Day 3, 4, and 5: April 7-9, 2008 (Monday to Wednesday)
Donna was our next hostess in Indonesia. We joined her, her three kiddos and a friend for a 2-3 hour ride to Pelabuhan Ratu, which is a fishing village in the south coast of West Java. I was told that we will get to see the Indian Ocean from there. Wow, this is the farthest I’ve ever been away from home…
The three hour ride (coming from Sentul City) was…well, long but I love long rides anyway. It gives me a chance to observe a place especially when it is my first time to visit it. As I said, tea plantations were everywhere. Not only that, there were oil palm and rubber tree plantations as well. I guess that the Indonesian government doesn’t like leaving their lands idle–they will take advantage of their volcanic enriched soil and plant anything that can prove to be productive (I could insert here a sarcastic comment and comparative remark about our own idle lands here in the Philippines but I won’t, baka mawalan lang ako ng gana–just think happy thoughts, SL).
“Ay…ano yan?” we asked ourselves as we zoomed along the road…I just recently found out (in the internet of course) that these were oil palm plantations. Indonesia produces 44% of the world palm oil production. (info source: pedca )
We arrived at Ocean Queen Adventure Resort at Pelabuhan Ratu.
We were thrilled with our cottage! To me, it was more of a real house than a cottage –there was a sala, porch, kitchen, one bathroom, and three bedrooms. Pardon me for those towels hanging out there…that’s just how we do it, and that’s that. 8)
There is a pool and a restaurant. You get to have your own personal attendant (to help you cook and prepare food and clean the cottage.
Indonesian-style cabanas dot the shore line along the bay.
The resort was named after the Queen of the South Sea-whom the folks call Nyai Loro Kidul. They believed that this goddess queen lives in a watery palace in the Indian Ocean and is responsible for the drownings of fishermen and swimmers in the area. They even sent warnings to tourists not to wear green bathing suits or else–the queen will decide to invite you and pull you down to her home as well as to your watery grave…Did I think it was just a simple rural myth to entice tourists to the place? Of course…but still it wouldn’t hurt if I leave my green shirts and shorts behind in Sentul, just to be sure…ehe-he-he…
But real or not…I wouldn’t for the life of me, go and swim in the bay…The waves were just too strong (and real loud). Even surfers avoid it and settle for the safe area near the resort. But notice how green the water was…If you were wearing green, you’ll disappear in the seascape the minute you dive into it…and the harder to locate you if you get carried away by the waves…so it IS better to wear something bright like orange or yellow, in case you may want to brave the waters.
Warning on the wall: “Take care at all times when swimming in the sea even when calm…An unexpected large wave can catch you unawares…LOOK BEHIND YOU.” No need to warn me…You got me at “take care.”
We enjoyed watching the surfers–local (they were great!) and foreign–riding the waves at Teluk Pelabuhan Bay. We also enjoyed seeing them fall, too (hehe)…and go back again…and again…
“I’m not wearing green, see?” (left) Ha! Takot ko lang! Better to be superstitious than sorry…
Donna and her brood were real cool. So is her Indonesian friend, Tet. Donna was as usual in her generous and lively self, taking good care of all of us.
The Hostess with the Mostest: Donna with soon-to-be barbecued jumbo shrimps she bought from the local fisherfolk. Nakakahiya sa yo, Mare. Salamat sa lahat-lahat!
We stayed in the resort for three days and two nights. There were places to explore in south Java–caves and other beaches but we just stayed put and relaxed, for on Wednesday…we were headed for yet another exciting road trip…
To be continued: Indo-xicating Places (Finale)