Thursday, June 3, 2010

To the Beach!!!

We walked down the street to meet the tour bus at 5:45am to head to the beach, 2 hours south.

The first stop was at our language school, where most everyone else planned to meet the bus. (We got special treatment because we live right down the street from the school from which we rented the bus) The bus was full of our friends and tutors from language school. Also, several cars full of more folks from our group drove down. On the way there, many of our lively tutors serenaded us with Indonesian songs and silly quips. It was great, noisy fun!

The only way to the beach is over the mountains. It literally felt like we were climbing in altitude to get to the beach, and then, we were suddenly there at the southern coast of the island of Java.

We got a glimpse of Javanese desa (village) life along the way.
Once arriving, we changed into our water clothes (swim suits, etc) and prepared to go to "the beach" on another island. The only way to "the beach" is by boat. Above are some of the boats that line the shores of Java. Beyond the boats, you can see the inland side of the island to which we went for the day. Elijah enjoyed looking at all the boats (below).

Upon arriving at the beach site, our tutors immediately built a fire (while it was raining) and began cooking the fish they purchased on the coast before we boated to our beach spot. It was delicious. All six of us enjoyed the catch of the day!
We ate our fish Indonesian style - with rice, of course (brought in slow cookers - I don't want to think how early someone must have risen to cook that!) and with our hands. We brought spoons but found it much easier just to eat with your fingers.

Sandy shores and gentle waves. Nestled between the islands, our beach spot afforded a distant view of a Java waterfall and great sand for packing and making into sand balls. We even built a few sand men (like snow men, but with sand). We hear if you hike through the woods during dry season for about 2 hours, you can reach a lagoon on the other side of the island, complete with cliffs and a beautiful view of the Indian ocean. We will save such adventures for another day and time.

(Although not pictured) Many other Indonesian guests took great delight in having their picture made with our children. They would wrap an arm around one of our kids and pose as their friends snapped a picture. It happened several times and all our children were cooperative and smiled warmly for these strangers. We are still not sure whether they realized the Indonesians asking for these photo ops were not part of our group.

One of the boats that took half our group back and forth from island to island. The engine was loud and at one point, stopped working, leaving us to drift with the tide waters. Elijah found that watching the boats from the shore was a lot more pleasant than riding on them. He wasn't too keen on the loud noises. As we reached the shore of Java once more, he said, "Mommy, I non't yike dat boat."

All in a day's adventures at the beach in Indonesia!

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