Wae Rebo Trip (Part 1)

“I will visit this place!” That what I was saying to myself when I found a page about Wae Rebo in Tempo Magazine. Sadly I didn’t know about this place when I was travelling with my friends in Labuan Bajo about two years ago, if only I had known about it, I would had visited it with my friends.

When I was craving to go there, Allah showed me the way. Suddenly my office amended its outing destination from Bromo to Labuan Bajo!!

I asked some of my office mates to join the trip. It was hard to assure them to join me to go in advance prior to our outing program to Wae Rebo… However, I managed to trick 7 people to join me 😀

In the end there were 7 people who are willing to accompany me to Wae Rebo, they were Mas Bono, Mas Eky, Bang Eko, Mas Tunggul, Mas Yanu, Mbak Mita, Mbak Fitri, yes I use Mas, Bang, and Mbak because they are my senior at the office, in fact 5 of them are my bosses, and all of us are excited about the adventure that awaits us.

This trip is my first experience in being a travel planner, and I must admit I realized that I don’t know what to do just after 7 people confirmed their participation in this trip.

Luckily, my special girl went to Wae Rebo earlier this year, she gave me a phone number belonged to a driver who was hired by her during her trip to Wae Rebo, and his name is Manto.

So what I did first is to call him with an aim to get the best price as possible, when we reached an agreement, I got 2 cars waiting for us in Labuan Bajo, then the transportation issue has been solved. Next, the accommodation… Based on my internet research we have two options to stay overnight near Wae Rebo which are: Wae Rebo Lodge and Blasius’s Homestay.

Eventually Wae Rebo Lodge was selected as our place to stay overnight, and we will be staying there for 1 night prior hiking to Wae Rebo. Once I booked the lodge, I called pak Manto to take us to the lodge and confirm our arrival time. Luckily we have our flight arranged by our office for free. 🙂 thus I can concentrate to prepare our itinerary, better yet we will fly with Garuda to Labuan Bajo for free. Surprisingly, it’s pretty easy to arrange a trip to Wae Rebo! It only took me less than a day to arrange the whole trip, and we are ready to go. 🙂

12 November 2014
According to e-ticket receipt my flight shall depart from Cengkareng (Soekarno Hatta International Airport in Jakarta) at 9.35. However as I have a bad experience for missing a flight, I came early to the airport. I arrived at the airport at 6.00 and I went directly to the check-in counter. When I was waiting in line for check-in, I saw 3 familiar faces, and I remembered that Bang Eko, Mas Eky, and Mas Bono booked an earlier flight. However, they looked so insecure, at that time I don’t know what was going on. After finished with the check-in I came after them, and they told me that they may not be able to go with us.

It looked like that there were some mistakes in Garuda’s check-in system, because there was no economic seat available for them. Mas Bono tried his best to solve this problem, and Garuda’s front officer were assisting him –Alhamdulillah those staff are quite supportive—eventually one of the staffs ran from distance and brought Mas Bono and Partners their boarding pass, and the drama has been ended with a good deed from Garuda. There is always a bright side from every drama, in this case they were granted business class seat for free to Denpasar. As for me, I still fly in economic class  At 8.00 the rest of my trip companion has arrived at the airport, after waiting for another hour, we boarded the airplane and flied to Denpasar.

We arrived in Denpasar at 12.35, and we met Mas Bono and Partners on gate 1B upon finished the transit check-in as we need to take connecting flight to Labuan Bajo. Sadly we didn’t have enough time to explore Bali, so we only wandering around the new airport and charged our phone’s batteries, while waiting for the boarding call. We were told by the announcer that the we may board the plane at 14.00, and we left Denpasar at 14.20. Until the date of this post, Garuda provides only one flight per day to Labuan Bajo with ATR 72-600 a twin-turboprop powered plane, so it didn’t use any jet engine, just two propellers.

As I haven’t slept since yesterday I fallen into sleep after the ATR took off. I woke up when the flight attendants were distributing the snacks, and I slept again until the landing turbulence woke me up, and we arrived at Labuan Bajo at 16.00.1There are only 3 people in the above picture, because the rest were too busy taking picture

After we picked up our bags, I called Pak Manto to pick us up from the airport, luckily when we arrived, he had stand by outside the airport. As I mentioned earlier I hired two cars, APV and Inova. The APV was driven by Pak Manto while the APV was driven by Andi, both of the cars were in a good condition. As for the seating arrangement, the APV was for me, Mbak Mita, Mbak Fitri, and Mas Tunggul, the rest were in Inova, then the journey begun.2Labuan bajo

Since we were in Labuan Bajo, and haven’t had our lunch, our trip shall be started by a good meal. Thus I recommended Made In Italy to my trip mates, the best restaurant in Labuan Bajo according to my taste. So we asked the drivers to take us to Made in Italy. However, when we got there, the restaurant is still under renovation and has not opened yet. Thus I decided to take them to Mediterraneo, another italian restaurant located just across Made in Italy. FYI, Mediterraneo is the best restaurant in Labuan Bajo according to TripAdvisor.

When we entered the restaurant the interior looks the same as the last time I came here with the random travelers, we chose to sit on the longest table with the best view in it, the weather was quite hot, and the ceiling fan wasn’t helping. However, as we were starving, the surrounding atmosphere wasn’t a big deal J ok I didn’t quite remember what the other ordered for their late lunch, but I ordered Tuna Medallion medium grilled, the taste was fair.34Tuna  Medallion and the Rindu Alam crew

While we were eating Mas Yanu came up with an Idea to give a name to our group, RINDU ALAM 😀 Hence, hereinafter our group shall be referred to as Rindu Alam. For those who is not familiar with such name, rindu alam is a restaurant located somewhere in Puncak (if I’m not mistaken). While we were eating, out of the blue, the sky turned dark and it rained, and we have to postpone our trip until the rain is over.

It was 18.00 in Labuan Bajo, and the rain still falling, as we need to ride about 5-6 hours, I urged the rest of us to go right now, and then we walked as fast as we can to the cars. Just after we entered the car, the rain stopped -__-. Next we need to gather some supply for our trip, so we go to Roxy Mart. Roxy Mart is a mini market, it has a vast collection of snack, soft drinks, and quite impressive liquor collection with good price. We bought lots of mineral water, chocolates, snacks, and whatever we can buy as there will be no more minimarket outside Labuan Bajo.

At last we started our trip at 18.40, and we will undergo about 6 hours of road trip. Our APV drove by Andi, leading the way. I thought it will be a normal road trip, but I was wrong. The first 2 hour of our road trip was quite challenging because the road is mostly uphill curvy road. It felt like riding a mini roller coaster for an hour, it was worsened by the fact that it was dark and there are lots of big fast truck came from the opposite direction.56The road trip

At 20.50 we arrived at Lembor half way to Dintor where the Wae Rebo Lodge located, it was our first stop, because the drivers needs to eat. They eat in a local food stall, I forgot the name of the stall but it sells Javanese food, yes it was Warteg. Most of the Rindu Alam Crew were suffering motion sickness due to the road conditions, thus we bought Antimo and more Antangin J and consumed them right away, except for me who enjoyed the road trip as I was sitting on the front seat.

After 10 minutes break we continue the road trip, and at 21.30 we arrived at Ter a small village with a small road which fit only for one car, and then our car entered Kebe Gogo. By the way Kebe Gogo means shaky hill, the hill lives up to its name, the road on Kebe Gogo was bad so our car got shaky all the way. When we got to Kebe Gogo we arrived at Todo Village which has its own tourism village just like Wae Rebo, if you are a hipster traveler come to Todo J

At last we arrived at Wae Rebo Lodge at 00.30, and welcomed by Pak Martinus the owner of Wae Rebo Lodge. I booked 4 room prior to our departure to Labuan Bajo, and we got room number 4,7,8, and 9. I got room number 9, and Bang Eko as my roommate. The room is quite comfy, furnished with either a single bed or twin bed, private bath room, and a single table.7Wae  Rebo  Lodge at night

After moved our bags to the room and unpacking and packing for the trip to Wae Rebo, we went to the so called restaurant, it was not exactly a restaurant, it was an open air communal space with a long table and a few long chair. When I was wandering around, the dinner was served. Then I called all of my friend to have our dinner. Our dinner were buttered fried chicken with soy sauce, sautéed spinach, brown rice, and fried tempe. The taste was fair but it was better than nothing.8The “restaurant”9Our dinner

After we finished eating, most of the Rindu Alam Crew got back to their room, except me. I decided to take a bath and wander around and enjoy the scenery. I decided to sleep when Pak Martinus turned down the power generator, and suddenly the sole light source was the moon. The best part of the night was the sound of nature, you know the sound of the wind, crickets, frogs, etc.10Scenery around Wae Rebo Lodge

13 November 2014

I woke up at 8.00 and I was 2 hours late from the schedule J I supposed to woke up at 6.00 and go to Wae Rebo at 7.00. Thus, I rushed to the bath room, take a bath and I went to the Restaurant, it looked like that everybody has been waiting for me. Then I decided to skip the breakfast and go straight to my room to grab my bags. Just after I got back to the restaurant, I realized that the rest of the crew were not prepared to go as well. So I set out a deadline that we must go at 9.00. Pak Martinus said it is better to us to go as soon as possible, because the sun was shining brightly that day, and it will be tiresome to walk under the daylight.

While the other were eating, I decided to take some picture of the surrounding view. At 9.00 the entire Rindu Alam crew were ready to go, and we were joined by two Malaysian.

However, as we brought a lot of bags it was hard to bring all of our bag to Wae Rebo. Luckily, Pak Martinus allowed us to put our bags in one of his room while we were leaving for Wae Rebo, he even let us to bring the room’s key.11I woke up to this view1213Room in Wae Rebo and the lodge in the morning.14Pak Martinus, our host15We are so ready for Wae Rebo!

To begin our hiking, we need to go to Ende, 10 minutes ride from Wae Rebo Lodge. The scenery between Ende and Dintor was quite good. Rice field. Once we arrived in Ende, we met our porter. I hired 5 porter, and they act as our guide to Wae Rebo. If you prefer not to hire a porter, the path heading to Wae Rebo is easy to follow.16Our Porters, (from left to right) Yeremias, Pius, Lambert, Demus, and Alosius.17The road sign, it said 9 KM to Wae Rebo18The starting point

After distributing our bags to the porters, we began our journey to Wae Rebo. One more thing, as the porter may only bring half of our bags, some of us (including me) still bring back pack on their own.

The path was started with an even path, the rest was constant uphill path. So the first kilometer of the path was basically a rocky track. It supposed to be a normal road, but it hasn’t finished yet, because the local government hasn’t paved the road, so we have to walk on rocks for about 2 Km. to make it worst it was an open air track, and the climate was high, this circumstances quite consuming our energy.

10 minutes upon starting our hike, Mas Eky (who just got back from Mt. Everest base camp few months ago) said “this track is quite tough” and most of us who was experiencing his or her first uphill hiking was suffering mental break down, but we were keep on hiking, turn back wasn’t an option.19The rocky road

Alhamdulillah the rocky road just existed in the first 2 Km, the rest is normal soil road. However, the rocky road was a quite energy consuming experience, thus we decided to rest upon overcoming our first obstacle. Although the rocky road has over, the track is still uphill. At least after the first 2 km we were entering the protected forest, so we will suffer less the hot daylight.20After resting for about 5 minutes, we decided to continue our hike, and enter the protection forest. Our porter told us that the 1st resting post is located just 500 meters ahead of us (there were 3 resting post) , thus we move quicker to get there as soon as possible because we were quite tired. After another 10 minutes of uphill hiking, we arrived at the first resting post, an open area without any desk, chair, or any building, just an open area under the forest. The only point of attraction of this post is a billboard containing messages from Wae Rebo community, and we took a picture in front of it.2122A quick break

10 minutes has passed, then we continue our hike, next objective is to reach 2nd post as soon as we can just to save time. I must admit, the track heading to second post was really exhausting, it was more precipitous than the earlier track. During our trekking activities, we passed by some Wae Rebo residents who was on their way to Ende, they are so polite that they greet each one of us by saying selamat  pagi (Good morning) and introduce themselves, as they kept on passing by I cannot remember their names. (RI)

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