Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Drive towards Jogja

We tried to be very prepared for our road trip. We bought the latest Java atlas as well as detailed maps and looked up numerous web sites and planned the correct route.
We found out something very important about maps in Indonesia:- they are not correct!!!!! Neither are street signs. We take these things for granted in western countries, now we know what to expect in Indonesia LOL.
At one stage we saw a sign telling us our destination was 170km away, 40 minutes later we were 190km away and then 5 minutes down the highway we were only 126km away…..

You get there when you get there.

On Sunday we had the option of backtracking and joining the main highway or cutting across using smaller roads….which way do you think we went…
GJ wants to see the real Indonesia, not the highway so off we went on the smaller roads; it all turned out ok.
We were having hysterics in the car when five minutes after bragging about how much time we were saving and how good the roads were GJ had to eat his words when the perfect road ended. We went from a newly laid bitumen road turned into a DEEPLY rutted dirt track. If we were four wheel driving I would have gotten out and walked up the hill instead of experiencing the ruggedness. Our Nissan Serena made it up fine, albeit slowly yet the bus following us powered/bounced up the hill with out a care in the world.

We saw some very interesting sites.

There was a lot of parties set up; usually a material covered marquee in the front yard. We read in the paper that a lot of people were getting married on the auspicious date of 7.7.07.

As were drove from area to area the crops grown as well as local industry changed. We saw rice, corn, sweet potato, sugar cane, tomato, chili, bananas and coconuts being grown. One town was focused on brick production. Right next to an excavated hillside you would see the kilm as well as stacks of drying bricks. Two hours away we got to the town that manufactured roof tiles. These had fascinating vented roofed kilms and mega stacks of firewood.
We drove through one village that was having a market day. Families must have traveled for the monthly shop as there was trucks laden with produced with many people perched precariously on the back of the trucks.

We also had our first brush with the law……We wanted to go up a street but found that it was one way, Yadi (our driver) knew we wanted to go that way and just started to go. We were saying no, NO, NO!, horns were blaring and then the lights turned red. Yadi stopped and started to reverse through streaming traffic.
By this time the police officer had got to our side and a “sorry pak” didn’t stop us being pulled over.
Yadi was asked to get out and show his license and was taken round the corner to the mini police office, he quickly came back and said the GJ was needed. The kids didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, I was laughing- what else could we do (at least now I have my drivers license so I could get us out of there LOL).
Yadi came back to get the “fine” I was pleasantly surprised that it only cost me 20 000RP ($2.80).
The officers just wanted to chat to GJ and see where we were going and say hello etc.

The vomiting was thankfully absent from this days journey. I managed to find some travel sickness tablets which were suitable for children in Pangandaran which worked wonderfully on Ben. They also had a pleasant side affect- Ben had a three hour nap in the car. This was a blissful respite for all of us from the constant “Why….”. This gorgeous boy is filled with curiosity for the world (like most 3.5 year olds). We made a rule up yesterday that he could only ask “why…..” if he said “why…..” in Bahasa Indonesian- “Kenarpa….”
Chelsea and Georgia also had a decent rest -fun is tiring LOL. Georgia woke up earlier than the others and found a new diversion. GeorGeor worked out how to record sound on our mobile phones and kept herself amused recording Chelsea and Ben snoring

These are the vented buildings housing the kilms.
This is some of the crops we saw being grown as we drove by.

This was market day in the village. We also turned the corner and found this huge group of motor bikes on some sort of rally- maybe political?

Our first brush with the law....

Sleeping angels.....................

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