One day, I received a phone call from my friend, Ami. She asked me to join her and her friends who love photography in a trip to Sawarna. They have a plan to take a series of photos on those beautiful sceneries in Sawarna by their heavy duty cameras. I have heard about Sawarna, however I have never been there. Opinions say, Sawarna is a heaven for photographers. Though I am not a professional cameraperson, I said yes to her offer and here our story goes.
Departed from Jakarta by bus in the night time, we have to go through 280 km to reach Sawarna via Pelabuhan Ratu. Cities like Ciawi, Cibadak, Pelabuhan Ratu, and Cisolok are on our way but unfortunately we only passed by in a bid to reach Sawarna before the sun rises.
Sawarna, located in Lebak, Banten province, Indonesia is a village in the swampy coastal areas that face south coast. From our conversation in the bus, Sawarna is a destination which evokes, and activates our senses emotionally with its splendor of nature. And Sawarna gives it all from dusk till dawn, dark into light.
To enter Sawarna village, we have to cross a bridge over the river that connects the villages to the beach. Arrives there in dusk, near a beach named Ciantir, allows us to see the sun rises entirely step-by-step. Completed with the view of paddy field to the horizon makes the elements create a good landscape image. All the things available here form the desired effect to push the camera’s button as often as possible. But, hold on, this is only the beginning.
When the sun shines, the nature awakes along with its occupants. Ease yourself and let your five senses blend with your surroundings. Create a harmony. Once you are able to do that, you will see more than your eyes can see. You will see a date. Yes! It’s a date between Lady Bug and Mr. Grasshopper on flower buds.
However, let’s leave them alone and bring your senses to another beautiful creature in Sawarna, the dragonflies. These dragonflies are dancing around, eating, and drinking as if they are in a party-look-alike. Possibly they are indeed in a party, and we are not invited. Well, then, it is fine since Sawarna village is a large place which provides us a mental inventory of elements and it depends on us how to stitch it beautifully to our memory.
By the time our legs take us to another beautiful part of Sawarna, the sun walking tall on earth. Here, in a spot where the paddy field is already harvested, the sun is really at its peak.
We need something to freshen out throats. Something sweet as heaven and replenish our energies at the same time. Luckily, a nice villager notices us and proposes a sugar cane for us, for free! Such a perfect moment and we suck it fast after this nice villager cut it into small parts.
Hours gone, the sun may walk tall, but eventually he has to kneel down to his spouse, the Goddess of the Moon. During the arrival of the moon, we take ourselves to the iconic scenery of Sawarna, Tanjung Layar. Tanjung Layar consists of two large granites coincide like sails, which is surrounded by rocks and flat reef as if the floor of a ship. It is just so incomplete to skip this place when we make a visit to Sawarna.
On our way there, we can see a collection of flowers smile together with a beautiful sunset in the horizon. Take our feet along the soft white sand of Ciantir beach, we see a boat still rests next to the sea. How long has it there? We do not know yet, but this boat seems envies the sea. It wants to roam the sea as soon as possible, either under the moonlight or during the day.
When we take our sights to another view, a group of rocks conduct a meeting. This is definitely a sign we get closer to Tanjung Layar.
In the moment we reach the edge of Tanjung Layar, we feel like in the middle of a festival. The visitors of Tanjung Layar will be grabbed and inspired by the beautiful mix of pattern in the rock, strong sea aroma, water line on the flat reef, and surely the shape, the texture and size two large granites coincide like sails.
The appearance of these two large granites, called Batu Layar makes other elements appear secondary. Conical obese rock, like a 30-metre-giant standing arrogantly a bit far from the land, sculptured by waves for thousands of years, plus local folk story about how Batu Layar was created truly make this Sawarna icon an epic creation.
Walking towards the huge granite, we can spot many sea creatures easily everywhere in the water lines on the floor. Small fishes, crabs, star fishes, and even sea cucumbers can be seen all over the place.
When we see to the sky, it is beautifully painted atmospheres down to the horizon, accompanied by the waves that collide with towering coral clusters very tickle our sense of hearing. This experience takes me to an imagination where sea orchestras never stop carry out their stunning performance.
Now I truly understand why so many photographers meet their loved ones here. In Sawarna, they can find beautiful elements everywhere. This is the place where photographers can freeze a moment in time frequently. In Tanjung Layar, they will have numerous chances to capture pretty and distinctive moments from morning to the night. Inspiring phenomena occurs at many times here.
This is a perfect place for artists with idealism, be they photographer, painter, novelist, or… travel writer. Sawarna is suitable for people who don’t want compromise their integrity and honesty to create inspiration to others. This is the place where we can find excitement easily. Shortly, Sawarna is a highway for artists to create a masterpiece.