Me and the love for open water experience

For those who have seen me,

… I have a dark skin color.

Well, most people adore my skin color. They would say “exotic”. But I notice that for some other people, the kind of skin color I have is dreadful. They would do anything to avoid of having a skin color like I have. Some said that dark means dirty, while light means clean. It’s not brown, nor dark brown like most of Indonesian have. It’s a brown-red -ish kind of color. I don’t know how to explain it in words, perhaps you should it by yourself. Where do I get this kind of color, while my mom has a yellow-ish and my dad has a brown and a bit lighter from me, I have no idea. And I found out that a lot of people would ask me whether I came from Philippines or Thailand.

That’s why I hate beach.

Swimming on the ocean, building sand castle at the side of the ocean on the middle of the day, I knew what it could made me. Sunburned, and my skin would definitely get darker. Tanned.

I recalled my moments when I went to Bali with one Cici and two Koko last two years. I avoided to get directly exposed to the sun on the middle of the day. We spent a lot in places like cafes and malls, and then we got in and out to and from the car, traveling around the city with the rented car. No swimming in the ocean, no building sand castles at the beach. That was how my skin did not get darker the moment I returned back to my hometown.

But this time was different.

Last month I went to Belitong (or Belitung, whatever people called it) with some of my workmates. Of course we are gonna play a lot at the beach instead of staying in the hotel for the rest of the day. I did think about it a lot, that I did not want to get directly exposed to the sun,  in case I will get sunburned and my skin would be darker than it already is! On the other side, I was very aware that I would not get the fun I should get while I was there if I’m too afraid to be on the open air. So I thought: “let it be!”.

And yet, my love for water could not resist the temptation to blend with the roaring waves. The moment I got a chance to get splashed into the water, without feeling any embarrassment I took off my shirts and shorts, wearing my swimsuit, I jumped from the boat into the ocean. And I swam in the open water. What a refreshed!

The beach, the water, they are still virgin, so pure and so clear. Very few human ever touch it, desecrate the beauty of underwater nature. Thank God the weather during our visit was supporting our plans!

Belitung beach / sea 1
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Belitong beach / sea 2

I just found out that “Laskar Pelangi” movie was made in Belitong. I did watch that movie a long time ago, but I was already forgot the scenery, background, and the plot about the movie itself. I did not realize that the movie was made in such a beautiful place where big rocks and pretty corals grew. Here is the picture of the beach before I explore every corner of the soaring rocks:

Laskar Pelangi beach 1

I, who loves adventure, dared myself to climb every corner of the place with some guys. Without wearing any mountain boots or hiking sandals, got slipped while my D700 hanged around my neck and got injured at some parts of my body to protect it, took off my sandals and heat was attacking my foot when I climbed those big rocks, got sunburned because it was 1.00 PM in the afternoon, I found that the difficulties and the torment I encounter were worth it as I could see the most beautiful corners I’ve ever seen for my whole life.

Laskar Pelangi beach 2
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Laskar Pelangi beach 3
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Laskar Pelangi beach 4
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Laskar Pelangi beach 5
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Laskar Pelangi beach 6

And I managed to ask my male coworker to take a picture of me that is proud to be able to climb those big rocks, with bare feet! =D

My proud self =D

And so I realized that my passion for landscape photography was the other thing that made me does not scare anymore to get sunburned. I just want to get great landscape pictures, no matter what obstacles or difficulties I must face.

While I was at Laskar Pelangi movie scene, I really hoped I could swim around those rocks. But unfortunately it was the day when we just landed, and nobody was prepare the clothes to get wet on. So with no other choice, we left and moved on to our tight schedules.

From there, we went to check in to the hotel, and some of us took a short nap, while some others was swimming in the hotel’s pool. I was too tired because of climbing those big rocks and went into heavy domains to take pictures, and I fell asleep during our way to the hotel, and then continued that peaceful sleep with dirty clothes on in the room I checked in. When I woke up, it was the time when we were going to have a dinner on a vintage restaurant near the hotel. That day was the first day. We were too tired to go anywhere than near the hotel, as our flight was 6.20AM, and we gathered at 5.00AM, and woke up at 3.00AM. So we decided to save our strength for the next day’s activities, the full day in the island.

As the next day came, we crossed the sea to reach the small islands around the main island. The waves were too strong that day, so when we boarded on the boat, we got wet because of the speed of the boat crashed with the waves on the sea. It feels really great, though the taste of the water was so so so salty, but I believe it was because of the ocean itself has not contained with pollution.

That was the day when I jumped from the boat into the water, as I mentioned earlier.

Not only swimming in the open water, I also went snorkeling at the middle of the ocean, guarded by some locals from the top of the boat. That was my first time I went snorkeling without any guard at my side. I went so far, until I reach the middle of the sea. My friends kept calling me and remind me to not go too far as I lulled by waves’ calls to keep going farther and farther. Oh I am so in love by the peaceful feeling and the quietness of the underwater.

We arrived at the time when we should having a lunch. So we went aside to one of the small island around there, and we had lunch with some of the oldsters who seemed to having great times by drinking some beers and dancing at the middle of the restaurant with R&B music played on the background. The restaurant has a unique concept. The tables were set on the top of the sand instead of the cement.

I went for walk around the restaurant and I found there was an abandon boat standing on the middle of the beach. It was a great view to took, so I took it from two different angles:

The abandon boat 1
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The abandon boat 2

While I was walking back to the restaurant to be with my friends, I ran sweeping the sand. As I came near them, I noticed they set their eyes on me. I asked them: “anything wrong?”, and they replied: “you look like one of those Baywatch gals”. I smiled as they told me how tanned I was be, wrapped in that piece swimsuit. My skin got darker! And my reaction? I felt great and I did not regret it. I was too happy, enjoying myself that blended with the cold of the seawater. I always love water. When things got rough, I always take myself to swim in the pool and I always feel the relieve afterwards. But underneath it, there is no life beside silence. With the sea, many living things depend on the existence of the water, and I feel alive watching them dancing as they celebrate their blessings to be alive. And the lives under the sea are incredibly beautiful.

This short journey has changed me. Now I come to love the beach, and definitely would go to see another beautiful beaches and seas around the world when I got the chance.

Sunburned? I don’t care! Because it is worth it!


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