Dances, Dragons and Waterfalls

Published 02 September 2017   

The Ombak Putih under full sail.

There are times when you need to get away. Right away. Leave the laptop at home, keep a distance from the phone, social media and especially work.


I hadn’t done that literally for years, even on holidays, but now the time had come. With a bunch of friends – five in total – we were at Bali airport flying to Labuan Bajo in Flores, Indonesia and then sailing back to Bali, cruising the islands between, with SeaTrek Sailing Adventures on the Ombak Putih wooden pinisi ship.

The trip started in Labuan Bajo, Flores. We flew there the day before we were set to sail, saw some of the sights and were ready to board in the morning. However they had different ideas as we were whisked off to a nearby village in a convoy of cars to witness Flores culture in action. The men and women of Melo village performed traditional West Flores dances while passengers of the cruise looked on and had the first chance to get to know each other. The boat has space for 24 people but on this trip there were only 12 on board. After the brief visit we returned to the Labuan Bajo port where we got our first glimpse of the Ombak Putih.

Dancers and passengers at Melo village.

SeaTrek is the perfect name for the company. Travelers sail on the sea and trek on the land traversing the marvelous islands, beaches and interesting places – on this particular seven night trip – through the Lower Sunda Islands of Komodo National Park, Sumbawa, Lombok and to Bali. Other trips are available all year round to other exotic parts of Indonesia including Raja Ampat, Sulawesi, the Banda islands and many more. A tour guide is on board most trips, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the islands, customs and sea routes, aided well by the crew of 15, and every evening of the trip, he talked us through the next day’s itinerary.

National park rangers take us through the Komodo dragon story.

We stopped to visit Komodo National Park ranger stations, viewed Komodo dragons lazing and running around the open spaces and beaches, walked through the parks, snorkeled in beautiful turquoise waters, swam with giant mantas and played water sports on many secluded and pristine, white sand beaches. Day in, day out the Ombak Putih sailed us further from our worries and cares of the real world and into a state of renewed joy of life.

Any closer and you could touch a dragon.

The view from atop Banta Island.

At night the major activities were over and relaxation was the focus. We had incredible weather on the trip in June with glorious sunsets every evening. Dining on board was excellent with a mix of local Indonesian and western dishes cooked perfectly with the best quality meats, seafood and vegetables. The chef on the Ombak Putih has five star hotel experience and he didn’t let us down once, with delicious morsels putting smiles on everyone’s faces. Soft drinks and juices are included and beers and wine are available at a reasonable price. Bringing your own is also an option and having Mr Belvedere in our party, and us bringing a case of fine wine we were well covered and enjoying fun evening dining and chats till bedtime. Make sure you download the star guide app and check the cosmos around you on a clear night. Truly amazing.

Non-stop snorkling from deserted beaches.

Highlights of the trip included waterfall visits to first Moyo Island’s Diwu Mba’i waterfall, where we could swing from the rope into the river pool below, and then a more leisurely visit to Tiu Kelep waterfall, near Senaru on north Lombok – as is mostly the case, the walk to the waterfall is quite long though. Another highlight, and one not to pass up, is the walk to the top of the hill on the island of Banta, which takes about thirty minutes straight up, but my goodness, what a view there is from up there.

If you are looking for an adventurous, top class getaway from your regular life, leave it all behind with a six night/ seven day cruise and get back in touch with nature, dine like kings and relax on the calm seas on the northern side of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands on the beautiful Ombak Putih with a Seatrek Sailing Cruise. The cost is around US$ 2.600 all-inclusive of tours, food and soft drinks.

The last supper on board the Ombak Putih.

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