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YOGYAKARTA - Lagging behind with writing stories, Iím now making an effort to jump another two more days in time, but as usual, it will be hard for me to catch up writing the stories until today. I will to my best for now, but there is so much to do. Too bad I will go to Jakarta tomorrow in the afternoon, nevertheless I will most likely write a story there as well.
Biking has become one of my favourite ways of spending time in Indonesia. I only got on a bike earlier this month, for the vest first time in my life. Until this holiday I didnít even have my Dutch drivers licence, so I didnít even think of driving a bike by myself. But after getting my drivers licence in the Netherlands, I thought it was much more convenient to go by bike, than wait for someone to pick me up all the time. I have done that before, and it wasnít always the best sollution for me, especially because Iím not always willing to wait for the jam karet ( ďelastic timeĒ, as Indonesians usually call their excuse for being later than appointed ), especially since it can sometimes be hours o waiting, but deep inside Iím DutchÖ no time for waiting seemingly endless periods of times.

By bike we, Cabe and me (again) would go from Mataram to a village near Selong, because we would spend the night at her families house, which is located along the main route over the island, and also the main bus route for buses from Jakarta to Sumbawa. No joke, there are buses from Jakarta to Sumbawa and back. Some of you may remember a very early story about my bus trip from Jakarta to Bali, which wasnít a big succesÖ. Try to imagine what a trip to Sumbawa would be. Then I rather take much more time, so I can travel by bike.
We started not too early in the morning, because the nights are usually not too short as well. We spend our time doing nothing or watching tv. Thatís about all you can to in Mataram ar night. After a short period of time we thought it woul be a good idea to buy some bensin, because we already were left stranded one time because my dear friend Cabe was a little stubborn to go to a warung to buy gas, while the meter was already indicating it was beyond empty. We put in a liter of premium, sold by the liter in glass bottels by street vendors along main routes everywhere. After that we continued our trip to Selong area
We skipped Tete Batu, because the skies around Gunung Rinjani were already cloudy, and to me it looked like we would get some rain. If that was the case, it would be the first big rain since I was on holiday. I have seen some drops near Parangtritis (south of Jogja), but thatís about all upto now. We speeded over the newly asphalted main road, along with the other bikes, cars, trucks and buses, which are the most dangerous of all. You have to watch the traffic from all directions at the same time, because behind you someone can decide to take you over, while in front another person wants to do the same from the other direction. OohÖ itís much more dangerous and fast than on Jawa, where traffic is often stuck, so speeding is not possible.

Shortly before we would arrive at Selong is started to rain. We already had some drops in the higher villages before, after making a stop at family of Cabe again (other family all the time), but now it started to rain more serious. We made a short stop at a posko ( pos kommando, a left-over from the political and economical turmoil of 1997/98). After it dried up a little, we got on the wet and slippery road again, but soon the heavy downpoor started, the very first one this holiday. We made an emercengy stop at a warung with verandah-like area. We were the first, and more people would follow, all more wet than us, because I was so smart to tell Cabe, who was driving at that moment, to pull over right now, instead of continueing to her families place, just a few hundred meters ahead. I know how heavy downpoors can be, and I rather be a little wet than soaking wet.

The way back was better, a nice and hot sun caused me to color a little more, since Iím almost completely white, I can use every coloring I can. Thatís why I always put on sunscreen, just in case. Usually it comes out handy, because stopping at a traffic light for a few minutes between damping diesel fumes in the burning sun, is not very funny. Thatís probably one of the biggest bad things about driving by motorbike, you are dirty before you know it.
A few days earlier we had made a short stop in Tete Batu in the early evening. Because the environment was so nice and quiet, we decided to go back there to get some food and a drink. The detour from the main route is remarkably slower, but safer as well. The route to the well-known restaurant of Wisma Soedjono is a small and old road, with one way traffic only. If someone wants to go down, you both have to manouvre your car in the grass, but luckily we were by bike, which made things much more easy. Also, there were only a few visitors.
We both ordered a pancake with a drink, an after a fair share of waiting we both got a plate with three thick pancakes, and a cup of honey. The drinks were almost finished by then. The view from the restaurant over the valley was more beautifull than a few days earlier, or maybe it was that we were having a Ďromantic breakfast for twoí by ourselves? No, I donít think soÖ just to make it sure :). We didnít wait too long, because we would still have a lot of driving to do before we were home in Mataram again.
In Mataram we checked the warnet at just after noon. This prooved to be avery nice time to do so, because on times in the evening and in the morning, internet is very slow, if not completely blocked for moments, here on Lombok. But during the early afternoon, internet even seems more rapid than in Jogja, an excellent time for me to write and publish a story. Thatís what Iím going to do right now, for the rest of the day Iím enjoying my last day in Jogja this year (most likely, never say never).

Posted in Travel @ 31 August 2003 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

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