Monday, May 10, 2010

Backpack to Karimun Jawa

For the first time hearing the word Karimun Jawa, what reverberates inside my head that it's just an archipelago, just like Kepulauan Seribu (A Thousand Island which is located in the north of Jakarta). But as I went there to take a look closer, it's not just the islands galaxy helix which spread themselves on the Java Sea, but a hidden paradise with a wonderful and exotic views, either it's the upper sea view or the under one. You know, it's a heaven for whoever love to snorkel and dive. There are many beautiful spots which we can explore by snorkeling. I dare to say that Karimun Jawa is more wonderful than Bali, it's more than like Carribean. My friend stated that its beaches are more beautiful than Bali and Lombok, she called it Maldives of Indonesia. As we know, Bali and Lombok are the most popular place in the world which offer the best natural scenery such of beaches. Based on the available information, twenty-two islands in Karimun Jawa have been declared as a marine national park, five more islands are either private and or under the control of the Indonesian Navy. The figure below is the location of Karimun Jawa.

To get there, we took a night bus named Santika, routed from Cikarang and headed to Jepara, Central Java. It took almost 12 hours on road. That's terribly boring journey, mostly time was used to sleep. It's 8AM when we have reached the harbor of Kartini Beach, Jepara. The ferry named Kapal Muria headed to Karimun Jawa would have departed at 9AM, so we musn't spend much time to wander around the beach. It took 6 hours to sail across the sea. Again, it's really boring. To kill the time and salvage the situation from tediousness, we tried to play UNO cards, and no longer time we spent, we then prepared the best position for ourselves to sleep :D

Hurraaaaaayyy! We've already there. The ferry hovered to the harbor, we jumped and hit it with the big pleasure. We stayed in the lodge and spent the day to the night in Karimun island.

Tomorrow morning was our first day journey. After sunrise photo session, we're gonna go hopping islands in the west-side. Firstly off to Menjangan Besar island to visit shark farm/conservation. Uniquely, we could swim there with several sharks and medium-sized turtle. Dare you to swim with us? :D Yeah, at the first time, we reluctantly went down to the place where the sharks might let us to be their appetite. I was the first person who will deal with it without any safety insurance. Just muster all the guts I had, it will be my last day in my life if they dare to chop up my body as soon as I sank my feet then my mostly body under the water. But fortunately, I did it ^_^ Then next is the others' return to go near with the sharks, but don't forget one thing. Don't ever to touch them as they will suppose your hand as their food. We just relax and take a deep breath until the accident happened eventually. Something big hit the water caused some sharks startled and scared, so did we. One of my friend has been in shock when a shark kicked his ass. What a scary experience!

After we were complacent enough playing around with the sharks, we continued the journey to Menjangan Kecil island. Obviously, we weren't on its land to grab a view but went down on its water to find submarine treasure. It's time to snorkel warm-up :D We found a coral community and several kind of fishes. Be careful since there were many sharp-and-long-thorn sea urchins. My friend had ever hit them so that her leg which was injured must be rammed with solid thing. It was for destroying the pieces of the thorns which successively broke through the skin and start to go into blood vein. Or the other alternative is to pee the injured area :D

The next destination for snorkelling is Cemara Besar island, located quite far from Menjangan Kecil. I saw unique and precious small island but we were just passing them. I always grumble for what we're missing. I saw the beauty from far away I stood up as if I only saw them without a chance to poke it. Until I was totally aware that we're gonna reach Cemara Besar, I absolutely didn't believe my eyes. Oh my God, that's so beautiful panorama that I've ever seen in my life. This is the real paradise what I've been searching for during this time. I saw the gradation from the dark-deep-blue sea mingled with blue-sky-colored water and finally greenish color reaching the seashore. IT'S A REAL PARADISE!!!!!

We did snorkeling and had lunch in Cemara Besar, a la barbecue with some kind of fishes cooked by the guide. The sun will always make the sea glimmering as far as our sight meet the horizontal line. The journey hadn't been over yet, so then we continued to go to Ujung Gelam (some people call it Tanjung Gelam) to see sunset. It took 1 hour approximately. As soon as we had arrived there, as usual we took some narcissistic pose over the rock and upon the white sands. Feeling tired a moment, we drank coconut that was taken directly from its tress in the surrounding coast. The sunset was beautiful. But we must go home quickly before the sun went utterly down because the helmsman couldn't see the coral area since we might hit it if there wasn't enough light from the sun.

The second day, we woke up early morning to chase the sunrise. But unfortunately, the sunrise took place in the back of the island's forest-covered mountain. Moreover, there was drizzling. So, we just took some picture and went to the lodge. We had breakfast and then continued the tour for hopping the east-side islands. The first destination was Gosong Island, located quite far from Karimun harbor. This island was just a very tiny sand-formed island without any vegetation lived there, surrounded by the sea, that's the uniqueness for this island. Maybe it would be submerged if there's a tide. But fortunately we were able to reach it before a tide came.

The next destination was Pulau Kecil (Small Island). As a matter of fact, this island is no more smaller than Gosong Island. It rained when we were heading to Pulau Kecil. Pulau Kecil is a small island which has some vegetation, mostly a kind of pines, and has a sort of lodge and hall in the center of the island. We did snorkeling there, not far from the dock where our boat was tied. Many kind of colorful corals and fishes we found under the sea. After being satisfied doing it, the rain was still remained. Since it was rain that made us shivered, so we were just bathing in the warm beach and then had lunch in front of the lodge.

The next island we stopped by was Pulau Tengah. Pulau Tengah seemed as big as Pulau Kecil but it has lodging more than Pulau Kecil. Usually this island is used as a place for group (eg. organization) outing or training. We did snorkeling again for the third time, but I didn't participate, because you know, I think it's enough and it's time to explore throughout the island. Some of us staggered around the island from coast to coast because of a little hungover. Actually Pulau Tengah is the right place to practice diving, some of us had experienced it, but the rest felt the same thing with me. We were partially loaded, LOL.

That day was terribly exhausted but very complacent about what we had a whole day. From Pulau Tengah, we went back to Karimun Island. We chase the sunset there, and this is the end of the story. To make it clear, we went home at tomorrow morning, took Kapal Muria ferry heading to Jepara for 6 hours. At last but least, we stopped briefly at Kartini Beach and took a rest for a while in front of the giant-turtle-shaped building. I don't exactly know what it is but people said that it is one of the icon of Jepara city.

The fees:

  1. Santika bus from Cikarang to Jepara : IDR 120.000
  2. Kapal muria from Jepara to Karimun: IDR 30.500
  3. Lodge (3 days) : IDR 77.124/person (we got a discount for 1 room = IDR 90.000, 3 days and 4 rooms = IDR 1.080.000/14 persons)
  4. Boat to Shark Preservation : IDR 100.000/14 = IDR 7.200/person
  5. Swimming in the Shark Preservation for 2 times : IDR 10.000/person
  6. Boat for hopping islands in 2 days : IDR 61.000/person (IDR 850.000/14 persons)
  7. Snorkeling kit for 2 days : IDR 70.000
  8. Santika bus from Jepara to Cikarang : IDR 110.000
  9. Kapal muria from Karimun to Jepara : IDR 30.500
Total fee : IDR 516.532,4 = IDR 520.000 for 4 days 3 nights

Here is the contact for Karimun Jawa if you want to go there some day:

*The photos were taken by Sindu, Olip, Anggri, Chocky, Dina, Dani, Elly, and Mas Mahe (many many many photographers here ^_^)

At last but not least, I wanna give you some video clip that I really love so much. At first listening the song, I really fall for them and they were my soundtrack song when I had a trip to Karimun Jawa because you can see some beautiful beaches in their video clip. Check it out!