Monday, 19 April 2010


I'd had a bit of a hectic week last week which was indicative by the nature of the last post. Putting that rant aside, I decided I was going to get away for the weekend. Carita was the destination of choice. It's a small beach resort in northwest Java. When I say resort I mean more like street. It's a nice enough place although it is still a bit too close to Jakarta to be pollution free... but it's still well worth a visit. The only affordable mode of transport to Carita is to get a bus, and I use bus in the loosest sense of the term... This was a metal shed with wheels. The journey wasn't too bad as we were heading to the beach so we were really excited! Although the constant ramblings of shit singers climbing on and off of the bus begging for money became increasingly more annoying. As did the constant supply of people selling 'refreshments'...

Once we arrived at Labuan terminal we got an ojek (motorcycle taxi) to Carita, which was quite a pleasant journey along the coast for about 7km. I had decided that I wanted to go to the jungle to see a waterfall called Curug Gendang. My friend Justin had decided that he wanted to get pissed. I found a guide called Bobo and headed for the mountains while Justin headed to the beach to get drunk. Once I arrived at the gate I realised I'd made a bit of a rookie mistake – I hadn't packed any decent shoes. I went to the jungle in flip-flops! After falling arse-over-tit during the first five minutes of my walk I decided that I would go barefoot. It wasn't so bad but my feet were a bit sore by the end of it. I walked 4km through the jungle with no shoes on! It was all worth it though I saw some monkeys – which were too quick for me to get a photo of :(... I also saw Curug Gendang and that made it all worth it. It's not the biggest waterfall around but its natural beauty is quite something.

Once I'd got back from the waterfall I showered at the hotel and found Justin on the beach. We had a few drinks there and stayed to watch the sunset Justin had found a beach hut selling beer and sat with the owner Freddy and his family. We had dinner in a local restaurant. I had one of the freshest fish meals that I've ever had – the red snapper is awesome – and we chatted to a Spanish guy for a while. After that we thought we had seen the nightlife that Carita had to offer so we headed back to the hotel... we were wrong! Bobo – the guy that took me to the waterfall – came to find us and take us to the local 'karaoke bar' that was owned by his friend. This was a pretty cool experience but it was little more than an Indonesian persons living room that they open as a bar. The karaoke machine was a dvd player with a microphone and all the songs were in Indonesian. This made the experience more fun though and we got steaming... There is a little more to it than that but it's not up to me to publish the hilarious antics of others on the internet. Lest it be said that Justin was very happy that his beloved Norwich were promoted and was drunkenly planning to show the Indonesians how to live it up... He kind of succeeded...

The next day we were a little hungover but not partied out so we headed for the beach until mid-afternoon before getting an angkot back to Labuan to catch a bus back to Jakarta. During the angkot trip – which is basically a van with a sidedoor missing that drives a set route like a bus – we decided that when people bothered us on the return trip we would just hassle them in English asking them for things that they have never heard of. Of course we were bothered and this plan proved very effective! The first seller to approach us asked us if we wanted to buy water... we countered with 'do you have any cheese?' of course the answer was 'aku tidak ada' (I don't have that)... that kind of bewildered him and we found it quite amusing, so we decided to give him a larger dose, we asked him for everything from peanut butter to ham and pea soup! After gawping at us with no real comeback he gave in and realised that we were mocking him! It worked though as none of the others really gave us any hassle after that!

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