The invitation arrived at breakfast time: “Do you want to go for a walk in the river? I can take you there,” said Afis, our host at Watu Karung.
The sea had risen in size during the night and I decided to keep myself out of the water. The plan for the day was to stroll around the village, take some photos, enjoy the beach, so a walk in the river seemed like a great plan.
“I’ll take you there on a motorcycle. The boat is 17,000 rupees.” €1.20, more or less. I’m in!
From the surfcamp to the river it was only a 5-minute drive. I sat behind Afis as a true European. I say this because many of the women here sit on their side, as the ladies did in the old time when riding a horse. An act of modesty, reservation, on an island where close to 90% of the population is Muslim.
Arrived at the place I soon realized that no one spoke English, or only knew a word or two. They began to laugh as soon as they saw a tourist, a woman, alone, wanting to make the trip.
Afis exchanged some words and informed me that the minimum to make the trip were two people, so if I wanted to go I would have to pay two tickets. I understand the imposition since they had to pay for the fuel and the time spent.
Madness… I paid the equivalent of 2€… with a discount. 😉
Watu Karung River, here I come!
The river was magnificent! Surrounded by lush vegetation and I walk along the calm waters with my small boat. I was all happy, enchanted with the landscape and giving good use to the camera.
My astonishment came when my young commander begins to send the boat out of the river and into the sea… I already told you that I had chosen not to surf that day because the sea had risen to much?!
“But where is he taking me?” I thought as I tucked away my camera so I would not catch the water that hit me as the boat passed over the waves.
He slowed the boat to the rocky formations I had seen from the beach, and which were even more beautiful up close.
“Photo? … Photo?” He asked. Oh, ok, I get it. The trip there was part of the tour. But I might have chosen a quieter sea-day, for between catching myself on the seat and praying to the saints for the camera not to catch water, I might have appreciated the moment more.
Photo taken, we returned again to the calm of the Watu Karung river and when we thought that we were returning to the dock, we followed way upstream as far as the boat could go.
“Bath… bath…”… bath? What? The young commander, through the little English he spoke and many signs told me that it was possible to bathe and swim in that part of the river. He seized the boat and I followed him by a path along the shore to the ideal place to thrust me into the clearest and freshest water I had felt since I had arrived in Indonesia.
Back on the quay, the river trip had been perfect!
Check out the little video I was able to made without getting my camera wet 😉
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