Another Day in (a Not-So) Paradise

It’s been raining with exams as well as literally raining lately. Ever since Escalades 2013 is over along with its highs and lows of being a committee member, life has gone back to the usual cycle of studying for exams and managing the next event. And so, typical Mary who can’t stand spending through a week dealing with exams after a really great, dynamic week decided to be spontaneous and go along with Dad on his fishing trip to an island called Ayer and asking two of her friends to be spontaneous along with her.

And that is how our story began.

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Pulau Ayer (or Ayer Island in English) is located near the main city of Jakarta and is still part of Jakarta’ territory. You can get there by booking a seat on one of these boats which leaves from Marina Bay in Ancol at either 9 AM to 3 PM. And fair warning, this boat is quite on time. We nearly missed the boat yesterday thanks to traffic.

The trip itself takes about 25 minutes.

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My first impression upon arriving at the island goes like this : I do not want to touch that seawater.

Ayer is after all located not too far from the main city of Jakarta so the water is just the same as Jakarta – oily and filled with trash. Which is a shame because this island has the potential to be a perfect paradise.

Anyway, once you arrive there, you’ll be welcomed by this giant totem pole. Go check yourselves in to get your lunch coupon (and room keys if you’re staying there) and get a welcome drink.

We stupidly forgot to rent a bike – which my mom had advised me to do.

Afterwards, Dad showed me where he’ll be fishing and on the way there is when we saw this.

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A wedding arc. Complete with flowers and all. Someone’s getting married here. Not her, though. That’s Ci Vira, my fashion designer of a friend.

And as we walked further, that’s when we saw the floating cottages.

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They are beautiful. Gosh, this is something like what they have in Bora-Bora (except for the water, of course)

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Upon reaching this directory, I have come to realize that the entire interior concept of the island is inspired by Papua. The reason behind that is yet to be discovered, though.

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‘#fromwhereistand’

And after we parted ways with Dad and his fishing buddy, Om Apin and explored the entire island.

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The place itself looks super magnificent on camera.

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I call this particular spot “paradise corner” because it’s so beautiful. But as you get closer to the reefs and wave barriers, you’d see a lot of trash and you might even smell them – which sucks because this place is so freakin’ gorgeous.

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This is just the amount of trash that piled next to the helipad of the island. This is the where the trash that everyone who visits Ancol dumped actually goes to. So next time you go to Ancol and feel like you should litter into the ocean, think twice because you’re ruining a beautiful place with your actions.

I heard a lot of Jakartans protest about this when they arrived at the island but then again, this is our own doing. What remains now is to fix the future. Please stop littering into the ocean.

Ayer Island is actually almost picturesque without the trash. And for you photographers out there, this is a really magnificent place to conduct photo shoots because the light is perfect and the background is stunning.

So again, let’s all stop littering into the ocean and save this island.

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Anyway, the island doesn’t only have cottages that are floating at sea, they also have in-land cottages which seem quite fitting as a place to host a barbecue or something.  Ci Vita, Ci Vira, and I are thinking about saving money so we can stay in one of these cottages and spend New Years’ Eve or something together. Let’s just hope it works out.

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Finally managed to go back to the docks where we arrived and say we have successfully circled an island.

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More wedding attributes here and there

The light at that time of the day was so perfect and the sea was so empty and it just screams “take some photos here, will you!”

Afterwards, we had lunch at Ayer Restaurant which is served in a buffet style and what they serve is meals that are more on the homemade style, something you’ll find in middle-class Indonesian homes. But even so, the meal is still quite good and not below international standards of food hygiene.

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Oh, and for the best view, go and eat your lunch outside of the restaurant building. You’ll get an ocean view in front and a pool view at the back. Plus, the wind is sleepy and the speaker at the background kept playing Ave Maria (since a mass just finished and a wedding’s about to start). That’s perhaps one of my favorite spots in the whole island.

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After lunch, we channeled the inner kid in us and were all over the playground like it’s candy land or something.

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Let’s all face it, guys. No matter how old we are, there’s still that wee bit of excitement that we’re going to get every time we see a playground.

Since it was already 2 PM by the time we were tired of hanging out in the playground and our return boat would depart at 4 PM, we decided to join Dad and Om Apin along at the fishing pier.

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I actually gave fishing a try and it was quite fun actually (except for the fact that I only caught a baby fish)

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The day was so fantastic. The skies were clear and the ocean was blue. The wind was brilliant, slapping cheeks and messing up hair. The waves were not fierce at all. And as you can see here, it was such a good day that you can see the line between the sky and the sea!

At 4 PM, we finally started our journey home towards mainland Jakarta (just as the wedding guests were arriving with their sort of hilarious fashion choices – kebaya and heels on a sandy island) and closed off the day with dinner at Hailam Kopitiam.

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Anyway, I would give Ayer Island a 3/5-star rating. The island itself is quite nice and enjoyable and if you’re into relaxing and fishing or spending time with loved ones just chilling here, then this island is perfect for you. But if you’re like me and you can’t stand static places, then I’m sorry to say that this island would not suit you. Ayer is absolutely perfect to slow down yourselves, relax, feel the warm breeze and sleep under a palm tree. But in terms of adventure, there’s really nothing you can do here. Plus there’s that much trash carried to this island from Jakarta which makes it quite unappealing to the eyes (and nose) at particular spots of the island. Nevertheless, I’d praise the travel company that runs the island and the cottages in particular because they’ve done quite a good job and gave a moderately good service.

But still, even with all its strengths and weaknesses, I hope I can make a quick weekend getaway to this island again some time soon just for the sake of slowing things down in my head.

(Ps: WordPress just reminded me that today’s the 4th anniversary of my blog! Thank you for sticking by me and my random posts and life stories over the past 4 years. The journey’s definitely far from over, so cheers to more anniversaries to come)

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