The deep blue sea stretches out in the distance as our boat speeds along the dry mossy grass hills. The whole setting is fitting for a scene from the Jurassic World. On numerous occasions, I have mistaken the hills for dinosaurs. I mean, they really look like dinosaurs which are frozen by time. The bizarre coincidence makes the bumpy boat rides even more interesting. Unlike the previous days, we are set for pre-dive hiking to a scenic trail, famous for the hill view pictures of the three coves. Padar Island provides the most stunning view in Komodo National Park and I am about to discover the Most Stunning View in Flores – Padar Island!
Tell me you don’t recognize a brontosaurus!
Since our dive entourage arrives slightly before noon, the weather is unbearably hot. First, smaller boats are used to transport us to the shore. As are other islands in Komodo National Park, Padar Island is barren. There is a tree at the starting point and the next tree is way up the hill nearing the peak. With a cowboy hat and just Havaianas flipflop under the scorching sun, the climb on the loose sand at the beginning of the trail proves challenging. I nearly slip as I drag my feet one after another.
I start to count my steps like I always do to distract my mind when I am hiking and only stop after 100 steps. At this moment in time, my stamina is questionable. But I know it has been my second nature to persevere regardless of the circumstances. A sense of survivorship in the land of Komodo dragons. And walk, I must. From a group of 8, the number becomes lesser as some of the divers, bail out due to exhaustion and dehydration. As I set my pace consistently, I begin to get separated from the rest. Everyone at their own pace, their own appreciation of the heavenly island.
Padar Island’s picturesque landscape is best viewed from the peak. The sought-after view is the postcard landscape of the three coves, one side where the boats are moored and two on the other side. The dark deep blue sea fades into aqua marine color as it reaches the cove. A streak of seaweed lines the shoreline, in high contrast of the aqua marine sea. The shape of the island spread out; a unique branching shape of uneven rolling hills. It is indeed a sight to behold.
As I climb further, one cove after another reveals itself. From then on, it is a wow-ing affair all the way up. I have never seen coastal view this beautiful.
Indonesia has never stopped to fascinate me. I catch up with my fellow divers and dive crew at the only tree on the way to the peak. After some words of motivation, I continue bracing the heat for better view. The view here is too stunning to let it pass without a shot.
One doesn’t have to reach the summit to enjoy the view, you just have to climb high enough. With that said, I can safely confess that I do not summit. Rather, I stop at few hundred meters before the peak as most of the divers have started to descend to the boat and the heat is draining my energy. We still have another dive to go and I don’t want to bail out on the last dive in Komodo National Park.
Padar Island is heavenly made, it way too beautiful you couldn’t imagine such place exist in this world. The hike takes me approximately 40-50 minutes. I would recommend trekking early morning or at sunset.
The side trip to Padar Island, Komodo National Park was made possible by Wonderful Indonesia‘s dive tourism campaign for Malaysia and Singapore market from 19.09.2016 – 23.09.2016. A report of the dive fam trip was also published in Gaya Travel Magazine 11.6. To read about the dive chronicle in Komodo National Park, click HERE.