Thursday, 9 January 2014


One of our trips from Jakarta was to 1000 Islands, north of the city, where we stayed 2 nights at Pari Island, a fantastic little getaway and a place you really feel like you are away from civilisation.  The boat took around 1 and a half hours to reach this tiny little island and as we stepped off the boat i could have sworn we also stepped back in time.  

Life was simple here, fishing, swimming, farming, a little beach volleyball in the afternoon...  the perfect place to unwind and just soak up the extremely casual vibe that oozed from the island and it's people.

We were given a couple of funky looking bicycles and led to our very basic accommodation which consisted of a mattress on the floor of a small room, though it did have very good AC.  What more do you need out here? 

The food was also very basic, island style, but delicious, many things i have never eaten before but i liked it all.  Remember, before the Solomon Islands I was a very fussy eater, now I was eating leaves, berries, tofu and a fish that I would consider bait back home!

We didn't stop for long at the 'guesthouse' though and were soon on the pushbikes on our way to explore the island, there was a beautiful beach on the opposite side apparently, and it took less than 10 minutes to ride there. 

When we arrived at the other side to Parawan (virgin) Beach it was an idyllic little slice of tropical paradise.  Beautiful clear water, white sand, hammocks, wooden benches and shelters set around the place and only a couple of little places to buy a cold drink or some food.

After a swim and explore we set about doing very little and relaxed away a few hours before watching the sun go down with a cold Bintang on another glorious day in this crazy dream i call my everyday life now.  

After sunset it was back to the room where we sat on the balcony only meters from the water's edge, gazing at the stars and enjoying the view of what felt like our very own island.  There was a small community that enjoyed a simple lifestyle on the island and they were all very friendly.

The next day we set out by boat to go snorkelling and explore some nearby reefs and islands. This was included in our package out to Pari which cost less than $100 for 2 nights, 3 meals a day, water, bikes and return boat transfer from Java, great value.  

The day out in the boat was awesome, some very unique scenery on the way as we passed over shallow weed flats, clear bays, big drop offs and rising coral bombies, a vast array of water craft and some serious construction happening on a nearby island, where a new resort is being built.  

Personally I would prefer the more natural and basic experience we got over a resort style trip. 

The snorkelling was pretty good and after a couple of other stops on nearby islands and reefs we made our return to shore, where we rode back across to Parawan and enjoyed another brilliant sunset with a couple of cold drinks, it truly is an amazing place to relax. 

I've seen plenty of better beaches, but this place just had this great tranquil feel about it and you really soaked up the atmosphere of somewhere so far removed from our everyday life, though this kind of thing is becoming more the norm for me! 

That night was a fresh seafood bbq dinner and I relished the chance to sit by the fire with a cold beer and almost get a taste of home.  The next morning it was time to head back to the mainland though and with a little sadness we said goodbye to our island hideaway as we would soon be back in the hustle and bustle of Jakarta. 

We stayed a couple of days and planned our next adventure, we wanted to visit the infamous volcanic island of Krakatau and the nearby national park, Ujung Kulon, but this proved too difficult and expensive. 

If we could gather a group the costs would not be so great, but if only the 2 of us, was out of the budget, the plan is merely on hold though and i will definitely make it to the site of the explosion that 'was heard around the world', Krakatau, at some point in the future. 

You can organize a Pari IsIand tour here

The harbour in Jakarta