Garuda Indonesia Colours Magazine October 2014 - Page 140

138 Travel | Rote Courtesy of Anugerah Surf & Dive Resort The legendary T-Land break draws thrill-seeking surfers from around the world. Rote is Indonesia’s southernmost island and a particularly alluring gem among the natural treasures of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Upon arrival it is no surprise why: its simple magic and beauty are as apparent as its epic surf and the inviting warmth of its people. Reaching Rote means flying to Kupang first, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara. The city itself draws its own share of visitors, but for most it is a transit city providing access to the lesser-travelled Lesser Sunda Islands. Arriving at El Tari Airport, I can guess which of my fellow passengers are continuing on to Rote. Those with even, well-worn tans reaching for surfboard-shaped luggage at baggage claim must be in search of the seldom-surfed waves of Rote. From Kupang a 45-minute drive takes me to Tenau Port, where a ferry crosses once daily to Rote at 9am. As I board the ferry and shuffle down the aisle to my seat, sure enough, I spot a few familiar faces from the airport. The ferry ride can take up to two hours depending on the tide, crossing over the Pukuafu Strait, an oceanographic location disconcertingly referred to by some locals as Indonesia’s own Bermuda Triangle. It is here that the mighty currents of the Savu Sea, Timor Sea and Indian Ocean intersect, creating some gnarly waves and giving us inside the ferry a feel for Rote’s consistently satisfying surf. After a somewhat rocking ferry ride, we arrive safely at Ba’a, a humble little port town snaking south along Rote’s northwest coast and strewn with banyan trees and groves of coconut and banana – a pictureperfect welcome. There are superb, sparsely populated beaches nearby, giving an instant sensation of personal paradise, and already I can feel time beginning to slow: a special trait that I’ve found exclusive to