Joy Riding Through Java

Jul 10, 2012 View Comments by

Simon and I wandered into a small café area and received looks of interest. This probably had more to do with what we were wearing than our just having got off two very large bikes! We know that a few jokes were said at our expense, but the feeling was always one of good humor.  However, the funniest thing for us was the poor kid behind the counter. He didn’t know what to do with us. We asked for a kopi (coffee), cold water, and biscuits (yeah a great breakfast!) and the poor boy became all flustered, much to the amusement of the guys in the café. This scenario repeats itself time and time again during our time on the island of Java. It becomes quite a game for us as a couple.

There was no way we wanted to go head-to-head with Jakarta’s infamous traffic jams and congestion. We wanted some fun so we headed south onto the coastal road–this is where we found the slowest, busiest, muddiest, roadwork-iest (yeah I know it’s not a word!), most pot-holed road that we have had in years! The road began well but very quickly turned into a mud-fest. ARGH. We just had to get off this section so we made the decision to head off onto the smaller roads… oh what a good choice! It was amazingly beautiful scenery. Brilliant green paddy fields amongst the cones of old volcanoes. The road’s twists and turns took us upwards into the mountains and cooler, fresher air. It was a welcome respite. We arrived on the coast at dusk just as the sun was going down. A beautiful sunset ended a great first day of joy riding on the island of Java!

The ‘short’ ride around the horseshoe-shaped bay over to the small town of Cimaja took around three hours. The road was an impressive one, taking us from the coastline; beautiful and stunning with huge pounding waves, reminding us of the Pacific Coast Highway One in the USA, and then turning savagely inland and over the sharp mountains that hug the coast. The roads were a challenge. Some parts were in good condition and we would get our confidence back and pick up some speed and then wham, we’d smack straight into an absolutely dreadful section with cavernous holes, trucks baring the way, and little mopeds like gnats all over us.

The road took us up steep hills and through small villages where small wooden and bamboo shelters dotted the roadside. The noise of our bikes made everyone stop and initially stare and then we’d see a smile spread across their faces and they would excitedly wave. Kids would try to run alongside us. The Indonesians are just so friendly and easy-going.


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About the author

In May 2003, we left our jobs, sold everything, and on 2 BMW motorcycles, set off to see the world. Nothing but a motorcycle can get you to the places and in touch with the people we have had the pleasure of spending time with. We’ve turned what was once a weekend hobby into a way of life that we wouldn’t trade for anything, and have no intention of ending anytime soon.