Sunday, July 27, 2008


Day 3 - Onwards to Glagah

Well, I didn't doze off till dusk though the gentle breeze in the shade was most welcoming. At this point, I wasn't quite sure where I would be spending the night. I had chalked 60kms of my usual 100km a day ride. If I had to carry what this villager had to carry, I may not make a 100kms today.

I continued on. I seeked direction to the nearest losmen by the beach. Two men resting in a shade suggested GLAGAH. It's a beach but they could not give me a rough distance. I showed them my map and they pointed roughly the location. I thought my map was pretty detailed.

His direction indicated that I would reach a "perempatan" at a town called PALBAPANG. I had problem initially understanding his term "perempatan". I thought he meant "penempatan". Only when I reached Palbapang did I realized what he meant. "Perempatan" is a cross-junction of 4 roads. Later, I had no further problem when I asked a girl for another direction and she said "pertigaan". That would be a T-junction.

I had always admired Indonesians for their accurate use of words and their love at acronyms. I recalled a joke someone told me that a Maternity Hospital is Rumah Sakit Buatan Lelaki! That's taking it a little too far. I have yet to see any RSBL on my journeys in Indonesia.

Before reaching Palbapang, I noticed a Javanese wedding reception.

3 "warriors" in their traditional clothes were in waiting. I called them warriors because they carried the keris, not visible from the front but carried them on their backs.

So I approached them "cautiosly" with a big smile. "Bisa Pak ngambil gambar? Saya dari Malaysia, ngak pernah pengalaman kahwin begini!" Oops...lucky they didn't reply "Bisa cuba Pak.....". And if while replying they would have displayed their keris menacingly, then I would have no choice but to oblige! Ha...ha...

I would have prefered these Javanese recepetionists at the wedding to pose but under the watchful eyes of the warriors, I took a quick snap and certainly not happy with the result.

Bananas were hanging freely at the entrance to the house. Good for carbo-loading. I enquired about the bride and bride-groom. One of them mentioned that they were at the "gereja". I assumed this is a Christian-cum-Javanese wedding.

Reaching Palbapang past noon, I was ready for lunch. Saw a mid-size restaurant and landed myself there. Lunch was mee soup. I reconfirmed my final destination with one of the customers. He said it was about 20kms away. I would pass Srandaan and Trisek before reaching Glagah.

I therefore had plenty of time to kill and therefore spent some times in the restaurant, topping up my teh-o ice. Chatted up the owner who himself confessed he had not be to Glagah before. I proceeded on and the onward journey was the usual padi-field country.

Reaching the junction that leads to the Glagah beach, I chanced upon another Javanese wedding. This time, there was traditional music and I video-taped this occasion. The sound of the gong and gamelan is always soothing. Indonesians are great singers too. So was this lady, singing for the crowd.

The beach was roughly a kilometre from the road. Quite similar to Parang Tritis, the winds were strong too but there was also a sheltered bay. There were a few fishing boats in the bay. This one below caught my attention with its name "TAQWA". It was so apt. Fishermen risked their lives daily to earn a living. And with such a small boat and the rough sea and wind of this Javanese sea, the danger would be multiplied.

Judging from the crowds at this beach, Glagah is popular with the locals. Families came for picnic. I noticed this facility provided by an enterprising local. 100% air tawar to bathe after soaking in the sea. And dont forget to perform your prayers too! It also catered for wayfarers like me - AL' MUSAFIR

And there were several losmens here. I checked out these losemens as I cycled past and decided to settle in for the day at this one. It was new and clean. For IR60,000 (RM24), a great bargain.

Finally, I got myself a losmen quite close to the sea. Indeed a worthwhile third day in Java.

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