Steep trek, rewarding views
Published/Last edited or updated: 29th May, 2017
As well as a beautiful marine park, Karimunjawa is blessed with lush forested mountains ideal for a bit of trekking.
We trekked up the lower of Karimunjawa’s two larger peaks on the western side of the island, not high, but a very steep path to about 250 metres above sea level, through secondary forest. As we climbed higher, we could catch glimpses of extraordinary beauty of the coral reefs and islands of the archipelago through the trees. Some sections were so steep we needed to use our hands and vines to pull ourselves up. Although the path was dry, it would be very muddy and slippery if there had been a bit of rain.
It took about two hours at a very leisurely pace to reach the summit and a stupendous view was our reward. To our delight, our guide had carried a number of tiny saplings in his bag to plant, and proudly showed us several larger ones he had planted on previous trips. He explained that the forest here is mostly new, had only been declared a national park in recent years and previously had been logged to almost bare—he was keen to help reforest.
For the trip down we followed a different path on the other side of the hill, stopping for a break as our guide climbed a coconut tree to gather refreshments. A troupe of macaques scuttled through the trees, but they were very shy and quick. Our guide mentioned he sometimes sees deer here too. We also heard stories in the village of monkeys “as big as a man”—the Karimunjawa bigfoot perhaps?
However there is some wildlife to be aware of: the venomous and aggressive Malayan pit viper is known in these parts—best to wear long pants and boots when trekking and carry an elastic bandage. Another reason to walk ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.