I was looking for paradise. A secluded, tropical island which would finally allow me to enjoy this trip Pete and I had begun. We had been travelling for only two weeks, but nothing had gone right so far. From leaving my camera and purse in a taxi in Jakarta, having bank card issues, getting horridly sunburnt, to being turned away from restaurants because no one could speak English or wanted to entertain my elaborate hand gestures, Indonesia so far had not gone to plan. So, I wanted something to get me excited. And I found it with Rimba Ecolodge.
Rimba Ecolodge & Association works to promote and foster sustainable development in their beautiful area of Western Sumatra. You can visit their website here. Over an hour boat ride from the mainland, Rimba is located on a picture perfect island nestled between turquoise waters and smaller islands. The boat ride there was one of the most stunning scenes I saw on the whole 4 month trip across Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines.
We arrived to be greeted by the owners, Nad & Reno, a french woman and her husband who is native to the area, and their array of dogs, puppies, cats & kittens!
For an animal lover, I couldn’t have wished for a better welcome!
The lodge compromises of a large communal area with magnificent views looking onto the beach and the sea. There are hammocks all around, a little tree house and even a volleyball pitch. There are four large cabins along the shoreline, and further smaller rooms closer to the communal room. I knew instantly I had come to the right place as there was no chance of this beach ever becoming crowded.
For approximately £16 per night you could have a cabin with a shared bathroom, snorkelling gear and all three meals included. The cabin was spacious enough with plenty of storage areas, and the most charming little veranda right on the beach. We shared our bathroom and shower with the next cabin only, and while it was a cold shower, it was so hot it became refreshing.
We spent our days reading lazily in the hammocks, our veranda, or escaping to the tree house to take in the view. We took the dogs for walks along the beach front, or snorkelled in the extremely well preserved coral reefs. I saw a multitude of fish, turtles, sharks and even a moray eel which scared the heck out of me! You forget what day it is, what time it is, and you become so relaxed that I was quite shocked when the time came round to leave!
When you don’t have to worry about a single thing, nor even think ‘what shall we have for lunch?’ time flies by without a second thought. It was bliss!
However, the dogs were the best part for me! They were all so friendly and love taking you for walks through the jungle, guiding you down the right paths. My favourite became Baloo. He used to wait outside our cabin for us each morning, and would always join me for a walk or a snooze under my hammock. I loved that dog!
But if lazy days in a hammock or snorkelling don’t sound like your cup of tea (although who would say no?!) then you can take one of the small tours offered by the staff (who are all local to the islands). There were trips to near by islands, like Marak Island where I went (albeit before I arrived at Rimba), or to the rice paddies or through the jungle.
Rimba Ecolodge works with the local communities assisting them by raising awareness through the selling of their local crafts, and in the management and recovery of waste. They focus heavily on wildlife rehabilitation, the conservation of the natural environment and the restoration of the coal reef.
If you want to stay somewhere ethical, and have the most amazing experience of resting on a rugged desert island filled with nature, dogs, reading and snorkelling, Rimba Ecolodge is the place for you.
If you have any questions about my stay here, or how to organise your own, don’t hesitate to message me. And to add, this was not a sponsored post, just my little opinion of somewhere I will definitely be returning!