We had an excellent Java weekend. Plan A was to visit the national park, with a view to spotting Javanese rhinos and other assorted fauna. However, after our arrival, making enquiries and consulting the well-known travel guide, we realised that we needed to do an outrageously expensive day trip, by boat. Expense apart, we didn’t have a full day to do it. A trip to Anak Krakatau was in the same category.
Luckily, Plan C was excellent as well. The Tanjung Lesung Resort was beautiful, although, as experienced innumerable times previously in Indonesia, the poor maintenance was beginning to show. Our “cottage” was nice and lunch and dinner were good. (Breakfast was okay, just.)
The site is fantastic. We swam in the lovely pool and then at the beach. The sand is white and clean, although there are a lot of rocks and dead coral. The water is clean, warm and safe.
Helen, Lyndsey and I went for a drive to find a place to hike. The road we followed led through rustic villages whose denizens looked healthy and happy. We came to a bridge that was in the process of being repaired, and Helen wasn’t keen on the Avanza tackling it so we continued on foot. Two hundred metres further on we hit the sea. The beach was, literally, paradise – White sand, gentle waves and enough rocks to make it picturesque. We walked along it, then over rock pools (full of hermit crabs scurrying about) before “bush bashing” back up to the road.
We shared a bottle of wine on the beach at sunset. We could see Anak Krakatau in the distance, although it was a bit hazy. After dinner, the three of us suddenly became tired after the fresh air and the day’s exertions and crashed early.
We were up and about by 7am. We returned, by car, to a turn off that we thought would lead to a hiking track. We set out and came to a kampung at a fork in the track. The locals assured us it was “jauh” (far) in either direction. We took the right-hand track, which our informant told us would lead to the beach, 4km away.
The walk was beautiful, through coffee, banana and cocoa plantations. I was reminded of the hill tribe trek I did in Chiangmai. We seemed to be continuously heading uphill.
We came to a lovely village near the summit. Some children assured us that the best route to the beach was to the left. We stopped to talk to a woman sorting through something white and slimy. She told us it was chocolate and we walked through a plantation on the way down.
All the way down, we had two little girls and three little boys with us. We ended up with the boys and I in the lead, Lyndsey in the middle and Helen and the girls in the rear. It was very steep and slippery for us, but the boys, in particular, skipped back and forward like they were on flat land.
Eventually, we arrived at the road. We walked between four houses to a perfect little tropical beach. The plan was to hire one of the motorbikes to drop me back at the car, about 4km away.
Unfortunately, none of the layabouts around actually owned the motorbikes. We set out on foot and flagged down a passing rider who took me to the car. By the time I drove to the dodgy bridge, and crossed it, after consulting with the repair crew, Helen, Lyndsey and the children had walked within sight.
Back at the resort, we hit the beach for the last time. Lyndsey and I went to the pool, then unsuccessfully tried to procure lunch – we were too early.
From Jakarta, we took about 4.5 hours to go along the coast to Tanjung Lesung. We took the inland route back for an uneventful 3.5-hour trip. We will return.