Easter weekend marks the first weekend of spring break 2008. To celebrate we took a family trip to Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands). This is a chain of small islands just north of Jakarta. There aren't really one thousand islands, but there are whole bunch.
We went to Pulau Putri (pulau=island) one of the northernmost islands. Which means one of the farthest away from Jakarta's ever present pollution. We all had a great time. The water was astoundingly clear. There was a walk though underwater tunnel, a sunset cruise around nearby islands, and a glass bottom boat ride. We could (and did) rent a paddle boat and paddle out over the reef. One of the best things is it's so close to home. Thirty minutes to the marina, about an hour in the boat, and we were there.
Of course, for our family the chance for the boys to channel their inner Corwin is always a priority. There was lots of wildlife to see above and below the water. Colin and Alonzo had lots of fun paddling about near shore looking at fish with their swim goggles. They are already planning where to go diving when they get scuba certified (in about a decade). There was a penned area that had a several sting rays, small sharks, and schools of small fish. Grayson spent a lot of time pointing and yelling "Sting Ray! Sting Ray!" I think it is his new favorite fish. Cody, having freshly passed his scuba test and being one dive short of full certification, paddled for a short time with the boys and then retired to the pool, as anything less than actually diving is suddenly beneath him. And of course the tunnel aquarium was a hit with everyone.
Above the water Cody spotted a Prevost's squirrel, one of the prettiest squirrels anywhere. Sadly I have only seen one at the San Antonio zoo, I never managed to catch sight of a squirrel on the island. We saw huge monitor lizards. These were monsters, well over 5 feet, large enough that Colin refused to walk to the pool by himself for fear of getting eaten, hmm...maybe I shouldn't have let him watch that show about Komodo dragons. They are so well fed, hanging out behind the kitchen for scraps, that there was no real danger, but it was startling to come across something like that unawares. However I think the coolest animal was the flying fox. Stellaluna has long been a favorite bedtime story at our house and to see a real live Stellaluna made the kid's day. I can't wait until we take them to the botanical gardens later this week and they can really get a good look at a flying fox colony.
It was a great two day trip. The sailing club remains my favorite escape from Jakarta, but this was a wonderful opportunity to see a little something different, closer to home. I am glad we went.