05.07.2017 - 05.08.2017 93 °F
07 May 2017....continued
Flight back to Semarang was a little bumpy but not too bad. Arif had arranged for a driver to take us to Jepara where we stayed the night at the Gecho Inn and then took the ferry to Karimunjawa. (Gecho Inn....$33 per night - breakfast included....very nice.)
08 May 2017
Getting the ferry tickets was a little tricky. We will be staying at Panorama Guesthouse and the owners - Joyce and Sudar- helped...a lot. First we have to fill out an info sheet (on line) and then Joyce would find out if there were seats available. Then we had to transfer funds to "Transferwise" (similar to Paypal). When the funds were received, the tickets would be bought in Jepara by Sudar's brother who would then meet us at the harbour and give us the tickets...Follow??? It actually worked like clock work.
We arrived at the harbour - got our tickets and were on the 0900 Fast Ferry (2 hours) to Karimunjawa.
Arriving at 1100, we were met by Sudar and Joyce the owners of Panorama and Happinezz Hostel. It was a two minute van ride to Panorama, which is their new (about 3 weeks) guesthouse.
Karimunjawa is a actually a series of small islands off the north coast of Java Indonesia.
New to the tourist route, we found out about it from a photo in Lonely Planet and thought that it would be a nice place to visit. We decided that Happinezz Hostel would be a nice place to stay but when Wayne and Linda were able to make the trip, Joyce suggested we move to their new guesthouse where there would be three A/C rooms.
The island is simple but very comfortable. We walked into the gathering area of Panorama and saw the beautiful Java Sea in front of us and I immediately wondered out loud, "maybe we can stay here a little longer".
The five of us got settled in our rooms. Brenda, Jim and I sat down for a serious discussion. Would we really want to stay a few more days?? A couple of things had to happen to make that work. We would have to get our baggage from Quest hotel in Semarang and we would have to see how we could get to Bangkok for our flight out on the 18th.
Off we went for the 15 minute walk through town to discuss the possibilities with Joyce. Happinezz is a nine room hostel on the other side of town and they also have a small cafe. When we arrived we were all bit hungry but the cafe closed at 2pm and the lady that cooks for them had gone home for the afternoon. Not to worry, if it was simple, Joyce or Sudar would cook for us. That should have been a clue. This lovely couple continued to go out of their way to help us with our plans. Joyce said that there is a flight Monday and Wednesday from the small airport on the island to Surabaya. From there, we could get flights to Bangkok. Regarding the baggage, they put in a call to Quest hotel, which would actually involve a couple of calls but that ended up working out too.
The other concern for the three of us was the cost. Bangkok, though not expensive, is more expensive than this small island. So, even with the changes, we might actually come out ahead. I had also planned on doing some shopping in Bangkok. That will not happen here, maybe a t-shirt or two but not really much else to buy.
Lunch was tasty and before we left we asked Joyce to get us motos for tomorrow so that we could explore the island a bit and get to Sunset Beach.
So much for one day had my head spinning. Linda and Wayne headed to the fish market for dinner while Brenda, Jim and I crashed.