The rest of Indonesia

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. thumb_DSC05251_1024My new riding garb, less tank tops and shorts here in Java!

thumb_DSC05248_1024The coast!

thumb_IMG_6011_1024We 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.

thumb_IMG_3397_1024Another really crazy steep hills– definitely not bikers friendly. Some motorcycles barely make it either. I walked almost the whole entire lengths.

thumb_IMG_6002_1024Currently 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!

thumb_IMG_3399_1024It 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……

thumb_IMG_3406_1024The water was really clean and clear and slightly cool. My dad and Brady jumped from a couple of pretty high spots.

thumb_IMG_3411_1024It was a steep and deep canyon, cut by the river. The water was green and the ferns lush, adorning either sides of the canyon. It was pretty!

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thumb_IMG_3438_1024It was awesome hanging out with the ‘rents, doing outdoorsy stuff.

 

thumb_IMG_3441_1024Look at the size of these shrimps! Pangandaran and Cilacap were full of great seafood restaurant. Us vagabonds were very grateful for the parents’ insistence on feeding us lobster and crabs. slurps.

thumb_IMG_3455_1024Close 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!

thumb_IMG_6056_1024Brady 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!

thumb_IMG_6068_1024After getting back to Jakarta to apply for Schengen visa, we continued with the normal Jakarta/ Indonesia indulgences, like getting massages two days in a row.

thumb_IMG_6070_1024Another Jakarta/ Indonesian indulgence (for Brady, not me)– Brady and my pop bonded over durians.

thumb_IMG_3466_1024We 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’.

thumb_IMG_3473_1024Going through the park did not require walking– all these were enjoyed from the comfort of our (my dad’s) air conditioned (and chauffeured) car. :/

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thumb_IMG_6081_1024It’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.

thumb_IMG_6089_1024Sooo– off to Bali we went- mainly to surf.

thumb_IMG_6086_1024The waves were great! No jellyfish/ reefs to worry about here.

thumb_DSC05313_1024We 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.

thumb_DSC05268_1024To get to watch this at the top! It was glorious! In the background in Mt Rinjani in Lombok.

thumb_IMG_6093_1024It’s the holiest Mountain in Bali, so people took their offerings and praying very seriously.

thumb_DSC05272_1024The morning light was glorious! Never thought that I’d be wearing a down jacket in Indonesia! There were 30 people who got to the top as well. A few turned around during the hike.

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thumb_DSC05286_1024Lush green forest emerged into view as the cloud slowly dispersed in the morning light- the ocean is in the background. Purely magical.

thumb_DSC05290_1024Our guide- in the off season he’s a farmer- he grows grass to feed his 3 cows. He sells the cows to Java (the Hindus of Bali do not eat beef).

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thumb_IMG_6122_1024The walk down was brutal– see the two people above us who were scrambling in the background. I was sore for a few days after.

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~~

thumb_IMG_6128_1024PS: Watercress Cafe in Seminyak is the BOMB! We went there twice and had the amazing ACAI BOWLS! Here in Bali!

 

 

 

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