Friday, October 3, 2014

INDONESIA - JAVA - CIMAJA - 5 to 11 August 2014 - 'GOOD, BAD AND ?'


Malaysian airlines - Phuket to KL – flight 795 – 2:05 to 4:35 – KL to Jakarta – flight 725 – 5:45 to 6:45

Car to Patong to Phuket airport - +66835504308

Car/driver Jakarta airport to Cimaja – 800 000R
Motorbike hire with board racks - 80 000R per day
White water rafting  - Citarik River, Sukabumi, west java – 9 august – Arus Liar – pt lintasjeram nusantara – 02183558855 – 295 000RRafting - 9 km
Flight Bandung to Denpasar - 800 000R

Car Cimaja to Bandung airport – 800 000R about 6 hours

77 sunset plaza resort –  or  - 0266431125 – jl. Raya karangpapak no.23 cisolok, pelabuhanratu

My journey

I boarded the car - a bus really - all to myself – to Phuket airport. The flights were smooth and no dramas. At KL, it would have been okay to stop and visit for awhile. It always seems strange to me when in transit that I not stopping for a few days at least before continuing my journey.

I arrive at Jakarta airport. I was so glad I had gone through there last year. It was a very large airport with people going here and there. My guard was up as I waited for the car/driver to Cimaja as the crowd was thick and all around me. It felt like pickpocket heaven/hell depending on your viewpoint. The driver turned up soon and off we went to Cimaja. When I got into the car, I noticed that my daypack was partially unzipped…hmmm… nothing missing.

The drive was long and interesting for awhile… the lights of Jakarta, small towns, traffic and traffic. I ended up sleeping in the back of the car. We finally arrived at Cimaja at 12:30am.

At this point, I’ll mention that a lot of problems started the moment I entered the hotel that were totally unnecessary. My instinct was to leave the next day but stupidly I persisted. Anyway, the problems were not insurmountable they were just annoying. So for my best advice, don’t stay at sunset strip hotel even though it looks okay as it probably would be better to stay in town at Cimaja Square.

I was up at sunrise. I wasn’t happy with my room as I originally booked a sea view room. On checking my booking confirmation, I realised that I had been changed to a downstairs room. Still, the room was okay.

At the reception, I was greeted by some guy who said he was my surf guide. What guide? Surf Guide. I didn’t ask for a surf guide. Oh, it comes with your booking. It is already paid. If I don’t guide you my boss will not pay me. You sure? Yes. We said this with reception listening. I used him for the day only. Three days later, I get a delegation of surf guides telling me I need to pay for the guide. To cut the story shorter, I paid for one day and lectured them on what they did wrong before I handed over any money. Ex-school teacher lectures are not fun!

After breakfast, my guide and I went on his motorbike to a number of breaks.

I hired a motorbike from the hotel and surfed later in the afternoon at some point unnervingly close to rocks on the takeoff. It was an okay surf.

I wandered around the local area and sat around the hotel pool. The place was virtually empty except for the expats around the restaurant bar. They were an interesting bunch. One guy worked on the stage for years and lives in Jakarta. He had great stories and was very amusing!

The next day, I biked it in a westerly direction. I stopped at end of the beach where I’m staying and walked, following the path around the point and over the hill and back to the bike. The path was lined with shops selling food and trinkets. It was pretty cool and friendly people.

I continued pass rice fields and villages then upwards into the mountains. There was a great view from top. I stopped at a warung for noodles and had a chat with some Indo tourists and the warung owner.

I continued onwards - up, down through towns/villages to Swarana.  I drove to west end of beach and turned left and followed a narrow concrete path. I met a nice Indo family from Jakarta on a short holiday. I walked along the beautiful white sand beach with a mammoth beach break with cliffs and caves backdrop. I wandered into some of the caves but it was very dark.

I left and drove down the road to the main town and crossed a very narrow suspension bridge and rode through a cool village and on to the surf on the point. It looked like fun and exciting until the sets came which were mammoth and barrelling – out of my league! I rode onwards to the end of the path to a point with a huge flat rock area with a huge rock in the middle. Large rocks blocked the waves but it was amazing watching them crash over them and petered out before they reached where I stood. The journey back to the hotel was quicker.

Couple of interesting dinner stories from four guys:

Guy 1 – oz guy killed local lady in a bike accident, signed a confession, all sorted but media became involved and now maybe a jail sentence.

Guy 2 – actor on stage plus navy – worked with Hugo Weaving – had TB with foot infection on the mend - travel tip to Yogyakarta – travel light, bus to Bandung and train to Yogyakarta – temples 3 days – beaches to south with surf and places to stay.

Guy 3 – one guy owned a number of businesses including a beauty shop

Guy 4 – never said a word

The next day, I walked the beach to Cimaja. It was an interesting coastline with fishermen and a close look at ‘Indicators’ - another surf break.

In the afternoon, I rode the bike east to the beach with the fishing boats. Interesting! I met a few locals and had a walk up the steps to the headland.

The following day, I rode the motorbike to white water rafting. It was a very scenic drive through the urban sprawl, mountains and jungle.

The rafting was great @ 295 000R for 9 km. We drove in truck to the start of the grade 3 ride. I shared the boat with three people from Jakarta over boulders, narrow sections, pebble runs, rapids and eventually, fell in the water and swished down the river. It was one of the best rafting trips I’ve ever been on.

I motor biked back to the hotel rested and had a surf out the front on a reef right hander. It wasn’t very good as the rip was extreme and the waves bumpy and difficult to get on. Still, it was nice to get wet despite the plastic bags that kept clinging to my leg rope.

Well, that night was fun with diarrhoea from dinner.

The next day, I paid the bill as I was leaving early the next morning. It took ages – no record of deposit, breakfast was fried rice only so I was charged for anything else I ate for breakfast, etc, etc. I worked out the bill and the correct amount that was due.

I was up at 5am for my car to Bandung airport – about 6 hours. The traffic was huge in some spots where it bottled necked. The police were pushing and whacking people who had blocked the wrong side of the road. Amazing! There were also a couple of mountains being demolished for cement.

It was difficult to find the road entry to airport but once inside the airport it was small and easy. The check-in was quick and the flight good with heaps of vacant seats

Off to Bali I go!

In retrospect, the trip had its bad spots which all centred around the hotel I was staying at. Putting that aside, the local people were friendly, nice and helpful. The scenery was great and varied from urban to jungle to mountains to beach. The rafting was so good and the motor biking fun and adventurous.

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