When my Couchsurfing friend, Simon invited me to go for a surf trip to Batu Karas, I immediately said yes. We’ve been talking about going on the trip together and after a year, we finally going to make it happen. We decided to meet in Bandung and take a shuttle to Batu Karas. The journey took 6 hours and it was comfortable since we had the whole car to ourselves. The driver played dangdut all night long and I slept all the way to Batu Karas. We arrived right before sunrise.
First thing first; wifi signal is really bad and phone reception doesn’t help at all. I struggled to do my work here at the no-internet land. The black sand is not really a gram-worthy picture. Shops are limited. Things are moving slowly here, including the service at the restaurants or warungs.
But it wasn’t all that bad. If you are looking for a peaceful place, friendly people, great vibes, awesome waves, good food and quiet evening by the beach; This is the perfect place. You don’t need to plan your day. Wake up late, have your morning coffee, catch some waves, eat, take some nap on the hammock, surf again, eat, sleep, repeat.
Small problem though; Blue Bottle Jellyfish. We arrive just in time for the Blue Bottle Jellyfish season. Consider yourself lucky to get out from the water unharmed by this evil little creature. I saw few of them that washed ashore, looks cute but deadly. My friend, Mariko got stung by the jellyfish even when she’s fully-covered from top to bottom. It was painful to watch and probably not the kind of experience you are looking for. Our first couple of days didn’t look so good. It was gloomy, windy accompanied by little rain. When the sun is out and jellyfishes are gone, we finally got a chance to play.
What makes all the surfers fell in love and keep coming back to Batu Karas is, above all that, it considered paradise for beginners and long-boarders. Point break with long,consistent right-hander that breaks over an even, sandy bottom bay for over 150 m — just pure bliss. The waves are fun and playful although there were days when we have to battle the strong current. Great exercise for the arm!
Some mornings when my friends were out to enjoy some productive morning surf, I grabbed my camera and the motorbike to take some shots for my documentation and explore what this fishing village has to offer. Warm light, waves splashing on the shores, lush greeneries, strangers greeted me with smiles, driving on an empty road. A perfect morning bliss; quiet and peaceful.
BBQ night at Villa Monyet. Great company, chill while jamming the night away with friends
Crossing the bamboo bridge shortcut.
We went to Green Canyon to add some thrill to the experience. A 1-hour tour and swimming in the refreshingly cold water was a blast. Green Canyon is absolutely stunning and I would love to do some body-rafting on my next visit.
How to go:
If you are planning to go to Batu Karas from Jakarta, the bus departs from Terminal Kampung Rambutan to Pangandaran on daily basis. If you are coming from the Soekarno-Hatta International airport, you can ride DAMRI bus from Terminal 2 directly to Kampung Rambutan. There are 2 bus options that I know: Bus Budiman and Bus Gapuraning Rahayu. The bus cost Rp 85,000 and the journey will take around 9-12 hours.
From Pangandaran, you can ride an elf or mini bus, that will take you to Cijulang, the nearest village to Batu Karas and then you can get ojek (motorbike taxi) to Batu Karas. You can also get ojek from Pangandaran to take you directly to Batu Karas. Remember to bargain the price 🙂
The whole journey to Batu Karas by land is tedious, gruesome and makes every inch of your body wish to get it over soon. You might not be able to sleep as the road holes are unforgiving. The guys on the bus, including the driver, keep on smoking throughout the trip, like it’s nobody’s business. I literally smell like a chimney when I got out.
Drink 2 or more Bintang to cure you from one hell of a journey. Alternatively, you can do the trip by air. Only Susi Air fly to Pangandaran airport, Bandara Nusawiru and you may need to pay a lot more for the ticket. But it will save you tons of energy and time.
Dinner at Dapoer Kampoeng with newly found friends.
Live to the fullest,