Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We woke up before 6pm to go on short boat ride, traveling across from Peucang Island to the mainland. There was a small pier there, and then a path where we took a short walk past some mangroves and Nypa palms to an open field. Apparently this is one of the best spots in the area for seeing wildlife. What we saw were some peacocks, but they all ran off upon seeing us. We were told that sometimes there would be water buffalo there, but not today. We came back, then ate breakfast, then got packed to leave. While waiting to leave, we saw some monitor lizards, including one that was fairly large, probably 3 feet or more. Right around where the boat was tied up were a ton of tiny fish (not sure if these are the ones the traps were made for) and a jellyfish.

This time the boat ride was longer, as we were on the boat awhile, then stopped somewhere (still within Ujung Kulon) to take a canoe ride. The scenery was nice, with lots of interesting bird sounds, but Justin was tense most of the time because of concern the canoe would tip. Seemingly every time someone paddled a little too hard, the boat would list to that side. It was interesting to see so many different species of palms growing right next to one another - there were Nypa, Calamus, Arenga, Oncosperma, Caryota, and others. After canoeing for quite awhile, we turned around and went back the way we came. The return trip at least seemed shorter - not sure if it actually was. We did see a small python on the way back.

Back in the boat, we took a short trip to a nearby island to grab lunch. After lunch, we took a long ride back to Carita. As far as we could tell, we took the most direct straight line from Ujung Kulon to Carita, which hugged the coast in a couple places but was well out to sea in others. There were many of the bamboo fisheries along the way, usually fairly close to the coast. Once again, the sea was remarkably calm in many places.

From Carita, took a "shortcut" that was still quite long (going through the countryside east of Carita), but did avoid the stop and go issues around Krakatau Steel. After heading east on the main tollway, we headed into Jakarta to go to Bogor. Basically we headed north so we could head south, which wouldn't make much sense in any case, but traffic was horrendous, making us wonder if this was the only reasonable way. Perhaps because of this, or perhaps because they were just tired of being in the car, Agus joined the parade of cars driving on the shoulder, with Sjarif providing a lookout for polisi.

We ate dinner at Burger King a little after 7. Crystal stopped at the Starbucks next door to grab another mug for her collection, this time grabbing a Jakarta mug. We finally got to our hotel around 8:30. After the last couple nights, it was nice to have a "Western" style hotel room (at the Novotel Bogor). After getting cleaned up, we went to the bar for a drink. The bar was full of signs for watching the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, but since the games didn't start until after midnight, it made us wonder if people were actually coming down to watch any of them. We were there around 10pm, and the place was dead, with only a few patrons.