This is the first post of my Krakatoa Trip which will be divided in three posts.
My ex-colleague and good friend, Farrah invited me to come along for this trip to Krakatoa last month. I was stoked and quickly signed up for it. Itching to travel, I couldn’t pass this one out and with a really good deal…I was sold!
My mother? Not so much! She was worried about my safety of course after the news about the child of Krakatoa’s volcanic activities lately.
Let The Journey Begin!
The journey began on Friday, 5 October 2012. I was worried about my leg pain as it was excruciatingly painful on the morning before our trip. Armed with pain killers from the doctor and ibuprofen, I packed my brother’s backpack and set to go.
Left the house before 5 PM picked up my dear friend, Diana then headed to meet Farrah right next to my old office. From there, we headed to her boyfriend’s place. He, Mr. Juragan Kepiting is the one who organized this trip.
It rained! Pouring heavily while we waited to head to the meeting point where other participants of this trip waited. In total, our group were 25 people strong!
Friday night and heavy rain just never mixed well with Jakarta!
The rain finally stopped and we headed to the meeting point, the girls and I had dinner before we boarded the bus to Merak Port. It’s the key port that link Java island to Sumatera. We left at 9 PM on a big bus, big enough to load up 50 people. I got to sit on an empty three rows seats. Relief for my leg!
We made a quick stop somewhere, allowing people to use the rest room before we headed to Merak and got there a little before midnight.
The ferry that took us to Bakaheuni port in Lampung, Sumatera didn’t leave until well after 01:00 AM.
We all sat in the hard seat of economy class with no Air Con and some bugs crawling around. They do have an Executive section that you have to pay extra to get into but it doesn’t have any seats. Just carpeted floor. Some of our group members decided to went there but mostly we stayed down in Economy. I did managed to get some shut eyes after chugging down some pain killer. Total sailing time from Merak to Bakaheuni took over 2 hours.
By the time we arrived at Bakaheuni it was 3:30 AM. Juragan Kepiting had arranged for 3 angkots (local public minivans) to picked us up from the port. We headed out to Kalianda, some 25km (15 miles) away where we would then take a traditional boat to the island we will be staying at.
One minivan was loaded with most of our backpacks. I got to sit right next to Farrah while Diana sit in the front. At this point, my leg started to flare up again and I popped in another ibuprofen to help me cope with it.
Only about 20 minutes into the minivan ride, we came to a stop somewhere for a very early breakfast and a rest stop. It was pitch dark with a glimpse of the moon above a black clear sky.
It was a local villager’s house. They had prepared breakfast of fried rice, fried eggs, fried tempehs, coffees, teas and water. Some people quickly went inside the house to lay down and rest. I stumbled out of the minivan and found the toilet. It was tucked right next to the traditional kitchen where an old man was squatting down and stirring a huge pot of fried rice. He welcomed me with a big warm smile and showed me the toilet.
The toilet was traditional. Not your typical western dry toilet. It didn’t even have a door, only an old fabric to cover the door frame. I almost jumped out of my skin when I saw something dark and moving in the water tub as I reached in with the little bucket to flush down the squat toilet. Fishes! WOW! Black little fishes were swimming in what seems to be clean water. Phew!
After breakfast, Farrah and Diana took me inside the house. It was a modest traditional house. We changed our clothes as we were told that we will stop in an island first and do a bit of snorkeling. I put on a pair or spandex shorts and my sports bra before putting on a t-shirt over it and my yoga pants. Didn’t feel like digging up my backpack for a swimsuit.
We stretched and lay down for awhile. Everyone else were resting too, some even took a nap. I couldn’t fall asleep so we went back outside and just hang out, making small talks with the other member of the group.
Dawn was breaking and it started to get bright when we loaded back the minivans and headed to Canti Port. This time Diana insisted that I sit in the front, next to the driver so I can stretch my left leg a bit. I was dozing off during the ride.
Canti Port is a local fish market and fishermen port. There were lines of traditional fishermen boats, some loaded out their catch of the day. We waited and took pictures around the port.
At around 7:30 AM we hopped into our rented boat and sail to Sebuku Kecil (Small Sebuku) island. Just getting into the boat required some balancing skills.
We all hunched down in the small area of the traditional boat. The guys took the back section of the boat. It was packed!
Tomorrow, I’ll write about our first day out islands hopping. Stay tuned!