Monday, July 09, 2007

Day one of Java Road Trip: Volcanoes and vomit

We set out on our epic journey and had a traffic laden trip to Bandung. Bandung is to the south east of Jakarta and is about 700m above sea level. It was noticeably cooler (still hot though) than Jakarta. The city was very lush and green and was surrounded by huge mountains and volcanoes that you could see through the smog.
We just made it in time for Yadi to get to a mosque for Friday prayers and then lunch at a “warung”. A warung is a road side café Indonesian style. This was my first time at a local café style eatery; the kids and I needed a few months for our stomachs to harden up to different foods and hygiene standards. Well it was good, chicken satays and steamed rice with no side effects.

Then we started the trip to the southern side of the Island of Java to Pangandaran. We went up and over mountain ranges and then up and over some more and more and then more…….At first the scenery reminded me of Northern NSW-Byron bay and of Far North Queensland but then it became distinctly Asian. The towering mountains terraced with rice paddies were spectacular. The greens were indescribable, so brilliant. I only took my little point and shoot camera which is not doing the views justice.

Now we get to the vomit section- Ben gets car sick-violently!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After the third stop Yadi bought a container of shopping bags off a stall owner which proved invaluable. I spent the next few hours catching bag loads of vomit. Poor little thing was so upset but there was nothing we could do but keep on going. We were in the Indonesian country side with dark approaching and unbelievably treacherous roads and no hotels around.
In Australia we work on a 100km taking an hour to drive, 500km equal a five hour drive etc. This takes into account traffic as well as freeway driving. Here 60km took well over 2 hours…The descent down the mountains was scary, I was so pleased I didn’t have to drive. I am going to see if I can buy Phenergan here as it is good for kids travel sickness, I don’t think Benny is going to want to have a large cup of ginger tea to settle his tummy. I will have to find something as the next ten days are full of driving up and down mountain ranges.

We had a bit of a car scare at Banjar; we had stopped for a vomit and toilet break and as we were walking around the car noticed a trail of oil behind our car and then a pool of oil under our car---GJ started
hyperventilating. GJ and Yadi and 4 garage attendants were all rolling around under our car and soon realized that we had parked exactly over another cars oil trail….Just as well as it was getting dark and we still had 2.5 hours to go.

We arrived after dark in the coastal town of Pangandaran to find a kite festival starting the next day and lots of full hotels. We ended up at our second choice at the Pantai Indah resort hotel. We are right on the west coast beach. As I sit here I can see and hear waves crashing on the beach. Beautiful.
Pangandaran is a 530ha teardrop shaped peninsular tethered to Java’s south coast by a slender isthmus. We are staying on the eastern side which is the base for the fishing industry. The resort strip is only 300m wide so it is a quick walk to the western beach which is supposed to be very safe to swim at.
As we drove in we saw lots of night markets, little stalls selling all the touristy knick knacks that make my girls very happy……

This was my first experience in driving on the "third" lane on the freeway............Yes we are following a bus up the shoulder of the road.........
This were some of the pickels and ????that was available at the warung.
This photo doesn't show how thick and black the exhaust of this bus was.
We found this gorgeous Bonsai forest on a vomit stop for Ben.

This is the oil spill we thought was from our car and the time we found it.

The Panti Indah resort Hotel

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