July 3, 2010

Life is Beachy

A strong scent of clove-tobacco slowly tinge tingle the old olfactory. Soon I woke and found myself staring outside the window. At the skittering lights of the road lamps and the pale full moon in the otherwise dark dark night. Soon after  the smell of sweat on fake leather seats and gasoline.  My lips formed a wide wide smile, I’m on the road again.

Last week me and my girls from Uni-days, Bollie, Zaki, Dian, and Pepeng  went for a quick break from the city to Batu Karas , Pangandaran. We agreed to meet at Terminal Kampung Rambutan at 8 PM before hopping on a night bus that will take us straight to Pangandaran Terminal. I got there on time and so was Zaki, but the others were a tad late since the traffic on several roads going to Rambutan were pretty hecticly heavy. Bollie being the last one arrived was red and enraged,
“Can you believe the traffic, come on! Forgot  today’s payday. And there’s this guy who was obnoxiously close try to offer me whatever so I said to him ‘Get off me will ya, are you trying to rob me or something?”

FYI, when you’re arriving alone in major bus (even if you wear your best poker face), there’ll be multitudes of people asking you where you wanna go, what bus you’ll take etc, that soon will pretty much get on your nerves. So Bollie’s reaction is pretty much understandable. 
Plus “I just got robbed, so I am still pretty pissed off, okay!” said Bollie using THE excuse that she would abuse later on. Love you, girl.

We were obviously late for the 8 PM air-conditioned bus (which in fact leaving at 7:45), so we took the economy class Perkasa Jaya (55.000 IDR) being the last bus scheduled to depart at 9PM. We sit at the back of the bus and try to keep our voices down. I said tried, not succeeding apparently. We chatted and giggled until our jaws hurt, mouths dried, and our lids heavy….  At this, I think the other passengers were mumbling   “Finally!”

It took 9 hours on the road before we got to Pangandaran. Upon arriving the bus conductor asked us on  whether we want to be dropped at the beach or at the terminal.  
“Terminal!”  we said.  
And soon he was calling for the beach-heading passengers to step off. And then he asked us, still clouded with sleepiness, to step off too.
“But we want to be dropped at the terminal,”  .
“This is the terminal”
“But you said beach”
“Yes this is the terminal and that is the beach”

Apparently the terminal and the beach are in a walking distance, which made the first question pointless since we’d all be dropped off in the same spot. Light giggles soon turn our mood on.
The terminal was smallish, in fact it doesn’t even count as one for us big city girls. And except for the arriving passengers, there are no signs of “living”. 
After we freshened up a little in the public toilet we try to find ourselves an angkudes to hire (a public transportation in the size of a station wagon, much cheaper than rent-a-car, if you’re going alone rent an “ojek” instead.) We were going to Batu Karas, a much quieter beach area about 45 minutes away from Terminal Pangandaran. After small-talking with Kang Dede, the angkudes driver we agreed to rent it for a day instead (for only 250.000 IDR including gasoline). Again laughter boomed in the rusty yet reliable old car.
Kang Dede, our main-man!

If you plan to stay Batu Karas, never, I mean never ever try to sleep at Pondok Teratai. The caretaker was rude and very disappointing. I’ve booked a room two weeks before and she said that all the rooms were  full, and blame it on us.

 “What do you mean we’re not confirmed? I’ve called you twice.  Here’s the phone record“
“But  I don’t have your sms”
“I’ve send one, right after I call.”
She rushed back inside looking busy. Apparently she doesn’t have a note whatsoever and rely solely on sms.
“Can’t find your sms.”
“But I called you twice, and you said yes.”
“Well, this guy here called many times, and no room for him either.”
“If you want another confirmation, then why don’t you ask us  via sms to make sure.”
“Well talking is easy, but I am busy. “

Rrrrriiiigggghhhtttt….. What the fuck? We were irked by her rude response, and walked out even if there’s a room available after twelve (with the cost doubled of course, thank you effing much). We passed Pondok Teratai before dinner, and there’s a minibus parked inside their lot. No sms my ass.

On the brightside, we got ourselves a nicer and much cleaner room at Bonsai Bungalows next door. The only room available is theone with the  aircon and six beds for 500.000 IDR which is purrrfect for the five of us.  After a brief rest, we go straight to Cukang Taneuh/Green Canyon.

You have to rent a boat (75.000 IDR, fit for five passengers)  to see the Cukang Taneuh. But unfortunately since it has been raining all night, the water level along with current has risen so high it was too dangerous to sail through the canyon. So we could only saw it from a safe distance. On a sunny day the river's color is green, thus the name, but it was muddy brown when we're there. A bit of a bummer of course, since it's our main destination, but hey! 

As we got off the boat heavy rain soon poured, and so we spend the time drinking coffee and tea at a warung nearby. Zeal and zany we continued with our trip as soon as the rain showed the tiniest sign of light. Next stop: Citumang River!

 to Citumang, off the beaten track
The trip to Citumang soon become the highlight of our trip. First we were greeted with coconut trees and greeneries before we caught the sight to a wonderful beach called Parigi. Fishing and swimming in this area is forbidden due to its strong currents. This very area is also on of the most damaged during the 2006 tsunami. 

And we stopped by a small tortoise sanctuary, run independently by the locals.

Afterward we enter a small bumpy rocky road that cut through blissfully green paddy-fields. The smell, the sights, oh!

i just lurve this pic!

After arriving at Citumang River, we decided to have lunch first, since we plan to do body-rafting. It's like white-water rafting only without the raft : p

Awyeah we're hungry alright. Okay now back to Citumang River. Too bad there are no pic of us while we body rafted. But it was gloriously fun (if you don't mind few scratches due to stone-bumping). Our "guide" is two teenagers half our size. First we trek through a small wood about 30-45 minutes, and then we got our life jackets on (no helmet, but oh well it's cheap). And pretty soon we find ourselves jumping from small waterfalls. We were giddy and excited.  And, you betcha, laughter boomed soon as the rapids stop and we move into calmer water. And then we just let ourselves float while looking at the sky through the canopy of trees...... Oh it was soooo goood. And no we're not under any influence even though we're more than often
giggling like hyenas....

As we changed into dry clothes we felt a small scale earthquake, but other than that nothing serious happened. We went straight to the hotel to rest. We plan to ride a banana-boat in the morning so we went to sleep rather early. 

Morning was still misty and grey, but we carry on.
"Shit, the water is cold. I've never been to a beach that's cold"
But heck we're still  going bananas over banana boating among the choppy waves. It was fun. Since Zaki's received bad news about her brother being  checked-in to a hospital, we're on our way home sooner than we planned. But we got what we came for, and it was a blast. 

brief stop for photo-op at Pangandaran Beach

Since there's no early bus straight to Jakarta we decided to go via Tasikmalaya. Separated, I headed for a different kind of adventure in Bandung. But that's another story for another time........

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  1. thank you for a blast trip!!
    lookin forward for the next one!!
    btw... i like the post!!

  2. I am researching on cirebon and karimun jawa now....
    just wait : )

  3. oh wowww...I'm looking forward if you're planning to go to karimun jawa :)

  4. boleh boleh... the more the merrier....