Lots to update since I last left off— We continued the biking from Jogjakarta to the border of West/Central Java– a town called Cilacap. This took a few days and through one particularly gnarly hills. The views were nice coastal view and the riding fast and beautiful, albeit extremely hot. The roads were decent and not crowded at all– It was a pleasant surprise, especially after escaping the crowded streets from Solo to Jogjakarta. My new riding garb, less tank tops and shorts here in Java!
We passed a few beaches and hung out- The ocean was gnarly and the waves strong. — Definitely no swimming here. We have taken to eating lots of fried tempeh and fresh coconuts– here’s one of our stops for the day.
Currently a trendy thing in Java– racing pigeons. It’s very entertaining and only males hang out and do this. The pigeons are trained to fly to a far point and back to the owner who were vigorously waving the female pigeon up and down trying to tease the male pigeon to fly back faster. They fly super fast!
It was a weekend and my parents decided to drive down from Jakarta to meet up with us in Cilacap/ Pangandaran. We went to an area called green valley– here’s us about to body raft- essentially floating down the river with rapids, using our bodies as rafts……
Close to Pangandaran is a great low-key surfing beach called Batu Karas. They have this excellent moderate sized right-side point breaks. Brady and I were so excited to be surfing in the water– we were in for 10 minutes before we swam right into a swarm of jelly fish! It was SO PAINFUL! I’ve never been stung by stingray or jellyfish previously and it felt like being sliced with a boxcutter! holy bejeez!
Brady only got stung on this wrist while I was attacked absolutely everywhere- The parents came to the rescue and paid for a hotel room so I can shower in hot hot water (really helped, btw!). The pain lasted for 6 hours and I was fine after. Damn you, jelly fish!
We went to safari park close to Jakarta. It’s been AGES since I last went there and I forgot how fun the place is. It’s completely different than an American zoos where the animals appear distressed in cages. At the Safari park, the animals seemed to be free to roam as the cars drive through their manmade ‘habitats’.
It’s car-free day every Sunday morning in Jakarta where they close the main thoroughfares in downtown. We took the bikes (newly serviced and overhauled for really cheap) out for a spin– it was surprisingly very pleasant without the dusts in the air, without the car exhausts and din of the minibuses.
After getting my Schengen visa to travel Europe, we started looking for tickets and somehow became distracted by the promise of great biking paths in Korea and Japan– We only have 6-8 weeks before the weather turns wintry and we decided that Europe is too big of an obstacle. Instead, we chose to ‘complete’ and chew on the smaller countries of Japan and Korea. Plus, supposedly Korea has 1700km of new assigned bike paths– sounds awesome! Visa continued to be a bit problematic for me– I thought I would have to apply for both Korean and Japanese visas, which would take 6 working days and I had to stay in Jakarta the entire time. Turns out— Korea has this not very well known transit visa which allows people (of ANY nationality) to transit for up to 30 days in Korea as they are en-route to (and possess visa for) Canada, USA, NZ, Australia or Japan. Japanese visa took 4 days— so I submitted my docs early Monday morning and boarded the flight to Bali that night.
It was hard to continue to stay in Jakarta as I grew a bit tireless- of the lack of movement, the traffic jam and my own lack of productivity. If I had stayed longer in Jakarta, I would need to start working immediately! I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet.
We also decided to do a hike up Mt Agung- 3260m, the 5th tallest volcano in Indonesia. We got picked up at our hotel at midnight and started hiking at 1:30AM in the morning to watch the sunrise. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the sunrise. We scrambled in the dark, it was cold, windy and steep. We had to use our hands to climb up the steep rocky face.
We headed back to Jakarta that Friday- arriving at noon, after a glorious 4 day in Bali surfing and enjoying the sun. Time to quickly pack our bikes and our bags to fly out to Korea Friday night~~