I am AVATAR Aang from Air Nomad and I can fly! You can’t see my air balloon underneath my feet because you’re all human!
At least that’s what’s happening in the photo above, or what I pretend what’s happening. So, we were visiting Green Bay, a hidden beach in the area of Meru Betiri Conservation Park. Personally, I’d rather call it TURQUOISE Bay, because, hey! Can’t you see the water is indeed turquoise?? Well, this beach, Green Bay, or the locals call it “Teluk Hijau” is located inside Meru Betiri Conservation Park. Meru Betiri itself is huuugeee and vaaaasttt and therefore, it is divided into two regions: Jember and Banyuwanyi. Green Bay is a lot closer to Banyuwangi and it is, in fact, located in Banyuwangi region.
You never heard about Banyuwangi? One of the biggest canned tuna producers? Ugh, and the fact that Banyuwangi is very close to Bali island? You know Bali island? The island of gods and beaches and Puré (Hindu temples) and the last time I checked, the island where some folks deployed bombs TWICE in the name of religion. That tropical Bali island? Yes! You’re right.
Well, Banyuwangi is just a ferry away from that island and it covers the widest region in East Java. So, on that faithful Friday evening, the most important day of my life, we set off to Green Bay not through the north, but south. We took Surabaya – Sidoarjo – Probolinggo – Jember route because it is shorter in distance. However, this very route, mind you, has its downside. After you go pass the main city of Jember, there lay thick forests with its up-and-down the hill rides. Cuss the government for that! Plus, the roads are not smooth, either. And what’s worse? No food stall selling coffees and nasi bungkus! This Nasi bungkus is basically cooked white rice with some chicken or meats , sauté veggies, and sambal wrapped in brown paper. The price? Well, it ranges between 5K IDR to 8K IDR. Since I told you that we set off in the evening, it was around 3 in the morning when we arrived to the last civilization. Anyway, thanks Heaven! We found one food stall selling nasi pecel before the T-Junction from Jember main road going on to Southern Banyuwangi – where Green Bay is located and one that goes straight to Banyuwangi Town.
I didn’t take photos of my nasi pecel back then, because it was so dark and I even didn’t realize I had this blog to update. But here’s a glimpse of what nasi pecel usually looks like:
[Nasi pecel : Javanese rice dish served with cooked veggies and peanut sauce]
The price is around 5K to 10K IDR, depending on what main-dish or meat you have. It usually goes great with dadar jagung – savoury fried ground corn kernels, empal – savoury fried sirloin meat, fried chicken marinated in bumbu pepek (Indonesia complete 9 spices), boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, sunny eggs and tahu bacem – fried tofu marinated in bumbu pepek. And on top of nasi pecel, you usually will have rempeyek – a kind of big crackers made from rice flour and starch that has some peanuts on them.
And when there’s no nasi bungkus? Nasi pecel would absolutely do. Thus, we gobbled up our early morning meal and I bought some hot coffee for my brain, otherwise it would not work. Then we’re perfect to go.
Finding the main gate to Meru Betiri was not as easy as we thought, though. When I said that it was a hidden beach, it indeed was hidden! It’s like we’re on a journey to a treasure island! Yet, we managed. Of course we managed. Otherwise writing this post would be useless don’t you think, my dear readers? XD
The road, was once again, our biggest problem. But the view! The view of timber forest was amazing! This timber forests belong to State Company called PTPN IX and the smell, the view, the small cute little houses owned by the farmers successfully distracted us from occasional bumping every now and then. I’m sorry. I hate to say that I didn’t take photos on that forest.
Then, there was it! The main gate! We jumped in happiness! And also because of the BUMP ON THE ROAD! Then we proceeded with paying taxes and stuff, not expensive though. But I’m afraid it would be looooooooots expensive if you’re foreigners. Kinda. I hate the government for that. So unfair! It would not cost you a house, but still….! The margin completely doesn’t make sense!
The gate of Meru Betiri saw us left in happiness to our first beach, Rajagwesi. Here you can rent a small fishing boat to continue your journey via water to the mouth of Green Bay, or like me, continue on the hilly paths until we have to stop our car and walk through woody tracks. Second option looks best. Besides, you get to walk through several other hidden beaches through the journey.
We washed our sleepy, dirty, exhausted face, wore sunblock because even an ogre like me didn’t want to get buuuurrrnnneeddddd and walked through the path. Well, in the meantime, I managed to wrap my head in what’s supposed to be like turban from 1950’s just to protect my head from the sun and judging from these photos, I am 100% sure, I failed.
[The sign of Meru Betiri. We parked our car here and continued on foot.]
[Uh-huh. That’s me in the middle after changing my bandanna scarf into turban. I I look more like a hip-hop wanna-be get lost in the forest instead of bohemian-beach chic, right? Fashion Faux Pas galery, here I come….)
We arrived at “Pantai Batu” – Rocky Beach and stuff then took some photos. We were so excited and spent quite sometime at the beach before going like, “Oh Crap! The Green Bay, fellows!!”.
In less than half hour, we set our feet to Green Bay. It was like Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!
Green! Turquoise! And land covered in white sand! And what’s more fascinating? There were only few visitors. The beach felt so, so, so much private.
So, what did I do after ditching my turban and stop pretending I was Bohemian-chic-Pinterest-material? I, ladies and gentleman, took this photo:
[If you ever need to know where Green Bay is, you can google its coordinates]
And of course, this photo. And looottsss of other photos I will not post here because they are not Pinterest-Material. Thank you.
[Posing like Presidential Election Success Team because we are that crazy]
What do you think? Come visit Indonesia? 😀