Garuda Indonesia Colours Magazine October 2014 - Page 141

Travel | Rote © Aditya Saputra a good variety of waves: some mellow enough for the learner and many intense enough for the water-shredding experts, and all with names that lend themselves effortlessly to surfer lingo, like Boa, Bommie, Suckies and Squillers to name a popular few. But there’s more than just surf on offer here. Snorkelling or a spot of fishing can provide a relaxing contrast to the thrills of surfing, and scuba-diving also comes highly recommended. If you’re lucky you might spot pods of manta and dugong. More common sightings include schools of dazzling sweetlips swimming around big coral heads, massive bumphead parrotfish eating chunks of rock-hard reef, and clownfish, turtles, dolphins, wrasses, damselfish, angelfish and groupers. And if that’s not enough to keep you occupied, you can plan a day trip to the tiny southerly offshore islands just an hour’s boat ride away. Whatever your chosen activity for the day, the odds are that the best way to get there is by scooter. You can rent one for a full day for about US$7–10, excluding petrol. There’s nothing quite like cruising empty lanes on a scooter past smiling locals and golden surf, sand and savannah to make one feel like summer will never end. There is something about Rote that inspires the antithesis of stress and worry: the purest kind of inner peace and relaxation. It is something that the local Rotenese have certainly ingrained into their tropical lifestyle. A local musician called ‘No Stress’ has tapped into the magic of the island and one can hear it in his heartfelt acoustic music. Historically the Rotenese are a deeply creative people, drawing inspiration from life’s simplest pleasures to forge fascinating local legends and myths, and to weave vibrant fabrics and write beautiful melodies. Diving in and around Rote offers spectacular displays of colourful underwater life. Most surfers get out on the water by 7am, using bright local motor boats that carry four to five passengers. Fellow surfers exchange friendly smiles at the Anugerah Surf & Dive Resort. A local girl harvests seaweed with that familiar Rote smile. 139