We have now made it into country #3, Indonesia. We are in Batu Karas, a small Javanese fishing village know for it’s great surf. Getting here from Singapore was possible through: 1 (bad) flight, 1 bus ride into the bus terminal of Jakarta, a 3h wait for our bus to Pangandaran, missing our bus to said city (it had been sitting there since we arrived at the bus terminal and left early – who ever heard of a bus leaving early?), an 8h overnight bus ride in a falling-apart smoking bus, a rickshaw ride to a guesthouse at 2:30 AM, a quick sleep, a little bit of relaxing time, a walk to the bus terminal, a jeepny into a tiny town, and finally a motorcycle ride into our final destination, with a bonus ride over a very precarious, not at all solid bamboo bridge over a river. Total travel time from our hostel in Singapore to our current guesthouse: 36 hours.
Right now it is 7:45 PM, and we are sitting on our balcony listening to the surf crashing onto the sand, motorcycles passing by and cats hissing at each other. Other than that, it’s dark, quiet. There isn’t much to this town aside from the surf, and nothing to do beside surf or swim. It’s the perfect place to slow down, catch up, relax and tan a little.
Earlier today we went and played in the surf, for what must have been at least 2 hours. The surf is great fun but the current is strong. There is a great sandy bottom to the beach though, so it makes things enjoyable instead of painful.
Prayers have started again over the minaret. It felt surreal, earlier, when I had just finished swimming and I was looking at the surf and storm ahead, and prayers started. Listing to prayers praising God’s greatness while looking at God’s greatness – it was a great little moment for lack of better words to describe it.
Pangandaran’s beach – a section of it at least. I grew up with fantastic stories of this deserted beach from my dad, but things change over the years.
Our celebratory beers in Batu Karas!
Around Batu Karas:
About our missed bus ride: it’s too good of a story not to tell it! Travis should really be the one telling it… he’s the story teller after all.
We arrived at one of Jakarta’s many bus terminal and discovered that we had hours to wait until our boat to Pangandaran would leave. No one could actually tell us though when the bus would actually leave: it seemed as though everyone was guessing. Eventually a man came to us who spoke English, and he introduced himself as the person in charge of consumer relations for the bus terminal. He was really nice, but also couldn’t tell us when the bus would leave. Best guess was somewhere between 5 and 7 PM. So, he made sure we grabbed a bite to eat and helped us learn some Bahasa Indonesia (the local language). We sat in the station for hours, and as the only while people everyone knew our story and where we were going. At around 3 PM, the bus arrived. We wanted to go wait on the bus right away, but we were told to wait – it wasn’t going anywhere. Then, twice the bus pulled away. We were worried, but each time we were told that it was normal. At 4 PM, thinking that we still had a full hour before the bus would leave, I decided to go use the restroom. As soon as I locked the door, I heard people laugh: and then I knew. They were laughing at me. We had missed our bus. I got back to Travis, and we just didn’t know what to make of it. Our bus had left an hour early, and wasn’t coming back. Everyone knew, yet no one warned us. It was so ridiculous that it was funny.
Lucky for us, a bus did leave a few hours later, and this time, we didn’t miss it.