Friday, December 11, 2009

Long weekend in Sumatra - Cubadak Paradiso Village

Another "island break" was in order over the Eid al-Adha long weekend, which also happened to be Marc's birthday weekend. We flew to Padang, West Sumatra on Thursday, 26 November for 4 day's of rest and relaxation on an idyllic island.

With Marc trying to squeeze in as much diving as he can before the baby arrives the decision to go on a dive weekend was easy. Where to go however was not so easy as there is a lot to see around Indonesia. The diving opportunities in the archipelago is endless with places like Manado, Papua, Komodo, Kalimantan and more. Marc picked Cubadak Paradiso Village in Padang, West Sumatra after hearing good things about this Italian run island approx. 2 hours from Padang.

I can of course not dive at the moment because I'm pregnant but that didn't bother me and I was all to happy to be spending my time lazing around on our cabin deck or on the lounger overlooking the calm see, listening to the waves breaking while reading my book.

The weekend really consisted of eating, sleeping, Marc diving, reading, swimming, eating some more...

The below pictures with some captions says it all:

Marc in his element gearing up for his first of 4 dives. He says he enjoyed the dives and that it was good although, there was visible damage from the earthquake that happened in September.

Going anywhere during the rainy season is a bit of a gamble but we were lucky and had beautiful sunny mornings with afternoon showers.

The cabins do not have AC (ceiling fans only) but it was so nice to not need it. The cabin has big gauzed windows and it is built in such a way that there is always a lovely breeze blowing through. We especially loved falling asleep to the sound of the rain on our thatch roof.

There is a lovely lounge area next to the pier where guests could lounge around, snorkel and enjoy sundowners (weather permitting of course).
The restaurant where breakfast is served from 7:30pm and then scheduled lunch at 1:30pm and dinner at 8pm. You don't need a watch on the island as a bell is rung when lunch and dinner is served.

We only had to walk about 20 meters to cool off in the beautiful calm ocean.

The food was great. Marc especially enjoyed the crab which was the biggest that I've ever seen.
Saturday 28 November - It's not a birthday without a cake and people singing "Happy Birthday to you".

We enjoyed an afternoon stroll along the white sandy beach.

On Sunday Marc ventured up the hill to take in the spectacular view from the top. It was apparently a steep, slippery climb as it started raining.
Marc returned about an hour later explaining how he felt a bit like Bear Grills (ok, not quite as dramatic) but slipping and sliding, climbing over and under tree trunks and he even had an encounter with a snake.

We had lunch at 1:30 and at 2:30 we headed back to the airport in Padang for our 6:30 flight.
It is a short speed boat ride back to the small fishing village where our taxi was waiting for us.
The drive to and from Padang was interesting to say the least...
We couldn't believe the damage caused by the earthquake with visible evidence of land slides along the winding hill side roads towards Padang. Driving through Padang we couldn't get over the damage caused in the more build up areas.

It didn't stop raining from the time we left Cubadak so my attempt to take photo's out of a moving car in the pouring rain is not great but you get the idea.

We got to the airport in a nick of time. We literally checked in and sat down for about 10 min. before we had to board our flight for the short 1 hour, 40 minutes flight back to Jakarta.