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Taman Wisata Mangrove

Written by Tanrio Sophia Virginia

The amber sun radiated with its glory but murky clouds hindered its grace from reaching the earth. The air felt dense and humid. I was glad that I managed to get a Grab car with chilling air conditioner. Throughout the journey in car, I completely forgot how the clouds were embodiment of humidity and imagined how cool and fresh inside the garden would be.
Reaching the main gate of the garden I paid Rp 25,000 for the ticket. I streamed further and there was a counter beside a parking lot. I showed the security my ticket and I was permitted to venture. The trees were at both sides. I could walk straight and I could make a turn to the right. I turned to the right because the way ahead did not look convincing with the arid pathway and there was nothing visible across the road.
            Walking to the right, a pathway made of semen bricks stretched far to the end of the road. It was not even halfway, a conspicuous cage caught my eyes at the left side of the road. Approaching close, monkeys were kept inside. Other tourists seemed to be giving out biscuits for them. There were around five monkeys. A monkey which sat closest to the metal bars, seemed extremely disappointed. It was as if it was expecting bananas but it was given salty biscuits instead.
Despite the short walk, I could feel myself sweating constantly. Perhaps due to the dense trees, the breeze could barely reach under. Continuing the walk, the green of the trees really gave a relaxing pleasure to the eyes. Shortly, a villa was in sight at the right side. It was built with wood and it looked cosy although I could not get a glimpse of the inside. During the short journey, I had seen several hammocks made of white strong ropes. Tourists took their time swinging as they sat of it. I found myself one and chose to lie on it. It was so relaxing that I did not mind sleeping that way. I felt as if I returned to being a baby. If only the wind could blow stronger, it would be perfect for a nap.
Adventure, nevertheless, must be done. Not too far from the hammock I was occupying was a cluster of camps. ‘Pondok Kemah’ as how the locals called it. There were eighteen of triangle shaped wooden camps. It would be the ideal facility for campers who loved to enjoy nature and wanted to stay for a night or two. With the camps, there was no fear of insects or wild animals attacking. A good night sleep was affordable with those camps!
​            A short walk passed the camps, a roof or rather a shelter with a vending machine under. Cold drinks were available for thirsty guests. Across it was a post and a dock with colourful boats. A lake was available for rowing boats. Guest could get to row around the lake and mangroves for Rp 100,000. The security at the post also mentioned that there could be some ‘biawak’ or water lizards in the water. Due to that mention, I was very excited to get a close encounter with some lizards. Unfortunately, I did not have enough cash to experience the boat. It was super tempting for me who grew up living beside the sea for almost the whole of my life. I mentally noted that I must return to experience it.
​            Leaving the dock, I found a hanging bridge leading to somewhere. I braced myself to step up to the stairs and cross the bridge. Despite having really steady steps, the sway of the bridge and the lake under the bridge inflicted a little fright in me. I had to pause for several times before reaching the other end. I was very excited to see what was beyond the bridge but as my eyes caught nothing particularly interesting, I was a little disappointed and I had to face the bridge again to return. As I returned, a group of girls around my age or possibly younger, stepped up to the bridge and walked through the bridge as if it was nothing. The swaying did not scare them. What made me curious was, after they crossed the bridge, they did not return. What could possibly be there?

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