Sukijaya to Jutimulyo 93km
Eating well and hydration, when riding are very very important, especially in the heat of Indonesia. Therefore it is vital to know what you're looking for as you ride.
Mostly, if you're staying at a hotel, breakfast is provided. It sometimes go like this....What time is Breakfast? 7am, in restaurant. What do you want? Nasi Goreng and sweet tea thank you. At 6.30am, there is a knock at the door.....Breakfast Mister. You open the door and are presented with two jam sandwiches and a pot of coffee. Yesterday I was presented with two boiled eggs, with stale bread, and unsweetened tea. Today I got bread sprinkled with chocolate hail and coffee. Both times I had ordered Nasi and Sweet tea......
So I normally travel with a 2l bottle of Monkey Sweat, and another 2l of plain water. (Monkey Sweat is a bit sticky if you've got to go no. 2s) The "go to stores" are Alfa Mart, or Indo Maret. They are almost like a well stocked service station in NZ, except they don't do petrol. Some of these stores are open 24hours. They also sell bus, rail and airline tickets, normally have an ATM, and some offer a toilet and recharging, but I've yet to see evidence of these last two services. They have lots of snack type food, icecream, soft drinks, a section with personal hygiene products, and baby formulae, but no toilet paper. Every store has the products in the same spot, so I know that Pocare (Monkey) Sweat is found in the back left corner, Icecream just to the left of the front door, and salty crackers, 2nd aisle on the left. A lovely, sweet young thing serves you, overseen by a slightly older young man. He doesn't seem to have any other job...just watching. They have an obsessive need to put things in plastic bags, even if you tell them 3, or 4, or even 5 times. Don't know how many times I've rescued my icecream before it got crushed in a plastic bag, under a 2l bottle. Normally, just outside the store is some sort of fast food, coffee, fried chicken, Nasi Goreng or similar. I find these two stores the easiest to use.
Fruit and vegetables are bought at roadside stores or markets. Some have a wide selection, but others will have just a huge stack of one type. And the next six stores, will have the same stacks of the same product, for example watermelon, Jack fruit, coconuts, bananas. Most of these are too big to carry on a bike, but sometimes they will slice one up for you. Bananas seem to only come in bunches of between 20 and 30.
There are other stores. Most are really selling cigarettes, but have a few other products on sale just to fill out the counter. These might include small water bottles, sprite and coke, cold tea, coffee sachets, and rice crackers, which are huge and come in bags of about 30. They fill the belly, but I'm sure have zero nutritional value.
Then you have the "fast food" stalls. Nasi, Mei, meat balls, Soto, soup, Goreng, and lots more. Sometimes the signage isn't too hot, so you need to recognize the raw products as you cycle past. I make sure that if I'm getting something fried, that it is being made fresh. I'm not keen on fried this morning, and still sitting in the open, with the flies. It's also important you stipulate how "spicey" or "hot" you want your food, otherwise you'll get something that will blow your socks off. Even so, you can expect the unexpected. Today my Mei Anyam, chicken noodles, had some strange meat with knuckles.......
If you're lucky, everything works out, you are feed tasty, digestible, energy providing food. If you're unlucky, you go hungry, suffer a burning and or sweating sensation, and/or get a dose of Bali Belly. Now that's not fun on a bike. Toilets are not that accessible, and being a lone white face in a very crowded country, finding a secluded bush or tree is not always possible. All I can suggest is....good luck.
Today it was hot. There was a steady stream of trucks and buses heading to and from the Java Ferry, so the road was busy. Think Blenheim to Picton and multiply by 50. But still it felt quieter than Java.
The idea was that once I reached Bandar Lumpang, I would find a McDonald's, and using their wifi, contact my Warmshowers host, Desta. Worked well, except MacDonalds was at the top of a very steep hill, and it was very hot....Too easy. Desta is heading to a Kareoke club, to celebrate a French visitors birthday. I should meet them. Okay. I can do that. In fact, so easy, I arrived 30 minutes before them. The next two hours, eight of us, French, Spanish, Kiwi, four young Indonesian ladies, and Desta, sang our hearts out, and danced, in a small soundproof room, one of 30, in an office block. Each group paid $20 an hour, for their own Kareoke machine. You could order food and drinks as well........I see an opportunity in Hanmer Springs.
We emerged just as it's getting dark. Oh Grum (he actually calls me Pappa) my house is an hours ride away....just follow this route. I will meet you at the Alpha Mart. Riding through rush hour traffic, in the dark, navigating in a new city....Yep it's exciting. I arrive at one Alpha Mart, but on my map, that has no roads on it in this area, my GPS spot seems along way from the towns name, which is on the map. Ooops. Another Alpha Mart, 500m down the road. No worries.
Desta hasn't arrived yet, but the locals are worried about this white guy, standing alone, in the dark. One disappears on his scooter, and returns with sister of Desta. Very soon after, I'm in a typical, small village, Indonesian home. I'm showered, feed, and resting by the time Desta and the other guests arrive home....concerned that "Pappa" is not yet at the Alpha Mart..... Lovely people these Indonesians.