I stared at the hundreds of steps going almost straight up to the peak of Padar Island. We were on a sunrise hike to one of the most beautiful views in East Indonesia and I was shaking with fear of heights.
Padar Island is one of the stops on the Rafida Adventure liveaboard which sails off of Labuan Bajo, Flores. Ever since a good friend Oka Setiawan decided to try his luck in the leisure boating business, I have been wanting to go visit and try it out. I originally was going to go with Oky, but obviously, he didn’t make it. Then the pandemic came about, and Rafida could not sail for almost a year.
When it was finally able to sail again, Cung, me, and several other friends were invited to go on the sailing trip to try out the services of the crew. It was such a lovely time, and my first time to Flores made me see why so many people liked to go there. It’s so different from West Java, with its own culture, language, and climate.
This beautiful climate allowed for dry islands to rise out of the oceans, sprinkling the waters with small to relatively high hills. From on top of the hill, you could see the ocean, the beach, and the other islands.
The view was indeed spectacular, but I really could not enjoy it as much as the others did. They took shots in what seemed to me to be dangerous spots, but were actually quite safe, I suppose. I took a picture instead of leaning on a rock. That was the best I could do-I didn’t want my feet to give out on me.
Much later, after seeing all the photos, I did have a slight regret. Where had this fear of heights come from? I couldn’t quite place it. It’s so interesting because most people are more afraid of diving. They are afraid of the ocean, of the deep blue, or of sharks. I love deep diving, and I love seeing sharks!
I think of all the enjoyment I would be able to have I wasn’t afraid of heights. For such a lover of nature, I feel I owe it to myself to slowly learn how to conquer that fear.