The downward view was like a narrow space forming a chasm in the middle, with an invisible bottom. Dark and cold. Only visible sunlight which gives illusions of another world.
“There are two ways to get there, through the nearby Umbrella-Payung village Paradise then walk for seven hours, or turn around the island and enter via the beach,” said Bang Pitang, our ship’s captain who had just cleaned his new boat with us. A new ship that even the first installment hasn’t been paid yet.
Not intending to walk on that hot day, we chose to turn around to the back of Maratua island. Heading north, approaching Nunukan Island — one of Indonesia’s foremost islands which is directly adjacent to Malaysia. We also had time to go to the island of Nabuko, where a resort owned by a German citizen had just been hit by a fire.
But the journey is not easy. We had to wait for high tide to pass through some shallow water in the middle of the sea. But also not too high tide so we can still dock at the beach near the entrance of Goa.
There is no specific standard to reach the door of this cave. So, make sure the captain of the ship you rent already knows where it is. The location of the Hajj Mangku Cave is only a few tens of meters from the northern shore of Maratua.
I know this cave from a travel video series “Walking Men!” derawan episode. At first, we intended to go to Labuan Cermin Lake, but it turned out that to get there we had to use a speedboat for approximately three hours from Derawan, or overnight by car from Tanjung Batu in Berau. We also gave up.
I don’t know what this cave is called. When you search on Google, you are confused about what to look for. Likewise the people in Derawan, they didn’t know the place we were referring to until we showed them the video of ‘Jalan-Jalan Men’.
“Oh, maybe it’s Haji Mangku’s cave,” said Bang Pitang.
Actually this is also not Goa. Perhaps more accurately called a lake. However, indeed to enter this brackish water lake, we have to pass through the entrance in the form of a cave mouth which is already in the form of water.
According to Bang Pitang, there are a lot of caves and lakes like this in Maratua. It is said that up to 40 pieces. However, this pilgrimage mangku cave is the most easily accessible.
When I arrived at the location, I could hardly believe the colors displayed by this lake. A dark blue that occasionally mixes with light turquoise due to a little light breaking through the leaves. I don’t understand how the optical illusion phenomenon makes this brackish water color so magical. Subhan Allah.
When he threw himself into the water, it turned out that the water was VERY COLD. Naturally, because it is located in a forest where even sunlight is difficult to enter.
Impatient, I put on a mask and snorkel, and immediately plunged into the lake. But immediately immediately went back up. Because as it turned out, the scene below was terrifying!
The downward view was like a narrow space forming a chasm in the middle, with an invisible bottom. Dark and cold. Only visible sunlight which gives illusions of another world. I have no phobia with depth or narrow spaces, but I was surprised when I saw the sight. But not far from there, Om Bolang is actually floating in the water in a supine position and taking selfies with his go-pro.
Soon we were taking pictures while enjoying the beautiful blue of this lake. But why does this place seem deserted huh? I also asked Bang Pitang.
“Yes, this place has a lot of mythical haunted stories, really. So, here it is….. “
“……thank you, bro. Let’s just go home…”
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