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Waerebo Village: Into the wild of a Land above the Clouds

As one of the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE sites, Waerebo village has been visited by numerous visitors from all over the world. Waerebo village is located in Manggarai regency in the heart of the West Flores. This village is famous with its old traditional house which settled surrounding by mountains and covered by clouds.

In my first time visiting Waerebo, there were 5 of us Angel, Doris, Edy, Rico and I. To reach Waerebo village, we will trek in the jungle for approx. 4 hours. The common starting point to Waerebo is from Denge Village. According to the local we met, the easy way to reach Waerebo is from a village in Lembor regency called Repi Village. We then decided to start the trekking from Repi Village.

We drove a car to Repi from Cancar, it was dawn already and the the sun was showing its best appearance blended with the clouds through the horizon. After 3 hours of driving, we arrived at Repi and overnight at Rico’s house. We planned to wake up at 4 am and start the trip at 5 am because we still need to drive for 1 hour before reaching the trekking starting point.

It was 5 am, we haven’t prepared yet. Some of us just woke up from their sleep and we had to have breakfast. Finally we were ready to start our trip to Waerebo on 6 am. It took 1 hour driving from Repi to the trekking start point. As we arrived at the start point, we got 2 local boys who will our guide to Waerebo.

The route was surprisingly tiring but amazing. We hiked the mountain for 3.5 hours, passed the foggy forest with the wind sounded like river stream as the background. It was so challenging yet adventurous since we were not expecting the route will be hard as it was. The eye pampering views become the strength to keep us going. In the middle of the route, our guide forgot which way to go as there was Y junction.

We seemed hopeless, but then our guide decided to take pathway on the right side. As we continued to hike, our tummy started grumbling. We didn’t have any food left, only water we had in our backpacks. On that moment, I felt so stupid to be unprepared. Furthermore, there was a light rain when we arrived at the top of the mountain. And yes, we had no rain  poncho with us 🙁 too bad. But, luckily the rain stopped before we get wet.

After the exhausted hike through challenging route, we finally arrived at Waerebo village. From the hill, we could see the unique traditional houses blended with the scenic landscape. The clouds settled above the roof which made Waerebo seemed like magical place above the clouds as told in the fairytales. We had ourselves wowing along the way and still couldn’t believe that we could reach this beauty place.

We were welcomed by the chief of the village. He directed us to enter the main house where the simple welcoming ritual will be held. The Chief started the ritual with the local language. He talked to the ancestors’ spirits who take care of the village. This ceremony was to introduce the visitors to the ancestors so they could protect the visitors just like the locals.

After the ritual we then started exploring the village. There were 7 traditional houses in this village. 1 house could contain more than 3 families. They share everything in the house except for the bedroom. The houses are unique; stilt round houses with roof made of the sugar palm’s fiber. We were offered to drink hot coffee and talked with the guide. We also were busy taking pictures, selfies and wowing the beauty of the landscape. The locals dried their coffee beans in the lawn, kids were running around while dogs watching them. There were also tourists who just arrived.

Since we only few hours to enjoy this place, we didn’t explore more but enjoying the blended of locals activities, watching the glimpse of clouds covering the roofs and also sipping the hot coffee. We bought banana from the local to feed up our empty tummy. We were all hungry and craved for foods. After 2 hours of exploring the village, we had to go back before the dark came. We decided to take the normal route to go back as the first route was so hard to beat. So, we split the group in to 2 groups. The 1st group consisted of Ko Edy, Angel, Doris and I took the normal route and the 2nd group took the same route as we came to take the car and drove to the 1st group’s end point.

The way back was pretty easy comparing to the first one. If the 1st route offered us the best view by crossing the deep forest, our way back route gave us the rocky valley view. The banana we had weren’t ripe well, so we couldn’t eat it. We walked down with overly hungry condition. Doris even took cinnamon trunk found near the river bank and licked it as it was an energy bar. Luckily at the end of the trip, there were 2 old ladies selling fresh oranges. Without any doubt, we bought 15 oranges and finished them all. What a trip! Keep Wandering 🙂

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