Sunday, May 26, 2019

Banyuwangi 2019 Part 3 - Pantai Pulau Merah

For the day after we went to Menjangan Island we had planned to go to Wedi Ireng beach. We drove for 2 hours to get to a beach on the south side of Java island. The southern coast of Java island is generally more wavy than the other sides, as this is the side facing the Indian Ocean. 

When we arrived at the beach where we were supposed to take small fisherman boats to get to Wedi Ireng beach, the wind picked up and it started raining. We waited for a while for the rain to subside, but the locals said it wasn't a good idea to go so we listened to them. Instead, we drove to Pantai Pulau Merah (Red Island Beach) and settled there for a while. 

The Red Island beach was busy but not overly crowded. We were able to rent two umbrellas with loungers and shared them amongst us. We ordered fresh coconuts and some cup noodles. Look who was super excited to have a cup!

The kids had a lot of fun playing in the sand. The waves were quite strong so I made sure to tell Miss Kiki to stay away from the water.  The sand was very fine and it stretched out really long. DH had his own fun jumping in the waves, it scared me a bit but he's not stupid so I just had to have faith.

Pulau Merah in the background

We stayed there for about 3 hours. Just before we left, Miss Kiki picked up a tiny little crab and asked me to take a picture of it. She released the poor thing afterwards.

And that was our half day on the beach!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Banyuwangi 2019 Part 2 - Menjangan Island

On our second day in Banyuwangi, we booked a boat tour to Menjangan Island. The tour was named Menjangan Island but in reality we weren't there for too long. In the morning after breakfast at the hotel we were driven to a pier and we hopped on to our boat. They provided life vests for all of us but there were only 3 children vests despite us telling them that we had 6 children with us.

Our first stop with a boat was to Menjangan Island. The island is part of Bali province and is located on the north side of Bali island, thus making it easier to access from Banyuwangi rather than flying to Denpasar and then driving all the way north. It was a hot, sunny day on Menjangan island. Our guides had to report and pay for our tickets at the office and we took the opportunity to take some pictures with the crystal blue water.

We took a little longer at Menjangan Island than expected, as they saw DH and was trying to charge us an international tourist rate for him. Fortunately we were able to show his papers to them and we were good to go. We were melting in the sun and had wanted to move on. We hopped back to the boat and it took us to our next stop to snorkel. 

The snorkelling area was near a reef, and we had two guides that went in the water with us. They helped us take pictures with a Gopro. I also brought my Hero 5 with me. I learnt from my previous experience though, this time I put an underwater casing on it even though they stated that the camera itself was waterproof. I am not taking chances anymore. Not after having it leak on me once.

There were many corals and starfish at the area and the waters were shallow unless you go to the reef. Miss Kiki was happy to be able to touch a few starfish. This time she used her snorkelling mask right from the start and didn't have any problem with it. I guess her face finally grew into it. There were a lot of fish around the area but I would say not as many fish as in Karimunjawa.

Below are some underwater pictures taken with my Hero 5 by DH.

After snorkelling we were hungry and burnt, literally. We got back to our boat and had lunch on board. The tour included boxed lunch.

Even though there was supposed to be another snorkelling stop for us, it was getting late and the water was not as calm so we decided to skip the other snorkelling area and instead proceeded to Tabuan Island. 

Even though the view from this island was nice, the sand was not clean. There were a bunch of garbage that seemed to have been washed ashore. It was rather sad to see... by then we wished that we had stayed longer at Menjangan island. It was much cleaner and well taken care of. We had some picture fun, the kids played in the sand, and others enjoyed coconut water in the shade.

Tabuan Island was our last stop before we went back to the pier where our car was waiting. We went back to the hotel and got cleaned up before we headed back out for dinner. That evening we went to Warung Kepiting. It was okay but I didn't think it was as good as Pesona from the day before. They served the same type of food.

Pooped Kiki

Kiki's handy work (the braid)
So that was the end of our second day in Banyuwangi. Thank you for reading!