16-18th of October Asia Exchange got an awesome opportunity to experience East of Java island and the surroundings: the speed boat company Marina Srikandi opened a new road from Bali to Banyuwangi, Java.
Due to this, Marina Srikandi offered an opportunity for students studying or working in Bali to have a weekend gateway to this beautiful island free-of-charge! 25 AE-students favoured by fortune spent their weekend visiting and surfing Red Island beach, eating delicious East-Javanese food, meeting the government officials for a dinner and on the top of all joining the BEC- Ethnic Carnival and the parade! Here comes the best parts of the trip with pictures!
The boat trip itself took 2-3 hours and many used the time wisely by sleeping or sunbathing outside on the upper deck. Marina Srikandi had organized the wonderful Marita to be our tour guide and she took good care of us from the beginning until the end. Luckily the ocean was quite calm early in the morning and nobody got seasick on the way. Around 11 o’clock we arrived to the harbour of Pantai Boom, where a bus with a driver was already waiting for us. Unfortunately, the bus was tiny and designed more for Asian tourists and some of our students with long European genes had some hard time to make themselves comfortable next to the surf boards lying on the floor. Despite the lack of space everyone made it alive to the long-awaited next stop “Pulau Merah”, Red Island beach.
In Indonesia you never know about estimated arriving times. Anything from chickens to scooter accidents can be on the way to slow down the journey. The most important thing one needs to have with him/her while travelling the roads is a heaps of patience and good attitude! Luckily our students seemed to have both when we finally arrived next to Red Island Beach. A local lunch was served at the restaurant that was decorated with very Asian-style patterns. Each one of us was delighted to have a fresh and cooled coco nut spiced with a hint of lime inside! This was definitely something that we were dreaming of while sitting inside the hot bus. The lunch was just as tasty! We were served a huge Mahi Mahi fish with rice and veggies. Vegetarians were also taken into account as they had tempe and tofu instead of the fish.
Once our stomachs were full, we said million thanks to the friendly staff and headed to the Red Island beach next to the restaurant. Red Island beach is a famous spot for surfers especially because of the less crowded beach break. But even without surfboards the place was stunningly beautiful and almost reserved just for us. Some of the guys who brought their own boards tried the waves as well, and they seemed to truly enjoy it! The afternoon sun made most of us lazy and majority spent their time underneath the parasols and chairs that were reserved just for us. We were blessed and happy!
Around 4 pm we headed back to the bus and drove couple of more hours to Kemiren Village, where an unforgettable dinner was served for us. Sarongs were draped on the pathway that was lighted by tens beautiful torches leading the way. It was an amazingly pretty dinner with all kind of East Javanese food. We were sitting on the ground eating from palm leaves with our hands as the locals have done for hundreds of years. When the dinner was coming to the end we were surprised by a traditional music performance that the older ladies of the village organized. The instrument that they were playing was a wooden manger that the locals use for storing the rice. Now the mangers were empty and knocking them with a wooden sticks made a sound that was beautifully synchronized. Some of the older ladies were also singing the song that completed the performance!
Late in the evening we drove back to the cosy Mirah Hotel where we were staying in comfortable double bed rooms. Most of us were so happily tired that we passed out right away after arriving to the Hotel. This was a good choice. Next day was even more exciting and full of happenings!