Wednesday, May 15, 2013

INDONESIA - ROTE - April 2013




In retrospect this was the best part of the trip. It was a new area for me and it had adventure, great surf, good food, and good accommodation - the lot.
I left Kupang at the fast boat harbour. I couldn’t get a VIP ticket (sold out) so I was economy. It was okay below deck but it was very, very hot. At Ba’a harbour, which was a pier, I alighted with great difficulty due to the narrow gangplank and the drop below into the water. Luckily, I was okay. At the end of the pier a van was waiting. The car to Nemberala was 300 000R but another person shared so only 150 000R.

I arrived at Kioan Traditional Village or Lualomba Bungalows and was greeted by Jenet. Jenet ‘s husband David was away. The room was great – clean, firm bed, mozzie net, stand fan, mandi and a small veranda.

400 000R with three meals and one boat trip per day and free mountain bike usage. Dave Ph +6281239478823

I settled in and Jenet showed me the way to the restaurant and beach. Of course coming back, I got took the wrong turn but it was fun cycling around the back roads.

The rest of the time was surfing, eating, sleeping, talking to people and exploring.

I hired a motorbike (50 000R with board racks) and drove for ages on a number of occasions along the relatively flat coastline. There were some great white sand beaches, reefs, small villages and headlands. I stopped at most and had a wander around. I found a number of other surf breaks along the coast. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be a good spot for snorkelling.

The locals were nice people. In Nemberala, they were use to tourists and didn’t pay me much attention though they were friendly. In the outer areas, the kids were thrilled to see you, shout hello and have a small conversation. I chatted me a few older people in Bahasa. Their lives were quiet and relaxed. No one seemed stressed out or too worried about money. A lot of people gathered seaweed, fished or farmed.

Not far from the guesthouse was an outdoor covered kitchen with underground oven. The lady there made gula Rote (like golden syrup) every morning. The oven was pretty cool looking being made under the ground with three open sections for cooking. I bought a litre of the stuff for 20 000R. I had a bit of a taste then gave it away.
Jenet who ran the guesthouse was nice though language could be a problem sometime. Atta her sister worked there and in the restaurant. Shirley and Augustine worked in the restaurant. The food was really good and there was a variety to choose from on the wall menu.

I met another of other tourists and expats – all very nice. I had a number of surfs with Andy, Richard and Adam. Later, Andy and I travelled back to Bali.

The surf was epic – it was had height when I arrived but eventually got very big and stayed like that for a few days before dropping to fun size again. There were a number of breaks but only a few accessible by land. There were a number that could only be reached by boat and the boat wasn’t cheap. So a small crew is needed to share the costs to get to some of the breaks.



Well, it seems after writing that not much happened but sometimes that makes for an epic trip.

A couple of things stood out overall:

It was very hot.

It was hotter on the beach.

On some nights it was so hot that the bed was drenched with perspiration.
Cold beers tasted better there.
Boats weren’t that easy to organise to the surf.
There are hardly any signs pointing out where guesthouses were.
Paths stopped abruptly at times.
The locals were very healthy looking.
It takes two days to get to Rote and two days to get back to Bali.
Jenet was good at getting things arranged – such as boat tickets, transport, etc.

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