Bike-Ride to Australia Monday 5th-March-2012. Bandar Lampung, Sumatra to Merak, Java. 57 miles. Early start today, I wasn’t too sure what time the ferries ran or how frequent they were. And I’d been told that the road to the ferry terminal was hilly. It wasn’t! Well, not as hilly as it has been in the rest of Sumatra! Maybe I’d psyched myself more than needed, or I’m just used to them now!
On the way to the ferry terminal, I bumped into three Germans on motorbikes. One of them had a sidecar, which came in handy for his luggage. And maybe he picked other people up along the way. I never asked. They were all heading for East Timor, where the two on regular motorbikes were going to Australia. The one with the sidecar was unsure of his route but would probably just turn around and head back to Germany. I spoke to them for a good thirty minutes or so.
I arrived at the ferry terminal, and there was a ferry just boarding. I went to the ticket office to pay, but they wouldn’t accept anything and just waved me through! Bonus! The ferry crossing took about two hours, which passed quickly. I got talking to a family who was on their way to Jakarta. They even gave me a map of Java after telling them what a nightmare I had with my map in Sumatra. Although the crossing went quickly, it then took us well over an hour to dock in Java!
After eventually docking in Java, I was going to ride the twelve miles to Cilegon, the next town along. The family I talked to on the ferry said some friendly hotels were there. But after spotting this place in Merak, and it was getting late, I decided to stop. And I’m so glad I did! I don’t know what the hotels are like in Cilegon, but tonight’s accommodation must be one of my best so far!
If I had known about this place before, I wouldn’t have stopped two nights in Bandar Lampung. I’d have pushed on to here. I’ve got a deluxe room for the same price as a standard (£25) the bikes in the room, there’s a nice bar, with plenty of beer! Good wifi and a swimming pool! But that’s the joys of my sort of travelling. I never know what I’m going to get from one day to the next.
I made use of the swimming pool but couldn’t be bothered to dig out my swimming shorts. They’re buried somewhere at the bottom of my panniers. I just went in my undercrackers! I debated going skinny dipping but decided that might be a bit too much for everyone, even though I think there’s only me here! It almost feels as if I’m on holiday!
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