The journey continues
April 7, 2017
Now being in Tanjung I have time to look back at my first week in Indonesia. After a 3 month preparation which consisted of rowing, working and preparing I set off to Jakarta once more where my bike was waiting for me. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially if you don’t know how long you exactly will be gone. It all depends on the timing of when the boat arrives (the logistics and customs are turning this one into a real hassle). I just heard as well that the containership with the boat is already on a delay for at least a week.
When arriving in Jakarta I got hosted by Jos and his family which gave me a pleasant stay and good food to start this new adventure in great shape! This gave me the opportunity to clean my bike and get ready. A couple of days later I start my cycling journey to the east of Java!
Cycling the busy streets of Jakarta which isn’t very pleasant. It doesn’t happen a lot that I get caught in traffic jams with my bicycle. Combine this with a hot sun in 32°C temperatures and you’re in for one hell of a ride/wait. That first day I was barely able to do 110km in total.
It is really crowded here with crazy traffic and pollution, but luckily no traffic jams anymore. The Indonesians are really friendly and helpful people. When I broke my chain, immediately people come to me, telling me where I can go for help. They’re very surprised when I start to take out my own equipment and they help to fix my chain. While cycling, once in a while someone offers me drinks or to come to their house for lunch and everywhere people shout at me “mister, mister, selfie please?”.
It is truly amazing how open, generous and helpful the people are here. On the other hand smelling and tasting the burnt gasoline in the streets while cycling isn’t my favourite thing to do. Another thing that bothers me is that almost every day I arrive at a guest house or hotel, someone asks me if I ‘want a girl’. I find this very sad and disturbing that men try to get money from a girls’ body and sadly it happens all around the world… But still so many good and beautiful things are in this world as well, so don’t let it stop you from exploring, just be responsible (especially to the men who read this in this situation).
I see a lot of garbage everywhere, actually all around the world where people live. Here now the past couple of days I saw a lot of it on the beaches and sea. I really hope we get more aware about such growing problem. It’s not just here, before I left Ghent we had fairly good weather with people gathering at a river and by the end of the evening a lot of garbage was left behind.
Here I’m writing this blog at the location where the rowboat would arrive today. But today I got the news that it is one week in delay. Thats another part about this adventure, the logistics are a complete hassle. If someone knows a good transportation company that could suit for the next episodes of this project, please let me know. Just waiting here is not an option so I’m trying to have the boat sent to a more eastern point of Java where I can start as well. Then I won’t loose too many days just sitting around and waiting. I will cycle my bike all the way to Bali and leave it in a guest house for a while and pick it up returning to bring it to Belgium.