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Meeting the Chief in Java

May 6, 2015 0 Comments

Wednesday, 6th May 2015

Half way into Java. Roads are pretty bad with lots of road works today. These people are 100 years behind westerners. Road building by hand very little machinery. Plenty of labour available from one end of the country to the other. Very little or no road rules, pass where you can and go with the flow. Bikes and other vehicle drivers are so relaxed millimetres away from death day in day out. It didn’t take long for Alan and myself to fit in with the traffic, merging pushing and squeezing in where and when we can on big and small roads.

Yesterday we drove 350km in the day, pretty good going considering today we only did 150km from 10am this morning till 7pm – constant driving with hold ups all the way.

Last night after a big drive we stayed in a 5 start hotel at Bojonegorro. This was a welcomed stay after a week of bush/village camping.

Children in Java

Children in Java checking out the rooftop tent

Night before last we got off the main road and went into the scrub through various villages until we found a vacant lot with some old concrete. The concrete was a welcomed site due to many other camps in wet grounds. We parked the cars and started to set rooftop campers up and then the locals came out of the woodwork. I don’t think they had ever seen anything like us before with independent self contained mobile vehicles. Their interest just grew as we commenced preparing our meals out of the backs of the vehicles, tasting our food and the kids checking out Alan and Lynn’s rooftop camper.

Meal done a couple of Bingtang beers and then off to bed. About 1 hour later we had a local visitor (a local we met earlier) he was sent to us by his local village chief to ask if one of us could accompany him back to the village to meet the chief (about 5km away) Alan went with this fellow on the back of his motor cycle at about 9pm. When they arrived at the village Alan met the chief. The chief indicated he did not want us camping where we were due to local bandits. He wanted us to pack up and move to his property for security reasons. We all think it was more that the chief wanted his local people to know he hosted us for the night.

Today with all the rough roads our water tank sprang a leak and we have lost most of our water. Will have to look at fixing it in the next few days.

The mighty Toyota land cruiser let it’s owner down today with dirty fuel and a lost fuel primer bolt. Alas the Ranger crew came to the rescue providing a new bolt to rectify the issue. An invoice has been issued.

We are currently almost half way through Java. We should get to the next ferry in the next couple of days, then over to Sumatra. Tonight we are in a $25.00 hotel cooking our tea in the carpark.
Another big drive tomorrow hope to do 400km that’s a big drive over here. We reckon we are about 2 weeks behind schedule to meeting our Chinese guide which was scheduled for the 26th May.

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