Easter 2011, my friends and I planned to go to Karimun jawa island. We heard it was best place to go as beautiful as Bunaken in Manado. It worth to try than fly to other island. We booked bus ticket and gathered at 6 pm in front of Istana Plaza mall. We hopped on Nusantara bus to Jepara. It took us all night long to get there. It was boring, cold, and we were squeezed into uncomfortable seats. Glad that we had midnight supper and were given the chance to stretch our legs. We woke up at 6 when we arrived in Semarang.
We planned to meet two friends of our at Jepara port. It took us 2 hours to get there. We had a quick breakfast, hot soto (soup) in Semarang before we bought ferry ticket to Karimun Jawa. It cost us Rp 28,500 each for a 6 hour trip across the strait. We chose the upper deck to see the sea. We saw flying fish and tried many different activities as we could to during the 6 hours in the boat. We played cards, ate snacks, told riddles, and napped but still ran out of things to do before we arrived.
Finally we saw the island! We went out from port and Mr Hakim, our host. He walked with us to his house. His wife already coconut and syrup ready to eat/drink when we got there which was so good. We took showers and changed then hung out at the beach for sunset. Sunset was amazing, we had perfect timing and angles for our pictures. I love this place, I did not want to go back to that ferry again.
We had yummy dinner, yellow tail fish ball. They sold fresh grilled fish too, oh I wanted to eat all fish in the sea 🙂 we went bed early. It was hot and we only had a fan. I was sweaty all night and had to fight with mosquitoes because I forgot to bring mosquitoes repellent lotion.
We woke up early in the morning, got ready to sail with Mr Hakim. He brought us to fabulous snorkeling spots on a boat. We snorkeled all day long. I love to do this. I saw thousand colorful fish, coral, anemone. God is so great creating all sea creatures. We went to an island and had lunch. Our host/boatman cooked parrot fish for us. It was just a perfect picnic for us. We went to Tanjung Gelam for sunset.
It was awesome day, no wonder people keep coming here. I hope they can take care of their natural resources as the number of tourist coming over increases. Our host shared stories about this island, he warned us to not visit this place in monsoon season. There were 6 students from Bandung trapped in island because no boats were able to sail there for a week. One of their moms had to come to pick them up using flight. Yeah flight, why didn’t they have one all the time? It would be an easier option to get here than a 6 hour ferry. He said that they had 3 hours fast boat from Semarang. It sounded better to my ears.
The next day, we went to floating guest house. It looked so nice and they had their own pool for shark conservation. We had chance to swim with them. It was nervous in the beginning since we knew that sharks can be dangerous to humans. They looked scary too. We visited the sea turtle conservation area and were able to touch it. They were so heavy when I tried to lift one up. We saw many starfish and were able to observe them face to face. We made sure to put them back before they dried and died.
In the afternoon, Mr Hakim took us to other island where we could find something to eat. I was too tired so I stayed on the boat and talked with some locals. My friends took some shells, so did Mr Hakim. He got the biggest one. We went to beach and grilled it and tasted so delicious. Good to have him around. Too bad it was 4 pm and we had to go back to our host. I looked around peaceful sea and saw fisherman boat and seaweed plantation. Sunset was great to end this day.
Our last night we went around to buy some souvenir. They had few stores but they had good quality. I liked the Karimun Jawa t-shirt design (white and black). It shows all sea creatures in Karimun Jawa in the front and campaign tagline on the back saying ‘Touch Nothing, Human Touch Can Cause Damage on Corals’. The sky was clear, thousands of stars were above us, what a nice place to stay.
In the morning, I woke up early to see the sunrise. My friend and I walked for almost an hour to get there, while other tourist used motorcycle. Yeah morning exercise. For sure we missed sunrise, but we were on the right side. Nirwana beach, private white sand beach belongs to resort. I love to feel sand between my toes and saw horizon in sea then walked back.
We packed our things and had breakfast prepared by Mrs Hakim. Mr Hakim gave us big shell that we ate couple days ago as our souvenirs. He caught clown fish too, Nemo and his dad for us to see clearer. I hope he put them back that in the ocean.
We waved goodbye when we got in to the ferry. My friend said that it would be better for us to stay in the lower deck because we would have more space. She was right, we were lying down next to coconuts and trucks. This time the 6 hours felt shorter. We took a small bus to Semarang and had shower in our friend’s house. They took us to a souvenir place before bus terminal. We hopped on the bus that took us to Bandung, our home town. My heart felt so glad we made this trip together.