With our last week of holiday break we wanted to squeeze in another small trip. With Jepara being only two hours away and touted as the furniture capital of Java, we were eager to see if it lived up to the reputation. Our first full day we rented a scooter and went to check out the shops, some of which were more like sprawling warehouses with room after room filled with intricately carved masterpieces.
We also scooted up to an old Dutch fort called Benteng VOC. There wasn’t much of a fort left but we did get to meet a gang of graveyard grazing goats.
Shortly after leaving the fort we crashed our scooter. No, I didn’t take any photos of the wreck but looking back I should have gotten one of the crowd that gathered quickly to check on us. We were both a little bruised and scraped but fine for the most part. We did have on helmets (which are very optional here) so I was glad for that. At the time it was more embarrassing than painful- the pain came the next day in the form of sore muscles and scabbed knees.
But we still had another day in Jepara and really wanted to get to the beach so we washed our waffles down with coffee and pain pills and headed out. We chartered one of the tourist boats to Palau Pajang. The name translates to Long Island even though it is small and round. We walked a trail around the island surveying the vegetation and feeding the mosquitos, then back to the beach for me to inspect the coral.
We saw these bamboo structures on Google maps when we were researching the area and we weren’t sure quite what to make of them from the satellite view. Joel told me they were shark forts where sharks plan and map out their attacks, however I’m not 100% sure he’s correct.
My only regret from Jepara is that I wasn’t able to bring home any furniture or ceramics, but next time I’ll know to book a big bus home so I can fill it with bowls, vases and maybe a carved headboard or two.