A Lap Around Java

Posted: October 15, 2014 in Indonesia Rides
Tags: ,

Been a long time since I last wrote my last entry. Now that I got a bit of time on my side…Time to update my travel report.

Oh I haven’t been idle all this while travel-wise. Been traveling and riding bikes in many places, trying to clock in as much riding time as possible. Since the last report, I’ve ridden to to the 1,000 corners twice , the usual chicken border runs, Thailand Bike Weeks, local rallys, a lap around Bali, Island of Batam and Java…

Hmmm Java now that’s something new to write about.

As I’m pushing towards half a century old, memories fades fast. I reserve the right to forget actual date & time. Ramble my thoughts and imagination freely and some events may have been liberally given a dose of “creative license’ to spice things up…ha..ha…read on…

The plan is to ride a lap around Java for 10 days.

The plan is to ride a lap around Java for 10 days.

Our route.A lap around Java.

Our route.A lap around Java.

Me and my good buddy Mig have been itching to lap the Java Island for along time. We talked about doing it all year. Some of our friends are enthusiastic about joining us on this ride but when the time comes to commit…bullshit walks…but enter one brave soul…Mr. Hatta! And then there were 3…we will be riding through some places that I have never been before…riding through cities, villages, visiting beaches & mountains…
No guides, No GPS, No back-up car. Just adrenaline and a big dollop of sense of humour and adventurous spirit.
Thus begin our wild ride of over 2000kms of Java…

Hatta, Mig and me

Hatta, Mig and me

Me & Mig get busy researching for our ride. Plotting routes, stops, places of interest,hotel bookings and sorting our bikes. I got in touch with my good buddy Bro Yufi Nurcan for insights of a lap around Java.
Now, Yufi is an explorer on bikes (also an avid photographer and travel blogger) poured the beans worth of highly valuable information about Java roads and routes.
Being the guys that were were me & Mig had our own crazy ideas. We are going to ride through the notorious Pantura (Pantai Utara) route. A northern national main artery that runs north to east Java, often clogged with heavy traffic… more of that horror later.

Preparation done…and we’re off to Jakarta. Point zero of our adventure…
We arrived two days earlier on the 29.2.14 to prepare our ride Jakarta side. The two days were actually spent visiting friends and general preparations.

At last I got to meet Bro Yufi Nurcan. He has been a source of great inspiration and guidance for me on this ride. Here we are enjoying dinner of satay telor in Jalan Sambas, Jakarta Selatan, a couple of days before our ride begins. We had a long chat that evening about what challenges Java would throw at us along our ride. It sounded grim but…we’re are ready as ever!

“Enjoy aja ridenya Bro”…says Yufi as we parted ways that night.

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Enjoyed the local streetfood when in Indonesia. Satay man at Jalan Sambas, Jakarta Selatan.

href=”https://aithinkdisway.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/dsc04272.jpg”>Collecting our bikes for a night ride shakedown in Jakarta Selatan. Collecting our bikes for a night ride shakedown in Jakarta Selatan.

Night ride through Jakarta traffic

Night ride through Jakarta traffic

Our mule ready to rock Java! Kawasaki D-Tracker, Honda Tiger & Honda CB150R

Our mule ready to rock Java! Kawasaki D-Tracker, Honda Tiger & Honda CB150R


Our bikes were immaculately prepared by our long time buddy Bobby Kurniawan of Jakarta. Mig took control of the Honda Tiger , I took the keys to the Honda CB150 R and Hatta the Kawa D-Tracker.
Some of you might be wondering why we chose smaller cc bikes for this ride. Trust me people…the traffic condition here in Java is very challenging. You might be stuck in traffic for hours, ride through small gaps in between trucks & buses. A full panniered GS will be stuck boiling in its own oil here.
Makes great sense to have these small bikes. Light, easy to maneuver and just enough power to get you out of trouble.

Mig securing soft side bags to my CB150R. Bags containing essentials, rain gear and clothing for our ride.

Mig securing soft side bags to my CB150R. Bags containing essentials, rain gear and clothing for our ride.

Day 1
Jakarta-Cikarang-Cikampek-Indramayu-Karangampel-Cirebon
1.3.2014
257km

Getting ready to go. It's 4.45 am WIB.

Getting ready to go. It’s 4.45 am WIB.

Point Zero. Hotel Oaktree, Jalan Sambas 5, Jakarta Selatan.

Point Zero. Hotel Oaktree, Jalan Sambas 5, Jakarta Selatan.


We got up real early eager to start our first leg of the ride.Jakarta to Cirebon. Bobby had turned up to escort us out of Jakarta. We must push out early to escape the massive crawl of traffic inside Jakarta.

Day 1  1.3.2014 Jakarta - Cirebon. 240kms

Day 1
1.3.2014 Jakarta – Cirebon. 240kms

The sending off  party at Cikarang, just outside Jakarta.

The sending off party at Cikarang, just outside Jakarta.


We reached Cikarang and stop for breakfast. The traffic is starting to build up eventhough its just 6.30 am. It was here that we bade goodbyes to the sending of party. Bobby, Erick Budiman & his brother…we’ll see you in a week’s time. “Hati-hati dijalan ya…orang Gila!” shouted Erick. Still couldn’t believe what we are set to do…Ha…ha…

Welcome to Pantura

Welcome to Pantura

After a light breakfast were were soon on our way. Just as we about to enter Cikampek the traffic stalled. Endless chain of trucks, buses and more trucks seems parked permanently on the road. So this is what our friends warned us about, Jalur Pantura…selamat beradu nyali sama truk gandengan ya bro…enjoy aja walaupun melelahkan.
See what I mean about riding big bikes here, we had to squeeze in-between the trucks for kms upon kms. Imagine riding a full panniered GS through this traffic. Time to be brave and bomb through the gaps.

Inches to spare. Gotta be brave.

Inches to spare. Gotta be brave.

Coming through....coming through

Coming through….coming through

One slight twitch and you're into someone's shop.

One slight twitch and you’re into someone’s shop.

Muddy waters on the left

Muddy waters on the left

One thing that amused us along the Pantura are the creative message painted on the back of trucks. One of the best is ” Salah Mas, Gak Pakai sarung’. while ” Isterimu bekas pacaer ku” comes in a close second. Here are some examples (picture source from internet. Rights are from respective owners) –

Seductive...

Seductive…

Family planning

Family planning

Cikampek-Pamanukan-Indramayu lies ahead. They say Indramayu have the prettiest girls in Java. Since we’re making good progress, we stopped by the beach…

Pantai Tirtamaya near Indramayu. Maybe it wasn't our day, the low chick counts there sucks.

Pantai Tirtamaya near Indramayu. Maybe it wasn’t our day, the low chick counts there sucks.

Enjoyed some cool drinks. It was a hot day

Enjoyed some cool drinks. It was a hot day

The beach.

The beach.

Secangkir dua teh hangat

Secangkir dua teh hangat

We’re soon on our way again. Made several stops along the way.The traffic gets clearer as we move on just after Indramayu.

Waiting for Hatta

Waiting for Hatta

Downtown Cirebon

Downtown Cirebon


We soon rolled into the city of Cirebon. To my pleasant surprise it wasn’t as congested as other Indonesian cities I’ve visited.

Our first night stop - at last a comfy bed. Bentani Hotel Siliwangi 69, Cirebon, Indonesia

Our first night stop – at last a comfy bed. Bentani Hotel
Siliwangi 69, Cirebon, Indonesia

Manjabal restaurant, Cirebon

Manjabal restaurant, Cirebon


It was late noon when we finally checked-in our hotel. Time for lunch.

Sunda lunch consist of BBQ fish, tempe tahu and sambal terasi

Sunda lunch consist of BBQ fish, tempe tahu and sambal terasi

Hatta updating his progress to HQ

Hatta updating his progress to HQ

One thing I can see here, they sure like fresh juices

One thing I can see here, they sure like fresh juices

Cirebon is known for its special delicacies 'Empal Gentong'

Cirebon is known for its special delicacies ‘Empal Gentong’

We aren’t able to sample all of the culinary speciality of Cirebon as recommended by Bro Yufi such as empal gentong (a kind of meat and offal curry ), Mie Koclok (chicken noodle soup made from coconut milk ),nasi lengko (rice mixed with bean sprouts, fried tofu, fried tempeh, topped with peanut sauce and soy sauce), nasi jamblang (rice of various side dishes), tahu gejrot (fried tofu with ground garlic, chili and shallot, topped with thin and sweet soy sauce), tahu petis (dry fried tofu served with petis dip sauce), tahu tek-tek (fried tofu topped with peanut sauce and mixed with vegetables) and ayam panggang (barbecue chicken). Another native food is “Docang” (lontong with sour vegetable soup).
Too tired from our ‘battle’ on the Jalur Pantura, dinner was a simple McD burger.

A short tour of the city. Cirebon Train Station

A short tour of the city. Cirebon Train Station

Tourist on two wheels riding around Java at the entrance of the Cirebon Harbour

Tourist on two wheels riding around Java at the entrance of the Cirebon Harbour

The Port of Cirebon was established by the Dutch in 1865, principally as an export point for spices, sugar cane and raw materials from West Java. Warehouses and open storage areas were developed by 1890, and a British American Tobacco cigarette factory was built in the early 20th century.

The beach

The beach

We headed to the nearest beach just alongside the Cirebon port. It wasn’t any good being too near the busy port. The muddy and murky water doesn’t stop locals from having a dip though.

Old sepeda onthel with an interesting top box.

Old sepeda onthel with an interesting top box.

Cleanliness around the beach were driven by a local community.

Cleanliness around the beach were driven by a local community.

After having a dip in the murky water you'll need to have a thorough bath.

After having a dip in the murky water you’ll need to have a thorough bath.

A mussollah by the 'beach'

A mussollah by the ‘beach’

Day 2
Cirebon-Bulukamba-Brebes-Tegal-Pekalongan-Batang-Kendal-Semarang
2.3.2014
239km

We rode out of Cirebon heading out to Semarang. True to our plan we try to be as close to the coast line, riding through Bulukamba-Tegal-Pekalongan-Batang-Kendal-Lamongan.

Coastal road all the way

Coastal road all the way

My GPS. Trusted & proven in getting anywhere I ride. I think this waaayyyy...

My GPS. Trusted & proven in getting anywhere I ride. I think this waaayyyy…

The road to Pekalongan is that wayyy lar...

The road to Pekalongan is that wayyy lar…

Kota Tegal. Tiba-tiba badan rasa pegal...

Kota Tegal. Tiba-tiba badan rasa pegal…

Brebes. A coastal town where you have to dodge a busy fish market smack right in the middle of town.

Brebes. A coastal town where you have to dodge a busy fish market smack right in the middle of town.

Check-in. We're in a place called Batang!

Check-in. We’re in a place called Batang!

Batang Regency (Kabupaten Batang) is a regency (Indonesian: kabupaten) on the north coast of Central Java province in Indonesia. Its capital is Batang, about 100 km west of the province’s capital city of Semarang.
The regency comprises both coastal and mountainous landscapes. Batang’s town centre is located on the side of the north coast trans Java highway network, widely known as “the Pantura”.

A town called Batang and we met Mat Perkosa! Legend!

A town called Batang and we met Mat Perkosa! Legend!

The road from Pekalongan is much better with the dense traffic beginning to thin out. It was a relief after endless maneuvering and dodging for the past couple of hour. We are at the tail-end of the notorious Pantura.

The obligatory petrol stop picture.

The obligatory petrol stop picture.

We were pelted by rain just after Batang. Nope. We're not checking the map, just laying it out to dry.

We were pelted by rain just after Batang. Nope. We’re not checking the map, just laying it out to dry.

Time for Mee Pop and a cool Teh Botol Sosro after all that riding. Kendal, Jawa Tengah.

Time for Mee Pop and a cool Teh Botol Sosro after all that riding. Kendal, Jawa Tengah.

DSC04379

The road to Semarang via Kendal. Nice scenery change with mountains and padi field to our left and the Java sea to our right.

The city gates of Semarang. It's 2.00 pm and we're making good time.

The city gates of Semarang. It’s 2.00 pm and we’re making good time.

As we reached the city gates of Semarang there was some confusion because the road branches out to a tolled highway (bikes aren’t allowed on Indonesian tolled highways). I stopped by the road side trying to figure out which way to city center where our hotel is. The sign board says Surabaya but we’re heading to Semarang, apparently the toll highway Jatingaleh-Krapyak joining another tolled highway Banyumanik and cuts across central Java to Surabaya or Solo & Magelang.

DSC04387

Our first close-encounter with the Indonesian Traffic Cops. We waited for Hatta for a while. He got stopped by traffic cops a junction before whilst me & Mig took cover beside a moving bus avoiding being stopped by Pak Polisi. Lesson learned – eyes always searching the horizon for the ‘Men in Brown’. Plan evasive action early, you’ll never know what grief they can put unto you.

Parking our bikes at the Horison Hotel located at a place called Simpang Lima.

Parking our bikes at the Horison Hotel located at a place called Simpang Lima.

Semarang street scene.

Semarang street scene.

There’s not much to do around Semarang, just another busy Indonesian city. We spent our time lounging around the hotel as the next day will be another gruelling ride.

Day 3
Semarang-Demak-Kudus-Pati-Rembang-Tuban-Lamongan-Surabaya
3.3.2014
320km

Gang Dolly, Surabaya  here we come!

Gang Dolly, Surabaya here we come!

We start out early to avoid the morning rush hour. Sure is tricky getting out of Semarang as part of the city was flooded because of heavy rain the day before. We followed the factory going crowd out of the city. The sun is about to break out of the horizon…

Stopped by a town called Pati for breakfast.

Stopped by a town called Pati for breakfast.

At a rest stop area in Pati. A huge road map of Java is displayed to plan your route at one of the cafe.

At a rest stop area in Pati. A huge road map of Java is displayed to plan your route at one of the cafe.

The road towards Surabaya is fairly featureless as we passed various smaller cities. Demak-Kudus-Pati- Rembang. It was until Bonang that we came close to the sea again.
Bonang is the town of one of the Wali Songo. The 9 religious scholar of Nusantara. Sunan Bonang, whose real name was Raden Maulana Makdum Ibrahim, was born in Tuban, East Java in 1465 CE and died in 1525 CE at Pulau Bawean. He was one of the Wali Songo, along with his father Sunan Ampel and his brother Sunan Drajat.

Bonang, the last city bordering Jawa Tengah and Jawa Timur

Bonang, the last city bordering Jawa Tengah and Jawa Timur

Enjoying refreshing coconut drink at Bonang.

Enjoying refreshing coconut drink at Bonang.

A typical roadside warung with seafood on the menu

A typical roadside warung with seafood on the menu

The road from Bonang onwards runs through the coastline up towards Gersik.

We are entering Jawa Timur

We are entering Jawa Timur

We passed a place called Ngawi and stop for photos at this important landmark. Marking our journey towards Jawa Timur.

Welcome to Jawa Timur.

Welcome to Jawa Timur.

From Ngawi the road is relatively clear of heavy traffic and the road surface is as good as can be. On some straight stretch we gassed our bikes.120kmh the top speed I had on my CB150R.

Roughly translated - Hairy Fish-Tuban Port

Roughly translated – Hairy Fish-Tuban Port

Surabaya is that way

Surabaya is that way

Something we came across along the way.

Something we came across along the way.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Lunch & snacks at a place called Babat, Lamongan.

Lunch & snacks at a place called Babat, Lamongan.

Day 4
Surabaya-Sidoarjo-Lawang-Malang
4.3.2014
89 kms

Reached Horison Ultima Hotel in Malang.

Reached Horison Ultima Hotel in Malang.

After a bit of RnR in Surabaya it was ashort hop to Malang, our base before going for the pinnacle of our ride – Bromo!
Malang is the second largest city in East Java province, Indonesia. It has a history dating back to the ancient Mataram Kingdom. The city population at the 2010 Census was 820,243. The city is famous for its cool temperature and the surrounding country regions of Tumpang, Batu, Singosari, and Turen. People in East Java sometimes call it “Paris of East Java.”

Roughing it out in Malang before the ride to Bromo.

Roughing it out in Malang before the ride to Bromo.

We turned in early getting a good rest for tommorow’s ride – to Bromo!

Day 5
5.3.2014
Malang-Ngadas-Bromo-Cemoro Lawang- Porbolinggo-Malang
191kms

5.00 am and it's really chilly. Wake up and fire up the mules Bro! We're going to the Mountain for Bro - Bromo!

5.00 am and it’s really chilly. Wake up and fire up the mules Bro! We’re going to the Mountain for Bro – Bromo!

The route to Bromo.

The route to Bromo.

Mountain for Bro. Bromo aku datang!

Mountain for Bro. Bromo aku datang!

The road to Ngadas

The road to Ngadas

It was a cold morning

It was a cold morning

Passing through villages uphill. It's only 6.30 am but the sun was already beginning to peek through the horizon.

Passing through villages uphill. It’s only 6.30 am but the sun was already beginning to peek through the horizon.

Stopped at Puncakusomo to admire the magnificent Taman Nasional Bromo Tengger Semeru from a distance.

Stopped at Puncakusomo to admire the magnificent Taman Nasional Bromo Tengger Semeru from a distance.

Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is located in East Java, Indonesia, to the east of Malang and to the southeast of Surabaya, the capital of East Java. It is the only conservation area in Indonesia that has a sand sea, the Tengger Sand Sea (Indonesian: Laut Pasir Tengger), across which is the caldera of an ancient volcano (Tengger) from which four new volcanic cones have emerged. This unique feature covers a total area of 5,250 hectares at an altitude of about 2,100 m. The massif also contains the highest mountain in Java, Mount Semeru (3,676 m), four lakes and 50 rivers.

The narrow road to Bromo crater.

The narrow road to Bromo crater.

Tip toe going uphill with high hanging cliff either side

Tip toe going uphill with high hanging cliff either side

Uphill from Ngadas to the crater entrance

Uphill from Ngadas to the crater entrance

Mount Bromo (Indonesian: Gunung Bromo), is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 metres (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god.

My first sight of Bromo Tengger Semeru

My first sight of Bromo Tengger Semeru

Posing again one of the most beautiful backdrop.

Posing again one of the most beautiful backdrop.

Your carelessness may burn the place down. Please preserve nature

Your carelessness may burn the place down. Please preserve nature

A small token to pay to enter a magical place.

A small token to pay to enter a magical place.

The crossroad

The crossroad

Down hill into the crater. Scary but exciting at the same time. The small road that leads down the crater were destroyed by passing jeeps and also from the force of nature.

Down hill into the crater. Scary but exciting at the same time. The small road that leads down the crater were destroyed by passing jeeps and also from the force of nature.

My attention was split. To my left is the magical vista of Bromo crater and to the front is a downhill 'road'

My attention was split. To my left is the magical vista of Bromo crater and to the front is a downhill ‘road’

Cobble stone paved road runs downhill towards the savanna plains

Cobble stone paved road runs downhill towards the savanna plains

The cobble stone road ends and we ran through sandy path.

The cobble stone road ends and we ran through sandy path.

It rained the day before we came, so the sand was mostly damp making our ride easier. During dry times our bikes would have been bogged in the soft sands.

We were greeted by the famous 'Teletubbies Hill'. Helooo...Tinky Winky, Po, Lala, Dipsy...

We were greeted by the famous ‘Teletubbies Hill’. Helooo…Tinky Winky, Po, Lala, Dipsy…

The 3 Waks at 'Telletubbies Hill'

The 3 Waks at ‘Telletubbies Hill’

We stood still marveling at the vastness of the place. That’s when we took out the ‘Blankon’ a traditional Javanese head dress to mark our personal triumph making it this far. It’s sure along ride from Jakarta.

Let's ride towards the horizon

Let’s ride towards the horizon

Into the Padang Pasir Berbisik.

The desert

The desert

Keldai Padang Pasir

Keldai Padang Pasir

Hausssss

Hausssss

The place felt so serene and peaceful because of its vastness. Just the sound of the wind blowing with hardly anyone around for hours except us. Just don’t go there during weekend and long holidays, it will be swarmed by tourist.

Hmmmmm....hmmmmm....hmmmm.

Hmmmmm….hmmmmm….hmmmm.

HUGE place

HUGE place

Fun in the sand

Fun in the sand

Mount Bromo sits in the middle of a vast plain called the “Sea of Sand” (Javanese: Segara Wedi or Indonesian: Lautan Pasir), a protected nature reserve since 1919. The typical way to visit Mount Bromo is from the nearby mountain village of Cemoro Lawang. From there it is possible to walk to the volcano in about 45 minutes, but we took the reverse way round – entering Bromo crarer through Ngadas beginning at the savanna plains through the desert and out exiting through Cemoro Lawang.

Bromo. Mountain for Bro! At last I’m here!

Mount Bromo. Aku datang,

Mount Bromo. Aku datang,

Ondaway lah.

Ondaway lah.

Cape' deh...

Cape’ deh…

Mee Pop and kopi Bromo with Hatta & Mig. Nothing beats this anywhere, anytime.

Mee Pop and kopi Bromo with Hatta & Mig. Nothing beats this anywhere, anytime.

For those who do not ride bikes, hire one of these to go around Bromo. Nah...less fun.

For those who do not ride bikes, hire one of these to go around Bromo. Nah…less fun.

Relax Brader...Relax Brader...Relax...

Relax Brader…Relax Brader…Relax…

Horses will take you up the Mount Bromo crater edge.

Horses will take you up the Mount Bromo crater edge.

The actual Mt. Bromo is actually on the left of the picture. It is still active with small fissions a daily sights. We didn’t go up the Bromo volcanic crater because no horse would haul us up and the stairs are to steep for us to climb. We stop at the foot of the mountain taking in the sights and chatting up locals…Gunung Batok is on the left side of picture.

Gunung Batok. Cough..cough...

Gunung Batok. Cough..cough…

Made It! Bromo mountain for Bro.

Made It! Bromo mountain for Bro.

Me and the Bike picture.

Me and the Bike picture.

Behind me is an ancient Hindu Temple. Poten Temple. It’s not known when it was built even after asking a few locals.

Out of the crater. Let's climb that hill!

Out of the crater. Let’s climb that hill!

Let's cabooot from here.Lapar dah!

Let’s cabooot from here.Lapar dah!

After you Sir. No..after you Sir...

After you Sir. No..after you Sir…

After much cam-whoring and general merry making we decided it’s time to get out of the crater. The exit is uphill via Cemoro Lawang from where we can have abetter view of the entire vastness of Semeru Tengger.

The view from Cemoro Lawang

The view from Cemoro Lawang

The ride out of the crater to Cemoro Lawang is a short uphill run. From here we can enjoy a panaromic view of the Bromo crater. Again be sure not to visit here on weekend or public holidays, it will be choke with horses, mopeds, jeeps, people and more people.

Ride Adventure Malaysia was here! Be sure to check this small souvenir shop just after the welcoming arch of Cemoro Lawang

Ride Adventure Malaysia was here! Be sure to check this small souvenir shop just after the welcoming arch of Cemoro Lawang

A quick pose & it's time to FO from here

A quick pose & it’s time to FO from here

We wanted to carry on to Penanjakan – the highest view point of Bromo Tengger Semeru outpost but thick fog was beginning to envelop the area. We decide to FO…the ride downhill was very enjoyble on these small bikes. Downhill though twisties and slicing through villages, vegetable farms and ravines. Gassss!!!!

Leaving the scene. Downhill run from here to Porbolinggo-Pasuruan and Malang

Leaving the scene. Downhill run from here to Porbolinggo-Pasuruan and Malang

The ride back to Malang was uneventful as it was a short ride of 110 kms but we manage to get separated due to chaotic traffic and a confusion of petrol stops. I reached the Horison Ultima Hotel at Malang first. Mig turned up minus Hatta who was left behind stuck in traffic. However Hatta overshot the turn-off to the hotel and Mig went out to seek him out. Both finally returned to the hotel soaked to the bone pelted by a sudden heavy rain.

Meeting Bro Ganda Kharisma Agung. A biker friend from Malang.

Meeting Bro Ganda Kharisma Agung. A biker friend from Malang.

We spent another night in Malang before continuing our ride to Jogjakarta the next day. Bro Ganda Kharisam Agung (bahagian Boss Malang) showed great hospitality of a East Java biker by showing us around Malang. It was the beginning of a great friendship…

With Bro Ganda. Ready for a night on the town

With Bro Ganda. Ready for a night on the town

Ganda's warhorse. Suzuki Thunder. Prime and ready to ride on any terrain Java can offer.

Ganda’s warhorse. Suzuki Thunder. Prime and ready to ride on any terrain Java can offer.

Stickers - friendly reminders

Stickers – friendly reminders

Day 6
Malng-Blitar-Tulungangung-Trenggalek-Panggul-Pacitan-Wonosari-Jogjakarta
6.3.2014
350kms

Bendungan Blitar

Bendungan Blitar

We pushed off early from Malang towards Blitar and stopped by a dam called Bendungan Blitar with Bro Ganda leading us out of Malang City.

Bendungan Blitar is a great spot to chill out in the evenings for the locals. This place were developed together with a public park that encircles the dam.

Bendungan Blitar is a great spot to chill out in the evenings for the locals. This place were developed together with a public park that encircles the dam.

It’s time for breakfast! Cacing mengamok dipagi hari!

A traditional breakfast at Jalan Kelud, Blitar.

A traditional breakfast at Jalan Kelud, Blitar.

Blitar is a city nearest to Gunung Kelud, it was badly affected by the eruption just a week before were there. Kelud erupted Thursday (13/02/2014) at around 23:00. The volcanic ash covered the entire city and we can still see the ash residue covering the road surface although a massive clean-p campaign was carried out the week before. To put things into perspective the eruption was so severe – the Jogjakarta Airport ( 320 kms from the volcano) was forced to close operations due to the ash covering a very large area of East java.

Time to enjoy Lontong, Soto and Bakso! Cacing pun berdamai….

Lontong Jawa. Pure and as original as one can get.

Lontong Jawa. Pure and as original as one can get.

We try as much as possible to enjoy local food throughout our journey. There was a bit of communication problem to order food for breakfast. In the display there was an array of raw ingredients, in the pot something that smells good were boiling away.

The Grandma (Shop owner/cook/cashier) can only communicate in Javanese. Alamak! I only know 2 words in Java – Kabare wak…luckily Bro Ganda was with us after a few foreign sounding words – great food appeared on our laps. We enjoy and the world is at peace again.

Perut kenyang hati senang. la.la.la.lalala...

Perut kenyang hati senang. la.la.la.lalala…

Bro Ganda thanks for the hospitality. We see again soon.

Bro Ganda thanks for the hospitality. We see again soon.

We parted ways with Ganda just outside Blitar. Our plan was to ride along the coastal roads to Jogjakarta. We soon reached Trenggalek and turned left towards the coastline via Panggul. The road was initially bad due to endless road reconstruction but as we rode further the road transformed into endless ribbons of smooth twisties. Sparse traffic for hours passing through mountains, valleys and occasionally we can see the blue Indian Ocean on our left flank.

It’s time to play…

Panggul to Pacitan roller coaster ride

Panggul to Pacitan roller coaster ride

Taking a break after that million corners before the Bay of Pacitan

Taking a break after that million corners before the Bay of Pacitan

It was a hot day and after carving out the country roads. Ice cream at Circle K – our trusted and proven refreshment stop throughout or ride.

Shagged tyres on Mig's bike after all that cornering

Shagged tyres on Mig’s bike after all that cornering

Great coastal roads

Great coastal roads

Lets head to the beach. Bay of Pacitan

Lets head to the beach. Bay of Pacitan

Bomb proof outhouse

Bomb proof outhouse

Hardly anyone around. The beach is ours. I can imagine someone skinny dipping here.

Hardly anyone around. The beach is ours. I can imagine someone skinny dipping here.

The road from Pacitan was so great we missed Pantai Klayar, one of the best beach in the Pacitan area. The road to Jogja would pass the snaky road towards Wonosari than Pathuk.

Phatuk. A famous view point overlooking Jogjakarta

Phatuk. A famous view point overlooking Jogjakarta

Ciggie break and a glass of hot tea. Teh manis anget.

The row of restaurants lining the roads of Pathuk.

The row of restaurants lining the roads of Pathuk.

The view overlooking the city of Jogjakarta from Pathuk. It was 5.00 pm and it's getting dark fast. Time to dive through the Jogjakarta traffic. Jalan Malioboro...

The view overlooking the city of Jogjakarta from Pathuk. It was 5.00 pm and it’s getting dark fast. Time to dive through the Jogjakarta traffic. Jalan Malioboro…

We dodged traffic and made our way towards Jalan Malioboro. Eventually we found our hotel at Jalan Dagen. Checked-in. refreshed and out to roam the streets of Jogja.

Fortuna Malioboro, Jalan Dagen. 200m from the famous Jalan Malioboro

Fortuna Malioboro, Jalan Dagen. 200m from the famous Jalan Malioboro

Streetscene at Jalan Dagen, Jogjakarta

Streetscene at Jalan Dagen, Jogjakarta

Hatta and the dokker (horse cart)

Hatta and the dokker (horse cart)

Street Musician at Jalan Malioboro

Street Musician at Jalan Malioboro

Roaming along the famous Jalan Malioboro, Jogjakarta

Roaming along the famous Jalan Malioboro, Jogjakarta

Our hotel rooftop pool. Chill.

Our hotel rooftop pool. Chill.

Top view of Jalan Dagen

Top view of Jalan Dagen

We cut short our excursion after dinner along Jalan Malioboro and turn in exhausted after that roller coaster ride from Malang.

Day 7
Jogjakarta-Wates_Purowejo-Jatilawang-Wngon-Ciamis-Tasik Malaya
7.3.2014
320kms

Good Morning Jogja

Good Morning Jogja

We had a good breakfast at the hotel before continuing our journey. Calld a few Jogja friends telling them we’re sorry for not coming by their houses. Next time la Pak Tedjo, Pak Memed & families. We’ll be back.

Bechak at Jalan Dagen

Bechak at Jalan Dagen

Wanna try local breakfast?

Wanna try local breakfast?

Food.

Food.

Farewell to us. An Angklung street band plays hypnotising, rhythmic tune.

Farewell to us. An Angklung street band plays hypnotising, rhythmic tune.

The road out of Jogjakarta was fairly less congested. We head towards Wates an across Purowejo and Kebumen. Next stop Tasikmalaya.

Found at a rest stop before Tasik Malaya.

Found at a rest stop before Tasik Malaya.

It was smooth sailing for us as we passed various small towns and villages. All that riding made us very hungry.

Big Meal all round

Big Meal all round

We reached Tasik Malaya just after passing the Panggadaran junction. We passed by many Indo bikers group making their way to Panggadaran, a famous beach in South Java. There was not much to do except lounging and drinking coffee at the hotel coffee house. It was raining heavily for hours. Tasik Malaya is known as Kota Santri (religious school town) so there’s not much of ‘entertainment’ to sample.

Day 8
Tasik Malaya-Ciluenyi-Bandung_padalarang-Cianjur-Cipanas-Puncak-Pamulang-Jakarta
8.3.2014
171kms

Last leg of the ride

Last leg of the ride

Woke up lazily, we left after breakfast for the last leg of our ride. From Tasikmalaya we headed to Bandung no real drama, just easy maneuvering in between rush hour traffic. We suffer a bit of confusion getting out of Bandung through Padalarang.

We spend an hour just to find the exit road towards Cipanas, all this was compounded by the extraordinary heavy traffic and a really hot day. After some head-scratching and asking some of locals for direction we finally made out of Bandung. The exit route is just a small lane beside the toll complex… haiya! (remember that bikes aren’t allowed on Indonesian tolled highways).
We rode through some great twisting road up to Puncak Pass but could not take full advantage as the rain keep disrupting our fun.

A brief stop before Cipanas

A brief stop before Cipanas

Selfie time before Hatta had to stop again to 'Empty Trash'

Selfie time before Hatta had to stop again to ‘Empty Trash’

A panaromic view by Hatta

A panaromic view by Hatta

No big job

No big job

It was all uphill rush as the cloud was turning dark. We were making good progress until the heavens open just before we reached Puncak Pass where our good buddy Riki Sandopi was waiting to escort us back to South Jakarta.

Back to Point Zero
The rain had stopped momentarily and we continued our ride back to South Jakarta. The rain greeted us again as we descended from Puncak to Pamulang.

We made it! A lap around Java.

We made it! A lap around Java.

As we negotiated the last turn towards the Oaktree Hotel in Jalan Sambas 5, South Jakarta I felt a sense of relieve and jubilation that we have completed this personal epic ride.

Truth be told that I have never made this many overtaking maneuvers in my entire life! Bikes, motorcycles, trucks, buses, cars, pedestrians and even horses!

Later that night we celebrated with our Maams who came over to greet us in Jakarta. We share this special moments also with our friends & families in Jakarta. Anthony & Sue, Bobby Kurniawan, Erick Budiman and Riki Sandopi

Celebration dinner at Kampong Melayu, Jakarta with Maams and friends

Celebration dinner at Kampong Melayu, Jakarta with Maams and friends

We left for Bandung the next day with our Maams for ‘Beli Jiwa’ trip.

Coffee break at Rumah Mode, Bandung.

Coffee break at Rumah Mode, Bandung.

That’s it. We made it guys. To my good buddy Hatta & Mig – we went through this crazy adventure with an open mind and came back filled with great memories that will fuel our future adventures.

We will ride again soon. Till the next adventure. I think this way.