Welcome to Karimunjawa, the hidden paradise of Semarang and indeed my heart was stolen at the sight of Nature surrounding this lush green island which is full of life. For an island this beautiful, it’s surprising how it has yet to be fully discovered and dominated by tourist; however I am pleased with that fact as I would not have to rub shoulders with too many people. I often fear that the island would sink if it carries too many of us. The lot of us boarded our little minivan and took off into the island, anticipating the reach to our humble abode of the night. We soon drove up the driveway to this quaint little bungalow which has a thousand doors (okay, I exaggerated but you get the idea) and one of it will be my room! I wasted no time in settling down, putting on a clean pair of shorts and shirt before heading out with the rest towards the sea.
While resting on a concrete beam that was left from previous construction projects, we dipped our feet into the chilly, crystal clear waters and watched the sun go down. The skies were burning a bright reddish-pink and it was by far the most beautiful sight I’ve laid eyes upon (or so I thought, but hold on…I’ll get there soon)! Without haste, we captured the opportunity to make memories with this mesmerizing picturesque view and took out our cameras. One snap, two snap…and it goes on. Night time eventually followed closely by and the few of us had our dinners before we head up the rooftop and gaze into the heavens. Millions of bright, shining stars twinkled up above like diamonds in the sky. Now THAT IS by far the most bedazzling sight of my life because for the first time ever, I stayed ultimately quiet for at least half an hour just admiring the constellations that decorates the empyrean! That night, bonds were made and friendships formed. I truly enjoyed the company I had throughout the trips.
We arose with the sun the next morning and prepared ourselves for a productive day ahead. Our first activity of the day was a trip to the well preserved mangroves of Karimunjawa. My face caught the mild breeze that was not only cooling but refreshing as well. It was a new experience for me which I enjoyed however just like any forest or jungles, insects are everywhere thus I remind all travellers to ensure you cover yourself up and to put on insect repellent!
Our next activity was to hop from one island to another which I was silently anticipating since the night before. I’m not a very big fan of the seas but I don’t hate it either as I personally L-O-V-E the smell of salty sea-water and the cool sea breeze that blows. We travelled to a few different islands before arriving to the bigger, more beautiful island known as the “Panggeran Besar”!
The first thing we did was to jump into the waters for a fun time of snorkelling and scuba diving as we admire and appreciate the treasures of the underwater! It was a magnificent experience! Around noontime, my stomach started to rumble and we were gladly fed with a delicious meal of fresh fish! Everything meal around here was served with fishes but I am at no place to complain because the meal was simply delicious. I quietly ate my lunch as I watch the local kids who lived on the island play with what seems to be toys. However, curiosity arise for the few of us who noticed the ‘toys’ moved thus we went a little closer to have a better look. To our surprise, these kids were not playing with toys but real live fishes! Instead of a Barbie doll or superhero action figures, these kids played with fishes instead. It was an eye-opening moment to me and my friends from the media.
As much as we’d love to stay on the island, our day drew closer to an end with our last activity before heading back for a good night’s rest. We made a visit to the Shark sanctuary where the locals rear baby white sharks and black-tipped sharks before setting them free into the sea. We were given an opportunity to get up close and personal with these kings of the seas but as I have injured my feet before, I was advised not to participate in swimming with the sharks as blood would trigger their aggressiveness. Two out of the ten of us actually took the challenge and have a swim. When asked, both declared that they felt the rush of adrenaline as the sharks swam in between them.
We headed back to our rooms to wash up and to pack our belongings before hitting the sacks. The next day will be another long day for us as we will be taking the 8 hour ferry back to the mainland. I really enjoyed unravelling the secrets of Karimunjawa and I look forward to explore the city of Semarang at its best! Join me next week as I discover the history and beauty of Semarang Toodles!