of the hill and oh boy the view was one of the most magnificent I have seen in my entire life.

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