Minggu, 13 Januari 2008

on wings and a prayer

on wings
it was a delight to visit Pulau Rambut (literary Hair Island), Jakarta. It is about 15 miles from the mainland Jakarta I went there with Vit, Muti and Bayu last May. it is a reputed birds sanctuary. we sailed 20 minutes from neighboring Untung Jawa Island. we were welcomed by cormorants' shrieks and gulls' laughters, not to mention their awful smell.

the ground and the leaves were snow white, covered with drops of jupiter [guanos]. and we kept our heads up to watch the fabulous nests and the calling chicks. as we went deeper, some signs pointed the directions to the birds: storks, hornbills, gulls, cormorants, gannets [?], and . . . many banded kites. Snakes!!! yikes!

several steps further, i leapt and screamed like a madman. "komodooooo!"

a gigantic lizard in the size of komodo dragon crossed my path! as we ran away, so did the giant reptile. hahahahaha

friends also got as scared. when calmed, i learnt that it was only a monitor. i encountered with many of them [smaller ones] in Pulau Bidadari. i guess it became that big because he and the snakes are the only predators on the 50 ha island.

to be honest, i love snakes and monitors . . . from a distance. safe distance :) or in eternity (these creatures in the form of bas or shoes or book jackets)

we were fortunate to have good weather. We climbed up the 20 m tall birdwatch tower. The tower is sturdy and of concrete and steel--replacing the old wooden one that is now scattered around it.

from there we could see the entire island and photograph the lovely, ubiquitous sea birds. Some nest on the tallest kapok [kapuk] tree and made some unforgettable noise up there. beautiful. and i saw a large numbers of bat slept on the top of a tree. they must have been fox bats. next time i come, i will bring binoculars for sure.

We had the tower exclusively for us. Bayu ordained himself DJ, scanning for radio stations for evergreen songs (my!) and made everybody in good mood. Then the wind lulled us and we had a good nap there above the ground amid the shrieks (no signs of songbirds).

Later in the afternoon we made our way safely to the white beach and had some dip there.

loved it.


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