After being held in Kartini beach, Jepara, due to high tide, my co-worker, who is a photographer, and I finally stepped on the land of Karimun Islands, Central Java on early October. My seasick during the sea-travel was eventually paid off after seeing the island's beauty.
Under the harbor's bridge, seaweeds and flocks of tiny fishes were clearly visible. I went to Batulawang Village, Kemujan District, Jepara Regency, which was two hours of travel.
During the trip, we passed by many unique and eye-catching sceneries, including rows of mangrove trees forming two meters of high natural fences. Our journey continued further into the mangrove forest where there were no asphalt road. Right after dusk, we arrived at the Bugis village. There were 150 families living in Bugis typical elevated houses called Laikas.
Bugis people had been settling and fishing in Kemojan Island since 1932. According to Abdullah, one of Bugis descents, their Bugis ancestor fled from Makassar after the riot of PRRI/Permesta. Since it was already dark when we arrived, we could not do more sightseeing throughout the village and promised Abdullah that we would back to village the next morning.
On Friday morning, using a Rp150,000 rented motorbike, I took a trip back to Batulawang and found more interesting places around the Bugis Village. Riding on motorbike is cheaper and more efficient than riding rented cars which were priced at Rp500,000 to Rp 650,000. Moreover, by riding motorbike we could freely stop by in any places and snap pictures as we pleased.
After 15 minutes ride on Tanjong Tracking Adventure, as Abdullah call it, a scenery of sea scape came to vicinity. The road, however, were getting harsher as we approached the beach. We were riding on the hills of reef stones. I could see a lot of small holes where togogi or the land crabs live.
Half an hour later, we arrived at the vast white carpet of sand and clear sea water. Only five meter from the shore, I found corals and other various sea vegetations such as sea weed and poisonous starfish. I stepped carefully so that I would not crush the corals.
The shore was quite shallow that I could walk up to 100 meters into the sea. Between the shallow and deep water, a seven meters reef stood out, called a Wedding Couple reef. The reef did look like a couple in kneeled position. According to the local legend, both stones are representation of Fatimah and Ahmad who ran away because their family did not bless their relationship. They were said to be drowned in their selfish happiness and were cursed by a hermit into stones. Therefore, locals believe that a couple who visit the stone will have their relationship long lasting.
According to Turyadi, one of the locals, there is an underwater cave with 700 centimeters wide entrance under the reef. I could see a mackerel fish jumping out of the ocean from the spot.
We continued our journey to the small islands using fishing boat. Our first destination was Menjangan Besar Island. That was the first time I swam together with a bunch of tame bull sharks(Carcharhinus leucas). Then, we enjoyed seeing the sight of tiny fishes swimming in the clear water of Menjangan Kecil Island. The fish were so fast that nobody could catch any of them.
Our last destination was Tanjung Gelam, 15 minutes from Menjangan Kecil Island. The Island gave us warm water and beautiful scenery of sunset.
Fifteen minutes later, we arrive back at the harbor. Urged by our hunger, we tried to dine on squid satay with rice cubes or rice. A portion of the dish were priced at Rp12,000.
Full stomach and my satisfaction after the trip distracted me away from the noises of Jakarta. I rest my body that night to get ready for tomorrow`s trip back to Kartini Beach Jepara.(Tempo)