Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Karimunjawa 2017 - Part 2

When our alarm rang at 7:30 am on our first morning in Karimunjawa, we got up and got ready for breakfast. We had island hopping tour prepared for us by the resort that day.

Breakfast was served at the main building. They had pretty good selections for breakfast, but I must say a lot of their food were too salty for my taste. We were the first ones there to have breakfast so they just opened the food coverings when we approached. It was a good thing because the food were left open after that and flies were kind of free to come and go. Another thing I was happy about was that they served french-style crepes there. Soft crepes served with jam and chocolate spread.

We had requested our island hopping tour to start at 10 am for this day. At a quarter to 10 the car was already waiting for us, ready to take us to the pier. For island hopping, we brought our quick dry travel towels and a big bottle of water from our room. It turned out, we were quite spoiled this time. The resort already packed their towels for us, along with a box of cooler filled with bottled water and pops in ice! There was another cooler filled with food for our lunch. We didn't have to carry any of those because the resort staff took care of it all.

When we arrived at the pier, our boat was already waiting for us. It's a roomy traditional boat just for the two of us and our tour guide and boat captain. It felt a bit strange at first because there were other boats smaller than ours fully packed with people. :D

Our guide introduced himself as Mas Wahyu. He spoke English well and is very friendly. Apparently there are only 4 guides that our resort approved to use regularly. Two English speaking guides and two Indonesian speaking guides.

Our Boat

Mas Wahyu

It was a bit windy but the boat didn't rock too much.

Tipsy ride!
Our first stop was a snorkeling site near Cemara Besar Island. I couldn't wait to get in the water it looked so nice! There were many corals there, but because the wind was strong I was having a hard time swimming. It was close to open sea, the waves were higher than my liking. DH and the guide on the other hand, were swimming like fish. The ability discrepancy was so obvious. I was a bit envious... Hahaha...

Oh I forgot to mention, we brought our own snorkels but the resort actually provided us with some. They also provided vests and fins.

We brought our underwater camera with us so we had some underwater pictures too...


After snorkelling we went back to the boat, but were told that the water was too shallow for the boat to get closer to Cemara Besar Island. So, we got off the boat and walked. The guide and boat captain carried the food and towels and whatever we needed so we only needed to bring ourselves. Even that was difficult for me! Hahahahahhaha.... Remember, it was a windy day. The water kept pushing and the sand had many corals in them. In the end, I caught a piggy back ride with DH. Hohoho...

This picture above was the last picture our underwater camera took and it died. It turned out that water got inside the battery compartment somehow. Huhuhuuu....

On this island, we had lunch. Our captain grilled our red snappers on coconut charcoals. They said that coconut charcoals don't burn like wood ones do. That's how you can get a thoroughly cooked fish without the black skin. The fish were smeared with coconut oil that was locally made. Coconuts are one of their few local produce.

DH and I got the two large red snappers and the small ones were for the guide, captain, and helper. I felt kind of bad thinking about it.... :(

Cemara Besar Island is a very small island with a long and wide stretch of fine sandy beach. It was a breathtaking sight. The sand was white, the water clear. The more shallow part looks yellow. As it gets deeper it turns light turquoise and it gets darker as it gets deeper. We spent the rest of the morning snorkelling from the island and lying on the sand in the water baking in the sun...

Finally it was lunch time and we were ready to eat! They laid out this mat in the shade for us and set our food on top. They served steamed rice, grilled fish, stir fried vegetables, and watermelon. They also served this sauce for the grilled fish with shallots, tomatoes, sweet soya sauce and a touch of peanuts. Yum!

He volunteered to debone the fish
We finished our lunch and hung out at this island a little longer. It was so nice and quiet with so few other people around. This island is a government property an is quite well taken care of. Apparently our Minister Susi likes to camp on this island.

For our walk back to the boat, I mostly took another piggy back ride on DH's back. I decided to walk on my own as we got closer to the boat and just after a few steps I stepped on a coral. Yikes! It left me a nice, long cut at the sole of my right foot. Boy did it sting in salty water!

The next stop was a snorkelling trip, this one at one side of Menjangan Kecil Island.  The water was more calm there. DH went in first with our guide. At this spot there were so many fish and they like to swim along with people. I think especially because snorkelers usually bring crackers or bread to feed them. I went in the water without fins this time, and we snorkelled around with DH guiding me by my hand. :)

Our guide spotted a cuttlefish on the coral and the boat captain took a spear and caught it. I think they're either going to have it for dinner or sell it for the meat. I felt really sorry for the poor thing as it was squirting ink like a fountain trying to escape. But... c'est la vie.... It's not like I don't eat squids and other seafood myself.

We didn't snorkel for long because DH started getting skin irritation from the salt water and my feet hurt from the fins and the cut. We then went to Menjangan Kecil Island where they had Kampoeng Bule Resort. This island also had a shark pond where you could dip in with the shark. It didn't look very clean though, neither of us wanted to do it.

Neither the island nor the resort looked that great after Cemara Besar Island... To be fair though, we would probably have been a bit more impressed had we come here first... :D

We were supposed to stay on Menjangan Kecil until sunset but it was too long for us to wait and we were already tired. We decided to head back early.

That was the end of our island hopping tour day 1.

For dinner we ate at Cumi Bar again. I was so hungry and ended up ordering too much food.

Crispy Cumi

Vegetable soup

Sawi salad

noodle salad

Fish with tomato sauce

Fish and chips
And that was our second day in Karimunjawa. Stay tuned for the next post!

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