Scotsabroad's Weblog

October 26, 2012

Go West…mid week

Filed under: Indonesia,visits — scotsabroad @ 5:35 pm

This week we are on holiday for Eid Al-Adha. We have just returned from another drive to the West Coast and across Banten Province. We spent three nights in the Anyer area. The drive over was much easier this time having discovered the quicker route through Pandeglang in September. You just have to remember to fold in your wing mirrors.

We checked out the lighthouse in Anyer on our first afternoon. We resisted the parking charge of 20,000 and slipped in to the recreation area below the lighthouse via an adjoining (empty) hotel. The lighthouse was built by the Dutch a few years after Krakatau. It certainly looked very dignified as the sun began to set. We were not offered the chance to climb inside. Sometimes there is someone there to open the lighthouse and you can climb the very rusty interior.

The following day we had arranged for a guide to take us walking in the Hutan Wisata Carita, a forest reserve with walks through the local hills and jungle. We met our guides at the Rakata Hotel in Carita and hopped on a battered angkot for a short distance to one of the reserve’s entrances. We walked for a couple of hours through the jungle heading for the waterfall of Curug Gendang. The going was easy most of the way, despite a few insect bites and the incredible humidity. Monkeys crashed through the trees and voiced their disapproval at our presence. When we reached the waterfall we were a bit disappointed to find that we were at the top of the falls and we couldn’t swim. It was a beautiful location spoilt only by the enormous amount of rubbish thrown about.  We were down on the beach and in another angkot heading back to the Rakata Hotel just after one o’clock. The guides were impressed by the boys’ ability to walk at pace.

The following day we decided to explore the rock-holes at Karang Bolong. This attraction turned out to be very unattractive. There is a spectacular hole and some amazing vegetation, precariously clinging on to the rocks but the man-made structures are appalling. Concrete. Anything and everything has been plastered in the stuff and then, scornfully, the sea has done its worst – along with the weather and the mass of visitors. Litter abounds as does graffiti. Not the easiest place to find just off a tight bend. We thought the place was shut when we arrived but we were led to a gate further up the road and managed to get in. I think we startled a few hawkers and stall sellers (… is it the weekend already?) who half-heartedly offered us shells or coconuts.

After that we headed for Carita Beach. This was the beach we left from when we went to Krakatau. The guide had said that usually 10,000 people descend on the beach at weekends. It certainly felt like everything was geared up for the weekend. We arrived at a parking area, once again startling everyone (… is it the weekend already?) the parking assistants directing us into an empty carpark, hawkers and sellers of blankets, inflatables (disguised as inner-tubes), surf boards, all tied up, fresh coconuts and coke. The beach was deserted apart from them and us. We ran the gauntlet for a while but then had the beach to ourselves. It was a bit smelly and the sand changed once we got out of town. The boys had a great time collecting dead starfish. The Rough Guide describes Carita as having a scruffy charm. I agree. But I wouldn’t like to be here when the 10,000 arrive… and the other tens of thousands, who travel to this coast every weekend.

We drove back to Jakarta on a Friday morning. Being a Friday morning and a holiday, we arrived home in under three hours. A memory I will have of this road trip happened this morning on the way out of Anyer. We were chatting away in the car as we drove through a town. A duck began to slowly cross the road using ( I swear) an improvised,  zebra crossing painted on the road. I came to a stop, watched the duck cross safely to the other side and drove on, during which we carried on talking. It was not until some time later that we asked ourselves… are we getting used to the unusual? Do you think the duck risks the crossing at the weekend?

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2 Comments »

  1. Great blog – again – and so descriptive. Glad you all had a good time. Back to work now! x

    Comment by Ian and Linda — October 27, 2012 @ 11:27 pm | Reply

  2. What an adventure. I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing the interesting places that you have managed to explore. Winter is here in the Highlands of Scotland with our first snow of the year and freezing temperatures at night with ice on the car in the morning. I have decided that it would be nice to live in a hot country now and not think about layers of clothes to keep warm. It must be an age thing! Forbes M.

    Comment by Forbes M — November 7, 2012 @ 7:25 pm | Reply


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