Life is what's happening while you're busy making other plans

14 mai 2011

Derawan - Kalimantan

The further away you go from Bali, the more difficult it gets to find indonesian people who speak English. And I must admit that the language barrier complicates the travelling quite a bit. Especially when arriving on the island of Kalimantan. Kalimantan is the world's third largest island. Our complete south east asia guide book has a meager 10 pages of info on Kalimantan. Needless to say much info we had not. We were lucky though and met two indonesian men who spoke good english and helped us organise our trip on Kalimantan. The first made us realise that getting around on Kalimantan is long and difficult and almost impossible if you want to avoid taking planes. We therefore had to give up on the idea of seeing orang utangs in indonesia, lack of time because we only had 7 days of visa left. He advised us to go to Derawan island for some good snorkelling before going to Malaysia. The second helped us organise our transport to Derawan island and finding a hotel in the city of Berau. We met him at the airport and he took us in his car to drive around from hotel to hotel. Little did we know that they would all be full! Thanks to these two very helpful people we made our way to Derawan island quite quickly. We arrived on the island on Sunday and stayed until Friday.

The island is not very big, it takes about half an hour to walk around it. We had a room on stilts above the beach. We slept, we ate banana friters and fried fish, we played cards and we snorkelled. Well, Aude and I snorkelled. Thomas got an ear infection on the day we arrived and spent five days taking painkillers and raging everytime we put our fins on. :(

We saw some beautiful coral and swam with sea turtles. We spent a day on a neighbouring island. This island is just pure jungle with a massive lake in the middle. Sea water seeps in through the porous rock, so the lake is salty-water but completely cut off from the ocean. It's very bizarre to be swimming in a lake and yet to see coral growing on the tree roots and branches that are immersed in the water. The other interesting aspect of this lake is that it is absolutely filled with jellyfish. When you swim in it you are surrounded by them, all sizes, and can't avoiding touching them. But, they are absolutely harmless! since they have no predators, they have lost their sting. Despite knowing this, our mind is so used to associating jelly fish to "DONT TOUCH", it takes a bit of courage to jump in and give them a poke. But once you've done, it is just amazing!

Our visa running out on the 14th (ie today) we had to get to Malaysia quickly. So on Friday we took a speedboat to the island of Tarakan. 3 Hours... never again. We got to Tarakan just in time to catch the ferry to Tawau, the first Malaysian city from the border. A big thank you to Serge and Colette who organised for their friends Keny and Wahab to take care of us and make this possible!

All my thoughts are with my family.

Posté par wendorej à 07:51 - Indonesia - Permalien [#] Partager