Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Joko's Java Journey 7: Pangandaran to Dieng

Let me step back from my narrative for a moment and make a general point about the trip as a whole. One thing impressed me more than anything else over the course of my 10 days tootling around Java on a motorbike: the road conditions. Indonesia is not a rich country. The part I was in is most certainly overpopulated, and I was expecting the roads to be rough and clogged. My experience getting out of Jakarta certainly reinforced that preconception. On the whole, however, I have to say I was much impressed by the quality of the roads there in Java. Better than Thailand. Far better than Myanmar, and as a motorcyclist, having thoroughfares on which you don't have to be constantly on alert for potholes, which are wide enough to pass slower traffic safely and are well marked is a luxury that I do not take for granted. Kudos to the Indonesian highway department for having good back country roads and stellar main highways.

After a day of rest in Pangandaran, I had a decision to make. See, my original itinerary had me going next to Yogyakarta, the cultural heart of Java and a place I lived for a year back in the early 90's, I was much looking forward to seeing my old haunts and finding out how much the place had changed in 25 years. Thing is, I was already looking forward to the next Indonesian journey. Yogya deserves more than one day. Just as I did in Jakarta, I want to take a couple to days to reconnect with old friends in the place. So, I decided to skip Yogya altogether. Save it for the next trip.  Instead, I would get a day ahead of my original plan and go to the Dieng Plateau. 

210 kilometers from Pangandaran to Dieng, and back up into the more populous central parts of the island. The day didn't start very auspiciously, as I found myself with a flat tire. This was the only problem I had with the bike during the entire journey, so I took it in stride. 

At one point, I found myself in a medium sized town by the name of Wangon... I'm from Yangon! Wangon and Yangon are neighbors alphabetically. 

Another town I went through was called Wonosobo. I absolutely loved the local noodle dish, noodles in peanut sauce. I think my taste for peanut sauce is part of why I love Indonesia... It's so good. By the end of the trip, I think my blood peanut sauce concentration would be to the point of me being illegal to drive. 

I got to Dieng. I checked out the famous ancient Hindu temples. I ate corn. 

By chance, I ended up at the Dieng Mountain Theatre, and if you're ever in that part of Indonesia, do not skip their "Flying Fox" ride. In the USA, we would call it a Zip Line, and it's something I had never experienced before. I kinda forgot in my excitement that I can sometimes be afraid of heights...

Enjoy the video...



  1. I praise God that you looked to the Lord, during your zip-line! :) I must admit that even though you are good showing us how you're travelling and what you're doing, you are excellent at creating the videos. Blessings, Lynn

  2. My first zip You were so funny. How brave to drive through a market, never get away with that here (Canada). Is that the norm over there?

  3. I and others have encouraged your mother to try zip-lining. She says no way. Did you go a second time?


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