If you remember, I had a long awaited plan to go to this small island called Rote, about 2 hours away by speed boat from Kupang back in November 2011 for a photography trip.
Long awaited because the trip was cancelled before and it was rescheduled for last November. Unfortunately, at the times of the trip my father was still in the hospital. There’s just no way I can leave even after my then boss had already signed off my leave form.
So when I was told I will be going to Kupang for my cousin’s wedding I was ecstatic. Yes, I wouldn’t even get a chance to escape to that beautiful island but at least I would be in Kupang.
My journey to Kupang started very early in the morning as our flight was at 6am on Thursday, 9 February 2012. Got myself up at 2:45 am and left the house by cab to the airport by 4 am.
It’s been awhile since I last travel outside of Jakarta, last time was last March when we all went to Bangkok. So this was a much needed break.
The plane’s altitude cruise level was perfect. It wasn’t too high that I can’t see a thing. I was actually fascinated by the clear blue oceans below. I was already holding my breath just moments before we landed after seeing miles after miles of clear deep blue water from my window seat.
2 hours and 35 minutes flight landed smoothly and the first thing that caught my eyes was how clear the sky looks like. This means you’ve been in Jakarta too long when a normal clear clean blue sky caught you by surprise!
Greeted by my uncle and cousin Gloria, I felt a little pang in my heart because I was finally there in the city where my aunt and her family lives. She has been asking me to come for a visit for years before she passed away from breast cancer.
The views on our ride to her house was just gorgeous. Clean clear blue sea, bright blue sky, palm trees, people selling freshly caught fishes on the street sides…I was in heaven.
When we got to their house, my grandmother held me and started crying. The last time I saw her was last year, the last time my mom got all her sisters and brothers under the same roof. My grandmother sobs in my arms. She looked frail and her talking is still unclear from her stroke two years prior.
My aunt’s house is like a big open house with so many people there. From little children to older people. Women cook in the back open kitchen, children running around playing. The teenagers hanging out playing guitar. Oh and the view from their porch? The sea!
I felt her presence there…
My uncle had booked us (my other aunt and her husband) two rooms in a hotel where the wedding reception was held but we didn’t go there until late at night after the dowries ceremony.
The hotel was small, more like a motel type but it was right next to the beach so that’s a big bonus in my book.
The morning before the wedding, I got to sit and enjoyed the view…watching people walking by the seaside, small boats spreading their nets, while sipping my morning coffee and think to myself “I can wake up to this every day!”
My uncle – the husband of my late aunt – knew how much I love taking pictures so he had arranged for his driver and my cousin Gloria to take me to see the beach just hours before we suppose to get our hair and make-up done.
And oh my God…Kupang really stole my heart!
The beach was rocky…you can’t just walk down by the sand like you would picture a normal beach. Heck, the whole island is rocky and basically covered with rocks. But the blue clear water was calling my name. The gentle waves crashing into the rocks convinced me that I had found a little piece of heaven here on earth.
Ignoring the sweltering heat…I walked around wearing my flip flops and took so many pictures of that beach. Really, my pictures didn’t do justice at all to how truly beautiful that place is.
They took me for a drive around and I got to see the wild monkeys too. “We should’ve bring some bread!” claimed the driver as he rolled down my window so I can take pictures of the begging monkey as we drove slowly. My boy would’ve love to see them.
Kupang, where the air is still fresh free from pollution really stole my heart and I know two days there is just not enough to explore and savor the cultural beauty of it.
So, one day I shall return and hop on that fast ferry boat to the island of Rote and any other island nearby to feel the sands between my toes!