Jun 3, 2010

A small heaven in the tip of Java

Ujung Kulon National Park and Krakatoa Natural reserve are an interesting natural attractions, with the beauty and uniqueness of various forms of natural phenomena such as the rapid rivers, waterfalls, white sand beaches, hot springs, marine parks, lighthouses and cultural heritage / history (Ganesha statue, dutch prison at Mount Panaitan Island ), not to mention the  waves  in Panaitan island. All this is a natural charm  is very interesting to visit and hard to find elsewhere.

Ujung Kulon National Park with Krakatau Nature Reserve is a national asset, and has been designated as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991.

Part 1. The Giant that sleeps, Krakatoa, 2004.

Me and ten friends went there riding our motorcycle from Jakarta to Anyer. After a very fast two hour ride we finally arrive at the Anyer Marina.Its been decided that we'll first head to Sebesi island( 20 KM from Krakatau )  in the morning. Yes, our first destination  is a Villa in Sebesi thats happen to belong to one of my friends, Ollie, a diver from Jakarta. My travelmates this time are, Dallas, Danny, Tobing, Zeva, Septo, Ollie, Wike, Leona, and her sister Dina,  a total of 10 people including me.  Anyway, the wooden boat we used is belong to ollie so we don't have to pay for transportation and accommodation.
After a 4 hours of long and wet boat ride, we finally arrive at the Sebesi.
 The villa just lie about 200 meters from the beach, it made entirely from wood, excepts for the floor and roof of course.  we stayed there for three days, and explore our surroundings. visiting the fisherman village,  the small island in front of the villa, snorkel, there's a ship wreck of WW2 not for from the villa, playing beach soccer , we even find an ice cream man in the village. slurp....
After three days of fun in the island, its time for us to go home. but before that, we are going to see the legendary Mount Krakatoa...
Only took about an hour to reach Krakatoa from Sebesi. In a distance we can see a thin smoke coming from its crater... what a astonishing view... The black sands of krakatoa greets us warm as we started to climb and explore the legend.
The eruption of
Krakatoa in 1883 has killed hudreds of thousands of people, and the wave even reach India and its ashes covered the southern earth hemisphere for 2 years.

Part 2. Exotic adventure of UjungKulon,

It was sunny day of rainy season back in  December 2008. Me and my high school buddy andris, are planning on spending the new year's holiday in nature, but two dudes in a middle of nowhere ?? what people thinks worries me. After inviting everybody with no positive answer, we finally met Handoko, a friend of Andris in  Indobackpacker community.  We decided to explore  one of the most exotic place in Indonesia, The Ujung Kulon National park.
 It is than agreed that the time and date of our journey begins at 00.00 of 30th of December of 2008. We met at Rakata Adventure's office in south Jakarta region. 
At the end of ourtime of departure, Vera, a 18th years old partimer in Rakata Adventure decided she's gonna come with us. Thank God, finally there's a Lady among us.... the journey soon began.
 Took  about 5 hours with "JK" , Andris's 1992 Mazda Vantrend to Desa Taman Jaya, a small fishing village 150 Km from Jakarta. The roads are amazing... instead of taking the Main Road of Anyer - Labuan we ride through small but faster access... we going up and down the hill in the pouring rain, the darkness of the countryside really added the awareness of our driving. We even going trough a very tight road about 1,5 meters wide, what a  strange decision trough those roads. After a long 140 KM ride we finally arrived to a 10 KM of un asphalt road.. JK was pushing it self to the limit... we can hear her squeaking every time...(she even overheated once )...
At about 06.00
pm we finally arrive at the gate of Taman Nasional Ujung Kulon, Desa Taman Jaya. We head straight to The Sunda Jaya Inn, a small hostel owned by Mr. Komar who happens to be the owner of the boat that'll takes us to Ujung Kulon. After a while, one of the inn's guest, Tieca decides that she's coming along with us to nature leaving her travel mate nawang at Peucang isle resort all alone. So the team now are 5 people, Andris, Handoko, Vera, Tieca, and myself . At mid day five more visitors joins us to Peucang resort journey in Komar's boat.
By four o'clock of  that sunny day we finally arrive at Peucang Island resort.  A four acres blend of wild life and eco resort 30 Km from Desa taman Jaya. The island is very interesting not just because its white sandy beach but animals such as wild boar even peacocks are running free and undisturbed. An example of harmony between human  and God's other creation. What a peaceful place. The white beach are without flaw. the water are so clear and free of  pollution, the big waves of Indian ocean doesn't touch the Resort coast line as it located at the opposite direction of the ocean.... makes you just wanna jump at it and swim without hesitation.
Unfortunately my journey this time not includes staying at Peucang island resort, Tonight were gonna camp at Cidaun, a small ranger post and wild bull observation post 2 Km from Peucang. A ranger from WWF Indonesia visit us that night to the post to chat and explains about the beauty of Ujung Kulon.
After a good night rest, we're heading to Cibom, the lighthouse's outpost three hour's of walk from Cidaun post .The trail are amazing... jumping a small creek, crossing a stream and river, coolest beach trail I ever walked on, I even fell down because the branch i stepped on can't hold my weight. Accompanied by our guide we finally reach Cibom on time for lunch . in there we stumble into a group of Pangudi Luhur high school outdoor adventure  group helds  an inauguration of their newest members.
After a good lunch, a quick rest and a chit chat we continued our journey to the very tip of Java, Tanjung Layar. Once again the trail are amazing. we're actually going through a tree tunnel that's been around for a hundreds of years.Apparently the dutch colonial made the trail. they even build a prison and a light house exactly on the very tip of tanjung layar, the prison still stand after the great explosion of Krakatoa in 1883. Later we know that the portuguese have built a lighthouse before the Dutch even landed in Batavia.  full of history and tales in this part of Java.
That night we camped behind the rock walls of Tanjung layar. Covered with green grass and a sound so dangerously beautiful, the waves of the great Indian Ocean.
We only set up 1 tent for 5 people and 1 shelter as our kitchen and communal area.
As we spent our new year's eve, suddenly at 23.00, the rain starts pouring, mother earth decided that we must spent the night inside the tent. Bummer...!!  Yup, new years in the tent. Can't do nothing'!
As a
result I decided to end the day and went to dreamland. The waves sing our lullaby and the love of God through nature surrounds us and filled our dreams.
In the morning, we explore the place, take pictures and memories, We also went to the new light house thats built in 1970's. The "bapak-bapak", ( lighthouse guards) apparently grow vegetables and herbal trees and even own a couple of chicken inside the lighthouse complex so they can eat fresh veggies everyday and affords fresh meat  once a month. "Good idea sir " I said. They only going  to mainland every 6 months.One of them even lived in Jakarta, same as I do. Living in a remote area really needs creative thinking in solving food, stress, and health issues, I once  experience it in Kabaena Island, south east Sulawesi back in 2006-2007, we must really push ourselves and fight obstacles, but thats another story .....
At mid day we said goodbye to Tanjung layar and head back to Cibom outpost to spent our last night at the Taman Nasional Ujung Kulon.
Thanks for the small shelter in Cibom, we were able to spent the night with laughter and joy.We swim,we eat, we rest, I even build a swing from a webbing in a tree at Cibom.
In the morning Mr.Komar's boat arrive to pick us up and make a 3 hour stop at Peucang resort. the opportunity to swim and enjoy peucang intrigued us. Without thinking, Me, Handoko, and Andris jumps to the water as soon as the boat reaches peucang pier.
What a fresh ending that's really completes our adventure at Ujung Kulon.
To be honest, I'm not yet
satisfied with my journey this time, there's is too much to see but so little time. Andris and me decided we will come back here in a few months and spend a couple of nights in Peucang resort and explore places we haven't had the time to visit. For now, Good bye Peucang, like the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger,  once said " I'll be back".  

- To be continued to part 3. "Love in Peucang"-         

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