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Thursday, 26 March 2015

TOGEAN'S SPOTLIGHT: Papan Island

Papan Island, Feb 15-18, 2015

© +sita ariana pangestu (2015)

Papan Island is so petite. It covers an area of 1 kilometer square only and inhabited by few dozen families who mostly build their wooden houses at the perimeter of the island. There are 3 large stone mounds there. The highest peak is considered as 'mountain'. It's said that there's phone signal at that peak. But we found nothing when we were there.

The island is connected with Malenge Island via a sturdy wooden bridge, approximately 1 km long. The bridge has just been built to replace the former bridge which had already been old and broken. The main users of that bridge are Papan Island kids who go to elementary school located in Malenge Island.

During our stay, Om Jos and I loved to walk along the coastal village both in Papan Island and Malenge Island. When we were passing, almost all kids would enthusiastically greet and approach us. "Hallo Mister!" they said to Om Jos.

Since I walked next to Om Jos, automatically they greeted me," Hallo Miss!" 

Kids on both islands really love to be photographed. Once they saw a camera hanging around Om Jos' neck, they directly asked him to take their photographs. "Mister photo! Mister photo!" they said while giving their best poses and smiles.

© +sita ariana pangestu (2015)

The water around Papan Island is so clear even wit naked eyes we could see the beauty of sea life on it. Be careful if you want to swim and snorkel around the Papan Island because there are quite a lot of sea urchin and mambo snakes (sea snakes with black and white stripes and super sticky, living in shallow water seabed). If you want to swim safely, come to one segment of the bridge near the Malenge side where there is a wooden stairs toward a shallow water paved with white soft sand and is free from coral reefs and sea weed.

© +sita ariana pangestu (2015)
© +sita ariana pangestu (2015)

For more adventurous thing, try to swim across the 'strait' between Papan Island and Malenge Island. At first I was not sure for doing that because the distance looked so far. But after being provoked and challenged by Om Jos (plus given a life jacket by Rafly), I finally ventured myself to take the challenge. It turned out that crossing that strait was not that difficult. The sea was so calm and our body could easily float. With huge self determination we finally could swim from in front of our host' house and safely arrived at Malenge Island.

Eventually our host' house is located in the opposite side of Lestari Cottage. But our host highly recommended us not to step our feet there because the place is guarded with 'fierce' dogs that would bark and even bite the unwanted guest. Fortunately, there was a separated tiny beach located next to that resort area where we could have a rest for a while before swimming back to our host' house.

© +sita ariana pangestu (2015)

In the afternoon, it's best time for canoeing while waiting for sunset. We were so lucky because our little host, Rafly, lent his family's canoe to us. Initially he had planned to join us canoeing but since the twilight almost come he cancelled his mind. He was afraid to miss the communal evening pray time at mosque. So, it turned out that only Om Jos and I were together paddling in the sea of love. LOL!

-ariana-