Sunday, February 6, 2011


Long time no blogging!
Anyway enough with the chit chat, I wanted to post some photos on this beautiful Island my siblings and I went this end January. Actually I have been to Europe but the photos hasn't been edited yet. So I guess the Island photos first.

The island is called Maratua, it is located in East Kalimantan (Borneo Indonesia) where if you want to go there the only way is to go to Balikpapan - Berau (only Batavia Air have the flight and it was one flight per day) and transfer jetty to this Island passing Derawan Island. And I am telling all of you the sea is ROUGH.

My head was full on the adventure, because we had short on cash (maybe it was just me) we decided not to arrange the jetty transfer from the resort, Maratua Dive Resort. So then we took a ride to Tanjung Batu, research said it was closer, and decided to take a transfer there. And they gave us a ride with the 6 passengers sitter (plus our bags) small jet boat. The type of jet boat that you usually see when James bond was kicking the bad guys on the Quantum of Solace one. Yep.

It was about an hour closer! Which usually takes about 3 hours. On the way to Maratua we got greeted by the beautiful sky and group of dolphins swimming so close we can barely touch it and got splashed by them, it was BEAUTIFUL. Finally we got there, the food and service was great, villas were awesome, the people were wonderful and the diving was magical. You can see sea turtles swimming passing by the water villas and everything. It was CRAZY. Not to mention the Kakaban island that has the non sting jellyfish! This is paradise.

Good things come to an end.
We were ready to go back to Berau wanting to catch our flight, suddenly rain hit the island hard. It was the type of rain when you see the sky you know this is going to be a long rain. For a fact we were up and ready from 5 am. Our last jetty that took us to the island was ready but the guy said he will come approach us when the rain stop, which it didn't. 
So we missed our flight and we were in confuse on what to do. If we stay we would pay for another night in the paradise (which everyone would not mind). But in cautious that there's a chance this thunder will happen again the next day. Or pray to Allah that the sea will come down and we cross to Berau anyway later that afternoon. We decided to do the second one.

The boat guy agreed to transfer us still and called for another jet boat to pick us up, reasoning it will be safer. We told them specifically that we will not go if the boat comes at 5 pm, we prefer on leaving when there is still sun so at least we reach Derawan Island  on Sunset. Again, we left the island at 6.15pm and the boat driver was forcing us to ride. It happened so fast and I guess we weren't really thinking that time from all the long waiting and bored, we jumped on. Also 15 minutes before the boat came we were greeted by group of dolphins! As if they were saying goodbyes.

Looking back to the villa, the workers were waving at us and there we went to the rough sea. For the first time in my life ever, I got scared. I have been on a rough sea, lost for 10 hours, but that was on a fisherman boat! At least they get use to this. But now, this is just me, life vest and the rough sea. 
My soon to be official fiance was on the same boat with me also my sister in law. We were just trying to give each other comfort through small talks and jokes. But this ain't joke for me, I was SCARED!

My fiance said he is ready to catch me and my sister in law if the boat tipped over. I am not thinking about that. I am thinking what next?? The sea was as rough as I can remember, plus it was going dark. Pitch black. There were only the sound of the engine and the jet boat light sometimes went off. My brothers were on the other boat with our stuff and luckily one of them have a underwater torch white light so we can see them. 

After 4,5 hours or so praying and all chanting and dzikir and trying to think positive, we arrived in Berau at 11 pm. Exhausted and relieved! I felt like running to the ground and kiss it screaming "LAAAND!!".
But the ground was too dirty, we are talking about Berau here. The place where coal workers stops by to do their business and strictly business. 
Paying the boat guy and all, we still pay less then if we pay the Maratua transfer from the resort, getting our bags and about to settle everything. Suddenly the boat men said "You guys must be desperate, that was some reckless move you know". We were like WHAAATT????!! 

Anyway, what happened happens and its in the pass. We are safe arriving in Berau and Thank Allah for that. 

What I have learned that day I want to share with everyone. Which are:
1. Plan your traveling. Jet transfer, planes, timing and everything.
2. Bring EXTRA cash, always
3. Go with the package where your resort is, inc transfer.
4. Do not be fooled by the dolphins sign

But over all, it was still a MAD trip :)


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