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Set off on an adventure across Gunungkidul's secluded beaches

Sri Wahyuni

The Jakarta Post

Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta  /  Tue, October 9, 2018  /  05:35 pm
Set off on an adventure across Gunungkidul's secluded beaches

Tour participants on a jeep on Gunungkidul Offroad Adventure. (JP/Sri Wahyuni)

Exploring secluded beaches along Gunungkidul’s coastal area in Yogyakarta on jeeps could be a memorable adventure for visitors. The region now offers a different way of enjoying challenging spots in the emerging tourist destination.

A group of reporters and bloggers recently visited the regency in a Media and Blogger Engagement trip organized by PT Bank Central Asia, Tbk.

With 30 participants, the entourage was divided into 10 groups of three. Each boarded a roofless jeep especially designed to carry visitors for off-road trips.

Several participants cried out in excitement as they got on their respective jeeps, starting the trip from Radika Paradise Hotel on Jl. Pantai Selatan Jawa in the Indrayanti Beach area, where they were to stay overnight.

The group was scheduled to visit three beaches: Timang, Pok Tunggal and Seruni. Yet, as participants were too engrossed in their first destination, the exotic Timang Beach, they were unable to visit the second location, Seruni.

The jeep adventure started on a smooth asphalt road in front of the hotel. The road connects one beach to another along Gunungkidul’s coastal line, which spans about 70 kilometers from east to west.

At a three-way junction, they turned into a narrow road, passing through a village for a 1-km drive as a shortcut. The charming villagers’ houses and teakwood trees on both sides of the road captivated the tour participants.

Getting back on the asphalt road, they came to the challenging part of the adventure. A bumpy 3-km stretch of road heading to Timang Beach includes a part covered with rocks, while the rest had cemented double tracks for vehicles to pass through.

The most challenging was the section at the end of the route, just a stone’s throw away from the entrance to the beach, which was more like a bumpy rocky cliff than a road.

Read also: Gunungkidul seeks to promote less-popular destinations

“Please don’t worry. This is safe, even for people with back pain. We are all well-trained,” said Humari Watulawang, one of the jeep’s drivers.

In the end, Timang was indeed worth visiting, especially for those wanting to have an adrenaline-fueled experience.

The site, which is actually a rocky cliff some 8 meters high on the mouth of the beach, offers a gondola and a sea bridge. Both connect the cliff to a big coral rock called Watu Panjang (long rock), sitting some 300 m further from the cliff.

Crossing the sea on a gondola at Timang Beach.Crossing the sea on a gondola at Timang Beach. (JP/Sri Wahyuni)

To cross the sea on the gondola, which was originally used by traditional fishermen looking for lobsters, visitors are required to pay Rp 150,000 (US$9.80).

“This includes a fee for using all the selfie photo spots on the rock,” said Lasiman, one of the gondola operators.

Crossing the bridge costs Rp 100,000, including a fee for using particular spots on the rock.

Although the cliff is 8 m high above the beach, visitors are advised to be aware of strong waves from the choppy sea as they often reach the mouth of the cliff.

The trip to Pok Tunggal was less challenging, but visitors found the beach a perfect place to enjoy sunsets.

“I will surely return to this place with my whole family,” a participant said.

A jeep adventure costs between Rp 300,000 and Rp 450,000 for a group of up to three persons, depending on the number of destinations.

“Trail motorbikes are also available for rent if you like, or you can use motorbike taxi services instead,” said Humari, who has been in the jeep service business for the last four years. (wng)