Weekend getaway gratitude:
- Lovely, fun, royal friends with madness
- Unexpected island with those white sand and coconuts
- Perfect pictures
- New holiday link so we could arrange our own tour which is of course cheaper, and i will share it to you, here..
Couple weeks ago i booked a tour package from one of a daily deal site. It's written 47% discount from 700k to 369k. As we know, Indonesia's discount is just a manipulation. Adjust the price first, then discount it. So, we don't really buy a half price stuff. But, it's OK. I still decided to take it, with consideration that i don't have to get confuse with all the boat, home stay, or meals. I think that price is affordable. Besides, my concern is to gather with my old friends from high school.
Then I booked 7 packages to Harapan Island (Hoping Island), an island among the Thousand-Islands island. This is my second time to choose the Thousand-Islands as my weekend getaway. My first time was Tidung island. And this time, I have no idea what's Harapan Island looks like. But by surfing in the internet, reading some references, and seeing it pictures, i bet it'll be fun with those white sand. As always, don't expect too much.
June 22nd, 2013
We gathered with the tour travel in SPBU Dermaga Muara Angke at 6am. Me and my group arrived at 5.15am, and the queuing line in front of the toilet was almost 10 meters long. As my first impression using a tour travel, it's so difficult to find them with their uniform among those hundreds people. And yes, there are a lot more tour travels. I recommend them to have a board name, really.
|I don't think they remember how to sit safely|
We boarded a big wooden boat from Muara Angke. It costs Rp. 30k/person. For an effective way, i suggest you to board with a fast boat from Kali Adem-Muara Angke or Dermaga 17-Ancol. It costs 50k, just a little bit more expensive but faster and much more comfortable.
|Welcome to Pulau Harapan|
My boyfriend friend said that Harapan Island has nothing special but its snorkeling place. Yes, that's right. It's just an island with its local people surrounded by the ocean. We got a nice and clean home stay with AC. Again, it's people houses which are rented every weekend, and the homeowner stays at their neighbor's.
With this tour, we got meals for 3 times. After having lunch, we're getting ready for snorkeling. I'm not a travel expert yet only have a little experiences with beaches and islands. But compare to Tidung Island, Harapan Island located close to another beautiful Island and snorkeling areas.
We snorkeled first at Bira Island. We snorkeled in two spots at Bira Island. The first spot was too common.. Nothing interesting from its underwater ecosystem. I bet human has touched and exploited it too much. Let's take it as a warming up session.. Because the second spot is more interesting for me. Its located couple meters away from Bira island. A light blue sea among the darker blue sea.. Yes, there is a shallow area where we can stand our feet on the sand in the sea. Oh God, i don't know what should i call this.
I was so excited to see this sea. Something i have never imagine that The Thousand-Islands has such a beautiful shallow sea.. Well, I'm sure it has. But since we sailed not to far from Jakarta (only about 3 hours away), i don't expect for such a sea.
We could sea small fishes swimming all around. We could feed to gather them. And -the most important thing-, we could take pictures without disturbing the coral reef by standing on it. :))
|Bira Island with Gita and Rena, my best friends from High School|
|In the shallow sea, pic taken by Yudi (Gita's husband)|
After a half hour snorkeling, we decided to move again. Besides, another groups were keep coming and the area were no longer clear because the seawater has been mixed with sand. Our next destination was, Silver Island or Pulau Perak.
An island with white sand near Bira island, where we could enjoy coconut ice and Popmie, hehehe. This is the best part for me. No, not because of the island, but the quality time.. We had a good time playing an all out sand war, taking candid pictures, and last but not least, an accident because my friend hit an urchins in his feet.
|Well, it's us who started the "throwing sand" game :p.|
Throw it to them who were enjoying coconut ice on the beach
|She's my next target!|
|Look whose coming! He joined and play the role?!?!|
|And attacked Opet!|
We're all getting panic because all we know that urchins can cause a swelling in the whole body. We tried to pull out the urchins while my other friend tried to get local people to ask how to handle it, or get any first aid if needed. After pulling out some urchins, one of the local people told us not to pull it but mashed it until its bleeding. Others, pour vinegar or pee on it. Here comes another panic because we've pulled it out, we had no vinegar, and he didn't want to pee. Then we mashed his feet until its bleeding. This was so funny because he's the most mischievous friend on earth. We guessed he got karma. Hahahaha.
|And finally, he got his karma. Hahahaha...|
This picture taken by me, with a bit wet finger which turned my boyfriend canon camera to an err 20 (an error due to shutter problem). New camera, new underwater-case and Andrie with his new fresh from the oven hobby. Who didn't feel guilty then? But he's really the nicest guy on earth i have.. He Googled it and he said that i wasn't because of me. He turned the camera off and took the sunset moment with his iPhone, by perforce. :(
We continued it without SLR camera and headed to Round Island or Pulau Bulat. Hmm, kinda spooky, and not recommended. You had nothing to see here. I suggest to choose another island or snorkeling spot. Less than 15 minutes, we decided to boarded and went back to the home stay.
June 23rd, 2013.
|Cycling to Pulau Kelapa|
Nice view isn't it?
They rented bikes. We cycled to Coconut Island (Pulau Kelapa) which was connected to Harapan Island. Too bad we were too late. I got only 20 minutes to cycle around before visiting the turtle breeding. Meh. I promise to wake up earlier next time!
Turtle breeding, here we come! The breeding place was small. But i'm happy they've preserved it. There was a pile of sand to lay turtle eggs, and some ponds to place the new born baby turtles, and the big one before they were released into the sea off.
You only have to pay Rp. 1.000 to get in, and Rp. 2.500 for their maintenance costs.
Two days are enough for an island. We're going back to Jakarta. If you choose the wooden boat, it's available from 11am. But if you choose the fast boat, it's already available from 9am. Remember, it only has a small capacity. Make sure you have booked it. Ask the local people to book it for you ;).
Once again, no need to take a tour travel (sorry dear tour travel, hehehe). All you need is actually only a local people to accommodate you in the island. Because the local people itself were also hired by the tour. Here i give you the budget estimation:
Wooden boat: Rp. 30.000/Person
Homestay: Rp.400.000 (Mostly has 2/3 bedrooms, living room, and 1 bathroom with AC)
Fishing boat: Rp. 500.000 for whole day (able to bring 10-15 persons, life jacket, fin, and goggle include). Choose your snorkeling spot and islands freely.
Meals: 15.000/person for one time meal (if you're lucky, you can choose your menu).
And for home-stay just call Ibu Isma (081807479035). Her home-stay is clean. But sorry, i have no comparison if there's another better home-stay in this island. You could also order meals through her. And choose some available menu, of course.
Happy weekend getaway!!!