The Long Journey to Pangandaran and Green Canyon
About eight hours from Jakarta by bus lies the popular Indonesian holiday beach town of Pangandaran. Having spent Christmas on a volcano, I decided to lie on a beach for Easter.
The journey to Pangandaran was long. Chloe and I left Jakarta on the 5:50 a.m. train to Bandung. We grabbed breakfast at Hummingbird in Bandung (love that place) and then headed to the bus station in town. We were the last two people let on the bus to Pangandaran, but there was only one seat left, so we alternated sitting in the aisle much to the amusement of all the Indonesian passengers. We got the feeling that the other passengers were rooting for us to get seats as soon as someone got off. And good thing we had a bus full of nice people, especially some women who we chatted with, because there was a bad accident near the Garut pass where two buses collided, so we sat for over two hours in one spot looking at rice fields and blue mountains. We arrived in Pangandaran around 10 p.m. The next morning we woke to beautiful beaches. A tsunami hit Pangandaran in 2006 killing hundreds and destroying many resorts, but I couldn’t see any remaining scars.
Little warungs, food stalls, lined the beach so we treated ourselves to nasi goreng, fried rice, and kelapa muda, coconuts. For less than a dollar, men and women working the stalls pull out machete-like knives and a few minutes later you are drinking nature’s Gatorade. Many of the palm trees around town had steps carved into the bark and we watched men with incredibly muscular legs shimmy up and down the trees collecting palm oil and coconuts.
It’s quite a sight watching men push the wooden boats over the waves and then drop the engine and speed off. We hopped on a boat and went to a white coral beach with tide pools near by. Our boat captain warned us of beach monyets, monkeys. And he was right. I watched this fellow walk up to a grown man and take the tupperware with rice out of this hands and begin eating. Tricky rascals.
Both Chloe and I have made this observation, the clouds in Indonesia seem closer and more beautiful than in the States.
On of my favorite parts about Pangadaran was walking around the town and talking to vendors. Everyone was friendly and happy to let me snap some photos.
The lobsters and crabs have beautiful colored shells. It’s almost a pity to eat them, almost…
The next day we hired a driver to take us to Green Canyon. Because of heavy rain during the nights we were there, the water in the canyon was brown instead of green, and the water level seemed to be higher than normal.
I think I had extremely high expectations, so while Green Canyon was still beautiful, I think I may be becoming a bit spoiled by Indonesia’s natural beauty and now expect everything to blow me away.
We ended our stay napping on Batu Karas beach and eating some seafood fried rice. Pretty far from the Ukrainian food feast of Easter’s past.
We left the coast around 7 p.m. and arrived back in Jakarta at 4 a.m. just in time to go to work. But as always, it was worth it.
If you are thinking of a trip to Pangandaran, I recommend staying at Adam’s Homestay. There is a beautiful garden, pool and a really cool shower, in our room at least.
There was a WordPress system outage when I published my last post on street food in Jakarta, so if you missed it, check it out. A good week to all!