During 4 years living in California, I have never been to Catalina Island before because I had no one to visit with. Tyler and bunch of his University of California Irvine MBA friends were planning to go camping in Catalina Island so I came a long as well. Tyler drove us to the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center to take Catalina Express to Catalina Island. We didn’t to Avalon but we went to the quieter side of the island, Two Harbors. Since Tyler had class on Saturday morning, we are going after. The rest of the group already been there since Friday.
Port of Los Angeles to Two Harbors, Catalina Island
It has been a really long time since I’m on a ship – last time was couple years ago from Bali to Nusa Lembongan Island back home in Indonesia. Tyler upgraded our boat seating to Commodore Lounge for only $15 each way. I feel like this small price is really worth it to have First-Class Treatment at Sea. The perks of Commodore Lounge is priority check-in and boarding, comfortable seating in a more intimate lounge, also complimentary beverage and packaged snack served by cabin attendant. Tyler had some beer as it’s his favorite, I was debating what to get until I got a perfect recommendation from the lovely cabin attendant, MIMOSA! It was a really wonderful time enjoying beautiful ocean, Hawaiian music (reminds me while back in Hawaii), and mimosa.
However, not too long after I was feeling nauseous. I’m a very light drinker, with only little bit of alcohol already made me feels tipsy and realized that I was on the boat, the movement of the boat didn’t help at all. Tipsy + Seasick = definitely not a good combo. I don’t recommend to drink on a boat if you are light drinker like me unless you can find a way to save your self! Tyler was taking a quick nap when I looked like a heavily drunk person who is having a hangover. (Nope! I have never been heavily drunk in my life)
Two Harbors – Little Harbors Campground
Finally got off from the boat after 40 minutes trip. Getting-off from the boat to the ground is the best feeling ever as I breathe the island warm air. We saw a cute little town with live music filling the atmosphere of Two Harbors Catalina. I could have enjoyed living the moment that place until we realized that our safari bus had picked us up (each way is $25). Our bus driver is a funny man, he seemed angry at first but by the time passed he is a cool guy. He has been living in Two Harbors for 8 years.
Along the way was a total adventure, we saw some wild animals such as buffalo (bison) and fox. All hills and fogs and barely see any other humans. It took us 20 minutes ride to get to the campground.
Hike Back to Two Harbors
I met all Tyler’s friends for the first time. We put away our stuff on the tent, chilled for a bit enjoying beautiful scenery, then changed our clothes for the hike back to the little town in Two Harbors for dinner. Tyler was worried if I should go for the hike after he saw my life-death experience hiked in Yosemite. The walking distance was 6.4 miles (10.3 km) walk via Little Harbor Road that we spent about 2,5 hours. Along the way, we saw a really beautiful sky and decided to capture that moment with the group.
After arrived in Two Harbors, some people decided to take a shower since they provide a public shower for $2 (5 mins) or you can add $4 (10 mins). I should have brought a change of clothes and shower stuff because I hate feeling dirty and sticky, but I didn’t know it at first.
We had our dinner in Harbor Reef Restaurant. I tried their signature Buffalo Milk and it was really delicious! Since the waiter said the restaurant needs about an hour to prepare our food, we moved on to order from the bar menu which is supposedly faster. I ordered Harbor Reef Burger that consist of handmade Kobe beef and buffalo patty. Seems like I had Buffalo themed dinner that night.
After finishing our yummy meal, we came back with the safari bus again to our campground. Campfire is must for every camping trip — and there you will have happy Milka with her smores. Our neighbor campers joined us for the campfire and involved singing and guitar playing for the rest of the night.
I am not a morning person but when I do wake up early is for breakfaaaaast! Who doesn’t love bacon for breakfast? Usually at home, I made my own smoothie, smoothie bowl, or oatmeal but I can’t resist the great taste of bacon. The group made some bacon, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. After breakkie, half of the group has to leave right away to catch an early boat back to LA.
S O L I T U D E
“I lift my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2)
While Tyler and the rest of the group were hanging out on the table bench, I used this to escape and having my spiritual moment. It was just me by my self in nature, I was joyfully walking slowly while enjoying the nature until at one point I feel like I want to sit and pray. The tide was out and it was relatively calm. I always love the ocean since I grew up with it (in Bali). So I played my favorite song titled Ocean by Hillsong.
I have a tendency to cry and be increasingly emotional during my alone time praying to God. Prayer is not simply a delivery of a request or communication of my needs, it is to enter a deeper relationship with God and how much I need God. I couldn’t believe of how almost 7 years ago I said it’s impossible for me to go see the world and many people who made fun of me and my family’s faith until now I realized where I was at that moment, another part of the world far away from home. See my further story here.
After a while Tyler began looking for me and worried where did I go, later he found me, secretly took some pictures, then sat next to me until he was pretty shocked to find out my face was covered in tears. He kept asking me what was wrong because he hated to see me cry. I explained to him and had our little conversation until we decided to go back to the group and he wanted me to put my smile on.
We packed all our stuff and cleaned the campsite, the safari bus picked us up again for the third time ($75 total for 3 trips) to Two Harbors. Time for lunch! This time I want to try a different option, so I had Painkiller that tasted really refreshing and COCONUT SHRIMP with Thai chili dipping sauce! You have no idea how much I love shrimp especially garlic shrimp pasta Alfredo. After lunch, we just chilled by the beach and played with water while Tyler shooting with his drone.
Anyway, Tyler and I decided to take a break from trips after two weekends in a row of camping and adventuring, we are going to relax for the next weekends before our another adventure in September and October for Museum of Ice Cream and RISE festival. My friend from Estonia, Marilin, is going to come and stay with me on August 8th and I can’t wait to do some local exploration (maybe: Malibu) with her.
Video from the Trip