I was but reluctant to join our family when visiting a relative’s wedding party two weeks ago. After being overwhelmed by severe cough due to sore throat three weeks earlier, the journey hadn’t seemed exciting especially when we were planning to take Suramadu Bridge instead of a ferry to Madura, Land of Salt. What a serenity then as the ferry sailed away.
Moments before we approached the Madura port, I spotted a few ships floating on the sea as if they were forced to halt in silence while being shrouded by misty cloud as water droplets started to pour down.
Administered as part of East Java province, Madura has long known been for its salt production of national scale as shown by Pamekasan regency which ranks among one of the biggest salt producers throughout the country. Salt is produced traditionally by draining seawater into ponds using windmill. The water contained in the ponds is then dried in the sun in order that it evaporates leaving only salt crystals. It is this crystal that farmers harvest.
The remaining water is normally referred to as tua water or nagari water that also offers economical advantage. It is said to be exported to Japan to be made into cosmetics and medicines. In addition to the salt production, Madura also keeps natural beauty including exotic beach and local attractions including the famous karapan sapi. A short visit to the land has recalled my memory to my childhood when I was traveling with my dad.
If you are ever to Indonesia, make sure to include Madura in your itinerary. It takes only 20 minutes by ferry and a faster passage through Suramadu Bridge from Surabaya the capital of East Java.