You see the picture up there? My mum took it in Derawan a few weeks ago. I went with mum and sister there, and guess what? That was the most astounding place I’ve ever been in my entire life.
I went there on July 27, took me 2 hours to get to balikpapan. It took another an hour to get to Tanjung Redeb, and 4 hours waiting for the flight there. Long journey, eh? No, it’s longer. We had to drive for two hours roaming the wilderness of East Kalimantan and a 45-minutes speed boat ride to get there, The Derawan Islands.
The flights were okay, though the waiting part was quite lame. The drive was exciting, never seen that lot of greenery before. The boat ride, oh the boat ride, is perfectly an adventure. Let me explain. The water in Derawan Islands is generally smooth, silk, clear like a glass. big waves are not common. The time we took the boat ride, it was already dark, and drizzles came along. The boat driver said it would probably be okay to go, but he added if the rain got too heavy and the big waves came, He and all of us should turn back and wait for the morning. There are no hotels, motels, inns, whatsoever in the town, so it’s likely we would stay in the balai desa if we couldn’t cross the sea that night. but we didn’t. The boat driver, Mr. Luqman said he was going to drive really slowly that the ride would take much longer time. but he didn’t. I wonder how he defines fast when he drove so fast when he chose term ‘really slowly’. Got in the Derawan Islands at 7.45, stayed at a nice small derawan beach cottage.
Derawan Islands consist of 4 small Islands, The Derawan, Maratua(one of the outermost Islands), Kakaban, and Sangalaki Island. Derawan is very well-known for its green turtles and its crystal-like view to the sea floor. Kakaban, for its HUGE prehistoric salty lake which becomes the habitat of rare species.The lake is teeming with at least 4 species of stingless jelly fish including one of an upside down species of Cassiopea (possibly Cassiopea Xamachana). Next, Maratua, famous for its great barracuda heralds, eagle rays, giant black spotted Bull raylooms, Large Dog-tooth tunas and mackerels, hammerheads and mantas. Last, Sangalaki, the world’s capital of Mantas, here the familiar set of Manta Rays emerges from all directions.
The next day was rainy, but that didn’t stop a german family from having their morning swim. ten meters off shore I saw 3 turtles coming up for air. fabulous. My Mum had to attend a training for the locals in the balai desa, it was something about small island’s waste management,and prevention of the rising of sea level rise. the latter involved us to plant mangroves. After planting mangroves, the rain stopped. I changed my outfit, and splash! time to get wet!!
My sister was terrified at first, hahaha, but she enjoyed it after the third trial.well, it was one magnificent scene down there. The coral reefs, as what mum said, were beautiful though the ones in raja ampat was still the best, but the surprise is there were a really big number of kind of fishes. You’d never get bored. School of fishes of any kinds, colours, shapes, dramatized by the crystal view.
Next morning, at 6, I went out swimming. I SWAM WITH TWO 5 FEET GREEN TURTLES. I couldn’t just enjoy this alone, I called out for my sister, but as soon as I got back in the water The turtle swam away, I tried to swam after it but it was too fast. I moved to swim in a farther spot, saw another turtle there, it was swimming around very gentle. I swam to it. It didn’t get away. After minutes swimming with it, I called mum and sister, and everyone around to get to see it too.
That day, we went home at about nine. Riding the speed boat the second time under clear sky is cool. I love the place so much. One of the locals said that if you get to drink the water of the islands, you will get back, I really hope I will.
Loads of Hugs
that weird Mira