Ride Overland With Kanchan & Nick

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June 13, 2012

Java-Jakarta, Bogor/Cibodas

The next morning we were relaxed and with the sun out we headed out to BMW.  We ended up spending most of our day at BMW Motorrad, just getting brake pads, low beam buld, topping up oils etc and one of the guy’s, Tomi, helped up big time by helping us make plates to fix and reinforce both of our tool tubes.  We couldn’t have done it without him!  We stayed one more night in Jakarta above the Memories Café…when we got to the pub/hotel we ran into a very familiar bike…Martin?!  The last time we saw Martin was at Lake Toba in Sumatera!  Low and behold there was Martin in the pub, we caught up over a drink, he was also heading out tomorrow.  Jakarta was not ideal coming in from the coast, shopping…anything you could think of!  People were dressed stylish and all kinds of restaurants and lounges.  Far from what people had told us.  There were a lot of prostitutes in the area we stayed, which unfortunately has come hand-in-hand with tourists.  Nick and I were having a couple of Bintangs at the pub and a lady in Adidas shorts, red, lacy halter, a red lily in her hair came and sat with us.  She was a pretty lady and looked to be in her 40’s.  Nick and I were both wondering the same thing, but when she said how bad prostitution is, she really threw us for a loop.  She chatted with us for a little over 1 hour but as soon as a young, single guy came up to the bar she was out of there! Should’ve known the place was a bit shady after seeing the poster of a lingerie clad Paris Hilton crawling on all fours above our bed (haha!).

The next day we headed out for the hills…Nick and I love cool, hilly places so we were looking forward to going to Cibodas which is a town past Bogor.  Getting out of Jakarta was shitty but it got much better.  Just before Bogor we found ourselves being followed by a biker on a Honda Tiger.  He motioned us to stop, he stopped and we pulled up.  Turns out there’s a Honda Tiger Club in Bogor and he wanted us to meet his fellow bikers.  We really needed to move on but we decided okay, what the heck.  We met up with the guys and had some conversation over a short coffee on the side of the road, really India style.  They were excited especially about the bike but we didn’t realize they were putting their Honda Tiger sticker on the back of our middle pannier…!  If anyone knows Nick…that ain’t gonna fly…every sticker must be placed in a certain place, perfectly straight, and there’s a technique to stickering the bike….actually he’s rubbed off after 2 yrs of marriage and we’re both OCD about that.  It took forever to peel that sticker off…sorry Honda Tiger Club, we just had to take it off…half the letters of ‘Bogor’ were missing anyways…!  We ended up staying a couple of days in Cibodas enjoying the botanical gardens, the green hills…and get a new tool roll made out of plastic aprons we bought in the market!  And of course, the botanical gardens part, was my idea and my hubby was sweet enough to entertain me! I think he secretly enjoyed it too 😉  Just as we got back to the guest house it started to rain, we got lucky! That night we had some neighbors next door to us that were having a little too much fun that would provoke one to quote that Billy Crystal movie when the lady tells the waitress…”I’ll have what she’s having…”  The night’s entertainment led us to have a restless night and little did we realize that the rain had caused the roof to leak and the leak was right above the laptop that Nick had been working on and left open next to him.  In the morning we awoke to a wet keyboard…ughhh…!  Our life line!!! Our laptop!!!  Waaaaahhhhhh!

After Cibodas, we weren’t sure where we were going to head to but we started on the road and got stuck in some major traffic.  A couple on a scooter came to the side of us and asked us loads of questions at a stop light and wanted to take a picture.  We stopped to talk to them and take pics but we didn’t stop there.  Inge and Chandra took us up to Tangkuban Perahu which is another big volcano just outside the city.  It was too foggy to get up there so we stopped and had some tea/coffee, then got Nick’s glasses fixed, ate some amazing Javanese food (some kind of beef that was so soft and sweet it was like candy!), and then drove up to a viewpoint where we had a view of the lights of the city and a coffee to warm us up.  It was an amazing day, and again, it makes us wonder how simply stopping to say hello to someone you can make genuine, caring friends.  The cool thing was that we could get over the touristy stuff and get real…answer their questions about the US and India and we also got the chance to ask questions about everyday life in Indonesia, especially in the eyes of people that are about the same age as us.  The next day we were able to get up to the volcano, which was worth it.  The crater was pretty huge and bubbling away and there were lots of dudes selling fake fur hats and jackets.  Afterwards we went to Inge and Chandra’s shop where they make motorcycle jackets and then we went for an awesome lunch of mie and bakso.  It’s a Chinese inspired dish where you have noodles either sweet or spicy with shredded chicken and a bowl of broth with bakso (meatballs) and other parts (intestine!)…I like the bakso, not so much the other parts.  We had an awesome time with Inge and Chandra and much thanks to them for all their help and company!!!

We didn’t get too far that day but the next day we reached Wonosobo which is a gateway town for the Dieng Plateau.  We ended up staying at a guest house owned by a bike lover.  There was a beautiful vintage bike parked in the common living area and the place was decorated with gorgeous wooden furniture and antiques.  It actually inspired me to keep a bike in the house one day J

Dieng Plateau was actually a surprise for us, we never knew it would be so much fun for us.  Again, we love the cool hills so this place was perfect.  But the Dieng Plateau has a lot to offer…there were so many different roads and trails to take, we could’ve spent days!  We didn’t have that kind of time so we spent a good day exploring all the trails that would interest us.  There were volcano craters, most of them smoking and bubbling mud within an arm’s length reach and beautiful hills where we could see the clouds floating beneath us!  Where there’s craters there are also crazy technicolor lakes deposited with different minerals which give off amazing colors.   The hills are carved with produce and fruit crops due to the fertile soil.  We also finally got to see old Javanese Hindu temples.  As we slowly make our way to Bali, we see the Balinese Hindu culture creeping in that was so firmly established in Java long ago.

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