Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Adventures To Pangandaran

Every Year My mums side of the family arranges a gettogether.This year my mums older brother uncle Iwan organized our trip to Pangandaran, a beach area on the south coast of Java.What me, my sister, mum, dad, uncle Bima(mums younger brother) and his wife do know is that we are in for some heavy traffic action because the trip was near Idul fitri day and the road to Pangandaran are notorious for being crowded due to the fact that lots of people are going back from jakarta to their families in the countryside during the Idul Fitri holidays.

Getting there to Pangandaran.

Despite the urge not to go to Pangandaran during Idul Fitri, we still ended up going there.After The Idul Fitri Prayer we visited some relatives and set off at around 4 in the afternoon to begin our 9 hour roadtrip.Uncle Bima was driving and even that didnt help improve our time needed to complete our long Journey.We were given opportunity by the Jor Highway to turn back but we skipped the 4 exits given and continued on towards Cileunyi.After Cileunyi, we turned right and took the Garut route because The main road towards Pangandaran in Tasikmalaya were cramped.After Garut, the next town on our checkpoint is Nagrek, It wasnt as crowded as we think it were but still, some cars shouldnt even be there because it just holds Uncle Bima back from speeding.I just realised that the road to Pangandaran is long when we frequently ask gas station employees in Banjar "where is Pangandaran?" and they answer the same answer which is "around 10 km more or less".

This is Malaria Country
The Car Clock showed 2:45 and me and Uncle Bima were the only ones still awake, but we were happy because we finally seen the "welcome to Pangandaran" Sign.I texted one of my cousin who were already in the hotel and she gave me directions to a beaten up road leading into the darkness but she is positive that that was the road to the hotel.We have no idea where the hotel is but we know that we are in a secluded area when we saw the Malaria warning sign on an intersection.The road was so bumpy that all of the residents in the car are woken up and cursing in terror from the fear of what will the hotel look like.At around half past 3 We have arrived at The Java Lagoon hotel and greeted by the smiling face of Uncle Iwan.The Journey lasted almost 12 hours and i was tired, not to mention Uncle Bima who has been driving non stop for almost 12 hours through small backroads and scary highways.With all doubts set aside i turn in to bed and prepare for the next day of sight seing which will come in around 3 hours.

Getting around Pangandaran

After an exhausting Journey through the night i was woken up by my mum telling me to do my morning prayers.I looked around and saw that i was the only one still on the Bed.My mum and dad are unpacking, Aunt lilik and Uncle Bima were Praying, and my sister is chatting around with my Cousins in another room.We head on to eat Breakfast in the Hotel owners House prepared by Uncle Iwans Wife, Aunt Uci.Since it was Idul Fitri we had to eat a festive food for this time year which is ketupar Opor.The View is not bad, but its not good because we can only see the beach if we walk another km to the coast, but for now the puddle from last nights high tide will do.I mingle with some of the relatives while i eat my breakfast and ask around about our destination to see after we eat.Turns out we were headed to Green canyon, a river which cuts through a rock formation forming beautiful landscapes.

Before we can see the nice view, we must first fight off the bad roads and long distances to reach Green canyon.The roads were very poorly maintained so The minibus we took shankle around like a can filled with peanuts....we were the peanuts.This trip is turning out to be a disaster for my mum and dad who are feeling discomfort from my harsh driving, but its not my fault, its the roads fault..We were scheduled to take a boat ride in the morning through Green Canyon but we were late because we had a late start back in the hotel, but hey its a vacation so we were supposed to be late right?

  We arrived at Green Canyon all limbs attached and we meet up with the tour guide / hotel owner Frenchman named Cedric, who is waiting anxiously because we were 2 hours late.Since The crowd was building in the ticketbox dock, so Cedric had to slip some money to the gatekeeper to let my group in to the docks.The river is Green, no wonder it is called "Green Canyon", but it is clean green not Ciliwung river green so it is a beautiful site to see.The river is filled with green tree scenery to add to the "green-ness" of Green Canyon.After about 10 minuites into the boatride we finally arrived to the rock formation that Unce Iwans been talking about all day.The Boatman asked if we want to swim inside the river between the rocks, I didnt, but my Uncle Bima, Aunt Lilik, And the Brave Uncle Iwan jumped in the water withought even asking The Boatman first.

We had seafood lunch in an eatery near Green canyon, afterwards we head off to our next destination which is Citumang, another river area filled with rocks and fantastic scenery.The roads to citumang is the same as ever which is bumpy but with a twist.Every couple of kilometers lies a gate which is run by locals asking for money in order for them to lift the gates to allow us through.The first 2 gates were ok but it is expensive, i would not want to even pay for parking let alone illegal gate barriers which leads to bumpy roads!But the last gate was the worst, the roads were not bumpy, it was made of rocks so it was very bumpy, the width of the road could only fit 1 car at a time and there are the occasional leftovers cement rocks layed beside the road that no one ever bothers to clean up.The road travelled was worth it though, at least for me, because the waters i swam in was the cleanest i ever saw, just dont count the last leg of the river tour which includes a dip in gutter water.I did not take any pics in Citumang because my Phone was with my uncles backpack in the car so you will have to imagine Citumang on your own, sorry.After around 5 in the afternoon we head back to the hotel and i immediately jump into bed and sleep the exhaustion off because i am going to experience another long journey from Pangandaran to Jakarta in the nextmorning.

 Going Home

A quick snap with my mum

The next Morning we said goodbye to our relatives and went on the exhausting 12 hour trip back to Jakarta.My mum, dad, sister,Uncle and aunt are so eager to head home.We stopped by Banjar to pick up Ridho, my maid's son.Its a good think he waved at the car because we were going so fast through Banjar that we almost missed him, and the trip back to Banjar from Jakarta is long and hard.

This lasted for 3 hours
Following Uncle Iwans advice, we decided to ditch Garut and took the road in Nagrek.Nagrek was packed, we were all cursing at this occursed trip.We regret going to Pangandaran In Idul Fitri time because we all knew that it wasnt going to be pretty but we went ahead anyways because Uncle Iwan And Aunt Uci already invited us and told us that the road to Pangandaran (against all odds) was not crowded.We were running out of snacks in the car and we were getting bored so more curses were thrown at Pangandaran and all its crowdy backroads.The only food we had were instant cup noodles but its useless because we had no hot water.My aunt jumped out of the car and bought us some hot water, yes you heard me right, a hot pot of water.Well the pot was ours but the hot water was from a shop lad by the road.
Hot water action by my dad

After 3 hours we finally made to the nagrek hillside road which was not crowdy and smooth.My mum went bezerk mode on me when the car finally reached its limit and the electricals started acting up, Thanks a lot Hyundai!The car didnt stop moving, it just lost some power during an ascending through the road and we almost crashed to a bus, but other than that we were okay.After Nagrek we went pass Tasik Malaya, heres a travel tip ; when choosing Garut or Nagrek go with Nagrek, because despite the occasional traffic Jams, the road is still not as crowded as it was back in Garut, and the way was shorter.So Garut or The Tasik main road?You decide.

After a long trip pass Tasik, we finally made it back to Cileunyi.Then we took the highway to Bandung and stopped by to eat dinner and pray at the restaurant named Bali.... something, i forgot.I also forgot my necklace that i put away when i was praying, but hey i still have a spare at home.Afterwards we continued to Jakarta and so ends our Long, exhausting Travel to Pangandaran.


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