Go Beyond Terrifying Wae Reno

Jan 22 2022

When you hear the name Wae Reno, what comes to mind is that the sand mining center is located on the border between East Manggarai and Manggarai Regency. Every travelers who cross the trans Flores route from and to the eastern part of Ruteng will certainly not escape the sight of this mining activity that is gaping like a meteor hit.

 

In fact, not far from this mining location, there is a paved farm road with a distance of about 200 meters as access to the rice fields of the Robo community and its surroundings. It was through this road that we discovered a hidden paradise on the outskirts of Ruteng City.

This plantation land owned by residents measuring thousands of hectares holds a million charms that are very pleasing to the eye.

In the warm embrace of the Mandosawu mountains, the abundance of water from the mountain, the fertile land of the former eruption of the Ranaka volcano, and the harmony of nature and culture that is so thickly felt when this plantation land becomes a means for residents to meet each other and exchange stories on the sidelines of busy working on rice field. To share stories while waiting for nature provides millions of grains of rice which are almost a month away from being harvested.

Here, I walked on the muddy trek. This road is often passed by farmers when they want to go to the fields. Even though it’s common for my feet to get stuck in the mud, for me, it’s not a barrier to keep walking and enjoying God’s work, which is still well-maintained by the people I met.

Seeing mothers busy cutting grass on the rice fields with their faces covered with various herbal ingredients seemed to give a message that they were communicating with nature where they were reaping the results to support life. Even though they were hit by the heat of the sun, they still smiled when Alvin, occasionally interrupting with a joke just to establish communication.

After almost half an hour trek, I saw some farmers enjoying coffee by the shelter. Yes, there is a plot of rice fields that have been transformed into a fish pond. It’s very special to enjoy coffee with a luxury class menu with a complete package, cooked cassava and a cup of coffee.

Of course, this is the beginning of many meetings that we will go through in the future. Not yet half an hour walk, this place was already tempting with so many attractions. It was enough to give an assessment that this is a worthy place to be an option for tourist activities in Ruteng or Flores in general.

“Well, doesn’t tourism have to be luxurious? What’s interesting here? We need road! We need a bridge! We want it all to make it easier for us to transport rice.” I used to hear all these questions and requests when I meet these people.

I just smiled while trying to convince them that this place would later become another favorite tourist choice in the city of Ruteng.

“We make sure that every guest who comes will bring the concept of tourism where every guest spends their money here instead of bringing food from outside. Here, tourists enjoy sweet potatoes, cassava, corn, rice, vegetables, fish, and various dishes prepared by farmers and that is the real concept of sustainable tourism,” explained by one of the tour guides excitedly to the farmers while enjoying coffee.

After saying that, nods and also various positive reactions came up big and it didn’t only come from the farmers but also me and some tour guides.

“who am I saying to fulfill the requests of the farmers, hopefully through the door of tourism, they will be given more choices to fulfill their needs,” I muttered to myself.

Trekking activity is indeed an option nowadays and this is confirmed by a survey conducted by “Tripadvisor” in Europe (September 2020) which states that 50% of visitors will be interested in doing adventure activities with one type of trekking activity where tourists will spend time walking on the trail.

That’s enough, this place is more than ready to welcome the tourism market opportunity and long before the Covid hit, this place turned out to be one of the trekking spots from a leading travel agent in Flores.

An hour has passed, dark clouds began to fill the sky around Londang, a village that is surrounded by rug of rice terraces. The rain started to wet the path I had just passed. Not far from the eye, I saw several people busy harvesting rice using a threshing machine. They seemed to be in a hurry, they were worried that the rain would wet everything. Luckily, a few seconds before the rain actually fell, they were already taking rest in the hut. In this hut I could enjoy lunch together. A truly memorable and unforgettable experience.

From them, I have learned a lot about how to be grateful for life. About simplicity, about sharing and surviving. They are what we call farmers that since ancient times until now, even in difficult times, they persist. Consciously or not, they are the people who are the reason we are still alive today.

This first meeting gave quite a good impression. The next encounters I’m sure will be much more intimate. Thank you so much for embellishing this journey with so many stories to take home. The trip that should have taken me only 2 hours, I took almost 5 hours because of the many high-class treats. Goodbye and for sure we will meet you soon and I won’t come alone.

This trip was held  by Tourist Guide Association in Indonesia based in Manggarai (DPC HPI Manggarai) in collaboration with Manggarai Tourism Office.

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