Wednesday, February 4, 2015

1/28/15 Day 377 Relaxing with the Surf Bums of Cimaja, Indonesia

Seven hours of public transportation south of Jakarta lays, Cimaja a surf bum village surrounded by rice paddies and steep hillsides hugging wave pounded beaches. Exactly what Kevin Julie and I need after spending the past two weeks in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta, city-to-city-to-city. I need time for some of the noxious exhaust to begin to be excreted from my lungs. We are staying with Nick, our CouchSurfing host from way back in Bournemouth, England who is taking some time to learn to surf and help his mate with a surfer bungalow build right off the beach. In between our days spent lounging on the beach we decided to rent a car to go on a river float, first we had to swing by the local tire shop where we were able to scoop up four used tractor inner tubes. We drove up, our minivan barely clinging to the pavement on the steep roads leading up to the river, we parked at the brackish mouth to the sea and began our hike. The path following the river carried us along the banks through a handful of rice paddy centric villages until we found a nice spot to plop our tubes in the river and with them away we went. The tubes float us forty minutes downstream through swarms of dragonflies and over heaps of invisible rocks. Arriving at the very end of the river we are hurled into the sea, bobbing over one large wave, one larger wave and then...crash! All of us are turned upside down, tubes flung to shore, shoes hats and sunglasses sent careening! All was recovered, except Julie Kevin and I all donated our newly acquired sunglasses to the sea, we only bought them last week, that was a short lived 3$. Pelabuhan Ratu translates to bay of the queen, the myth is that the queen, adores green and the color should be avoided if going into the sea; apparently Julie and I should have heeded this warning, oops sorry queenie. We ended our night with a visit to the local hot springs, Mata Air Panas Cisolok, we drove through the gate just after 21:00 when the ticket window closes and they stop charging. It is dark and difficult to navigate our way into the river. The water gushes out of a geyser showering us with egg stenched boiling water as the cold water splashes over our toes. The vents are all over scattered in a maze and any wrong step can send our feet into a world of searing hot pain. We tried to get photos, but nothing could be captured of the river chocked full of steaming vents, for our eyes only!

Overlooking beautiful Pelabuhan Ratu Bay
The rice cycle can be seen in one day here because the weather is agreeable year round; chop it down
Dry it out
Flood the paddy
Fresh sprouts growing 
Finally lush and ready to harvest

The roof makes the best drying rack for fresh maize

All excited for our tubing adventure
We just have to trek through some random paddy fields to get there
Kevin, Julie, myself and Nick

Attack of the...dragonflies, moments before we were annihilated by the waves
Kevin standing up for the first time on a surf board
What goes up...must come down
Julie practicing her poi moves

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