Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getaway: Ujung Kulon National Park – The West Edge of Java

The sun was bright, burnt every spot of my bare skin. Lulled by the wind and gently wave, swung at the cradle of Poseidon’s Kingdom, I was awake in this lullaby’s world.

It was very quiet without the sound of the boat’s machine “dukdurukduk”.
We “Lost”!
We knew where we went to, but the machine didn’t work at all. We were in the middle of somewhere between Sunda Strait and Indian Ocean. Second turned to minutes, and minutes turned to hours, and we were still looking at the same spot of sky. Some of us were fell asleep to their own journey to utopian world and some just sat, felt the Apollo eye burnt our skin with the blue color of the sea as the edge of our sight.

“DUK … duk … dukduruduk dukdukduk” the sound of the motor cracked the silence and Thank God, finally we continued our trip to Peucang Island – Ujung Kulon National Park (from Taman Jaya Village).

This journey started from somewhere in Harmoni area – Central Jakarta at 9.30 pm. We drove 2 cars, loaded with 11 persons, along the way to the west edge of Java Island.

Ujung Kulon is one of 50 Indonesian National Parks, which is a World Heritage Sites alongside with Komodo National Park, Lorentz National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. Ujung Kulon also is the first National Park in Indonesia with 123,000 ha wide and is endemic area for couples of critically endangered flora and fauna, including Kiara Tree and Javan Rhinos (Rhinoceros sondaicus – less than 60 rhinos left in the world).

After about 9-hour drive following the empty road, and we arrived at Taman Jaya Village where the rented boat, which sailed us to Peucang Island, was docked.

Had a quick break for breakfast then at 9 am we started loading luggage to the boat and we were ready to sail. It took around 2-hour sail to see the signage “Welcome to Peucang Island”.
Welcome to Peucang Island
Peucang's Dock
It was around midday by the time we stepped on Peucang’s dock. Left the dock, then we entered some open area which was surrounded by rented cottages. The interesting thing was just before dusk, the open area around the cottages would be occupied by deer, monkeys, boars and giant lizards. Indeed, we have to be alert to monkeys, and we are not allowed to feed them.
The Cottage and the Deer
We spent the first afternoon at the beach, beautiful stunning beach. The beach has no long coastline, but the sand was white powder and the water was so clear and warm, with shapes of blue, dark green and turquoise colors. 
Peucang's Beach
Peucang's Beach

The dusk came and we were back to cottage and cooked our dinner. Well, we decided to cook our meal instead of ordering at Peucang’s Restaurant. At that time, the restaurant was not open for public, and only served meals for prior order.

After dinner, some of us went back to the sea for fishing and some just sat at balcony and had a little chat, shared some story and jokes, while one by one the stars started blinks their tiny lights, like a thousand of diamonds.

The sun rose and woke us up. Had a quick breakfast before jumping into the boat, and ready for the sea. We sailed to Citerjun and Cihandarusa, spent the whole morning for snorkeling. It was fun even the marine park wasn’t in good condition.
around Ujung Kulon
Snorkeling time
Next stop was somewhere nowhere in the sea. Fishing and sun bathing were all we did to spend time in the afternoon.
Back to Peucang Island, grabbed a lunch and we were ready for fun trekking, crossing this island to Karang Copong Beach for sunset.

Karang Copong Beach is a rocky beach with some hills that we could trek up for stunning sunset. We spent for a while on this beach and enjoy the sunset, so peaceful.
trekking to Karang Copong Beach
giant huge tree, I'm 178 cm tall and I'm around only 1 cm in this pic

a deer in the edge of rock
sunset at Karang Copong Beach
The dark came and we got back to the cottage. Indeed, head lamps did help much for night trekking.
The morning came and it was our last day at Ujung Kulon. We sailed again to Tanjung Layar, crossing the deep blue sea.

Tanjung Layar gained its name from a rock which was placed tens meters from Tanjung Layar Beach, close to The Lighthouse which built in Dutch/Colonial Era (around 300 years ago) and still working todate. Tanjung Layar is part of Ujung Kulon National Park and a home for endemic fauna, especially Javan Rhinos, which has Critically Endangered IUCN conservation status.

We had to walk crossing the wood, followed the path around an hour to reach Tanjung Layar Beach. The ranger who accompanied us told that we would find many of colonial’s relics in Tanjung Layar Area. The path that we walked on it, is also a relic which was made by the Dutch. We also found ruins of an inactive prison, coast guard office and residences.
welcome to the official signage of Ujung Kulon National Park
a path way to Tanjung Layar Beach

giant tree, I'm 178 cm tall and i can stand straight inside the hole
Dinosaur Rock
little savannah at Tanjung Layar Beach
Tanjung Layar (second rock from left)
Back to Peucang, we continued sailing back to Taman Jaya Village. It was a quick vacation indeed, yet such an awesome getaway though. Back to reconnect our soul to the mother natures, reminded of The Great Lord by His beautiful creations.

The sunset came. We left no regret but great memories. Waved to Ujung Kulon National Park, and we drove back to Jakarta.
photo credit: Erin
Special thanks to Resviana O. for my English translation review  

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