Sukabumi to Bogor 60km
There are lots of different types of buses in Indonesia. Some go between towns, and even between major cities on different islands, and lots more whip around towns and cities. The biggest buses are the "Tourist" ones. Perhaps 60 seaters. Big, bolshie and bold. You don't want to get in their way, because they transport important money spending foreigners. They push their way through traffic, pass in places where no one else dares, and force everyone, especially cycles, off the road. They look like tourist buses all over the world, and are well maintained and tidy.
Then there are the "locals" Inter city buses. Basically retired tourist buses, driven by maniacs, who know none of the passengers will complain as they swerve at speed around bends, race each other down straight sections of road, even if there is oncoming traffic, and try to emulate the fancy tourist class coaches. They travel between towns and cities as well.
The town buses also have these two categories, but they tend to be smaller, with perhaps 20 seats. This does not mean 20 passengers. You get as many as you can on board. The oldest of this group are used by mainly locals. Tourists, without a guide, would have no idea how to use them. I've described before a trip I did with Anton in Yogyakarta. The driver drives. The conductor controls, with a host of signals and calls. Three knocks on any part of bus means go, two knocks mean stop. Waving in the mirror means go left. "Yoowe" means passenger ahead. "Chiiwy", means "Hey you up ahead at the side of the road, do you want this bus? " Lotekpie means " Hey you twit on the red scooter, can't you see we are a bus, much bigger than you, and want to go where you are, so move out if the way quickly, because we coming ready or not". I can't vouch that my translations are exactly correct.
The next size bus down, is the small van, maybe a Mitsi, or Toyota. In NZ it would probably hold six. These guys cruise like taxis, and load up with as many as they can squeeze in. I counted 20 getting out of one. Different cities have different systems, but generally these guys follow a specific route. Some towns just give them numbers, like No 7, or No 12 route. Sukabumi gives them colors. The Pink ones go north. The Orange ones West. The Blues ones towards Jakarta. The Purple ones past the mosque. In the central City they are very colourful. It seems the owners can Punk their Ride anyway they like, just have to have the original colours. So we have fat tyres, lowered chassis, big horns, tinted windows, big exhausts, flash paint jobs. The words "I'm Sexy" feature on quite a few.
In Bogor, these guys have a No, and the lower half of the paintwork is different for each route ....orange is No 14, red is No 17. Then we have the scooters that will pick you up and scoot you to your destination, and not to forget the rickshaws, and pony and cart. You don't have to walk far in Indonesia.
Yesterday, on my quiet ride around Sukabumi, I watched a big group of youngsters going for their scooter license. They all had certificates, having passed their written, and were being put through a practical, a weaving course through cones. One guy, a policeman, or examiner, was on a megaphone, giving them lots of jip. Another couple were taking photos. The pressure was really on. All your mates watching. Yells of encouragement and derision. One guy failed for wearing jandals. Everyone on the road wears jandals... All looked fun....
Today I woke early. I had meet two gorgeous young police women trainees last night, and they told me they would be running past at 5am, so I thought a photo would be cool.....They must have taken a different route..... Naaa. I was awake anyway...Call to Prayer...and had already skyped Ju....but it would have been a great video. The other morning they were very impressive.
Headed out to Bogor today. I knew the traffic was going to be intense, so I was really focused. Didn't help when I had to stop, and couldn't get my sweaty feet to pull the cleats out of the pedals. There I was, in the middle of heavy, heavy traffic, lying on my side in the middle of the road, feet stuck in the pedals. No pain. Nothing broken. But I stopped and put my flats on. A lot of locals were very concerned....nice people.
I'd planned a route that took me off the main drag. Involved a few moderate climbs, but oh so worth it. Lovely hill villages, a lot less traffic, cool breeze, lots of downhill in last 10km, and a yummy coconut for lunch. Jakarta tomorrow. Hmmmm.