Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Joko's Java Journey 6: The Longest Ride of my Life

There's been a bit of a delay here in the recounting of my recent trip around Java, Indonesia. See, I ran into some technical problems. Namely, my 4-year-old Toshiba laptop got fried. It died in what I see as a very SE Asian way to go. I have strategically located my in-home work station directly under my apartment's air-conditioner. This is the most efficient set up here in the steamy cauldron of far flung Burma. As they sometimes do, my aircon began leaking water to what was below it, my good old Toshiba. Since it happened while I was sleeping, I awoke to my computer no longer able to run on the AC cord, not charging and sending an electrical shock through me whenever I touched it. My local repair guy said he couldn't fix it, so I'm coming to you now from my brand new Dell (I hate it; it's slower than my old computer and it's brand new).

So where were we? Ah yes, day three of my actual traveling, and I was faced with the longest single bit of driving since I've taken up this pastime of touring Asia on very small motorcycles. 337 kilometers or 210 miles. Now, that's nothing in a car or RV in the West. On any decent highway, that would take a few hours, tops. Ah, my friend, these are rural SE Asian highways. Check out my estimated actual travel time on the map! 8 hours 39 minutes! I drive pretty fast, but I make a lot of stops, so that balanced out in terms of travel time and the drive did take about 9 hours.

Enjoy the video.

Now, after that video ended, I got to explore Pangandaran after dark. I ate some amazingly delicious food. I shopped for some souvenirs. Basically just chilling in a relaxed beach town surrounded by local tourists. Before retiring for the evening, exhausted after my long ride, I decided to go down to the beach for one more look at the water. I was met by an imposing beast.

Deer God, what was this animal on the beach?

 It was a deer. Not just a deer, but an imposing stag with a huge rack of antlers. This creature was bigger than any deer I'd seen in North America or Myanmar. It was huge. Elk sized. With those pointy bits coming out of top of its head, it could mess me up pretty bad if it chose to.

Immediately I thought of the peninsular national park just south of town. There would be no way for overcrowded deer to escape from their near-island habitat except through the beaches and town of Pangandaran. Maybe it was hungry. Maybe it was mean. I gave it a wide berth as it stared at me intently.

Eventually, it wandered up to a beach side restaurant and started poking around. I went and sat at one of the tables of the restaurant, which prompted its owner to come out and serve. I asked if it was normal for the deer to be so casual with humans. She reported that it most definitely was. In fact, if the restaurant owners don't well secure their places at night, the deer will break into the kitchens are wreak havoc. She brought out some wilted cabbage to feed the mighty stag.

So, as it turned out, the deer are part of daily life in Pangandaran, which I think is pretty cool.

Pangandaran has a lot of other really cool things going for it. You can watch the sun rise and set over the ocean from beaches just a few blocks from each other. There's a beach from which you can snorkel out and observe tropical coral reef fishes. There's HUGE lizards. And the countryside outside of town isn't overcrowded and you can see the lives of regular Sundanese people.

All of that in the second video...

1 comment:

  1. It seems like you're having a wonderful trip. I'm happy you weren't hurt by that deer, and am even happier that you said you haven't got any back pain. Hallelujah! Blessings, Lynn


Discovering Northwest Myanmar 16: Kataung to Mandalay

I call them "Burmese Doughnuts". They've got another name, but essentially, it's fried bread. The three-week adventur...