Hot Spring In The Rain

Location: Cipatujah, Java – Subang, Java, Indonesia
Distance: 232km

The road continued along the coast,  the ocean crashing on the beach somewhere behind the scrub and with little traffic to speak of it was a nice way to start the day. But the pleasantness was soon to end. Up ahead a great hulk of a headland ended the smooth ride, the road swung inland and up. Really up.  Sweat pouring from me like I was being wrung like a wet cloth. I crawled past a road crew patching a hole and took a breather under a shady tree while some local school kids ambled past. A couple of hours later I rolled into Pameungpeuk and found a fried chicken stand while weighing up my options.

With only 2 days remaining on my visa  and 130km to Bandung including some big climbs it was time for some motorised transport. A bis, bemo, angkot or whatever it is they call a mini bus in these parts would serve. The fried chicken man pointed me in the right direction and I was soon underway, bike lashed to the room with some suspiciously frayed rope. I was slightly disappointed at first as we drove along a freshly sealed road but that only lased about 5km before staple Indonesia pot holes returned but the scenery was gorgeous so I soon forgot my aching backside. Lush mountains, dripping in greenery sometimes disappearing fog and mist. Rolled into Garut well after dark jumped straight onto another bus and headed straight on to Bandung where I had dinner with the ticket guy from the bus before hunting out a room and crashed.

At the embassy I ran into Alex who’d spoken to on the street in Kuta and with his help speaking basic bahasa managed to haggle down the processing time to 2 days rather than 4. It was good to have some company for a couple of days with little of interest in Bandung so we killed time playing pool and eating.

With a crisp new visa I headed north for some more climbing along some less hectic roads.  Through forests, past tea plantations  and innumerable roadside pineapple stores. I finally visited my first hot spring of the whole journey at Ciater. Despite the overly commercial nature was still a relaxing way to spend an afternoon in the rain. I slowly worked my way to the hottest pool and soaked as long as I could stand it.

Sufficiently wrinkled I dried off only to get soaked to the bone in a late afternoon downpour on the way into Sebang. The road so rough it managed to loosen off my fuel bottle lid and leave it in a puddle of mud somewhere by the roadside. Fortunately my stove is currently in a long term hiatus and will continue so for a while. Jakarta tomorrow.

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