Holy Moly what a journey!
We are now back home in Jakarta after our weekend away at a ‘very nice hotel’. The hotel which grandly claimed that it was situated in Bogor, actually turned out to be about a hundred miles further south (a slight exaggeration but it sure felt like it on the journey back) After my total strop and paddy on Friday evening, (see previous blog) it did however turn out to be a very nice hotel after all and we both had a great time, quite possibly in part to the cool, lubricating qualities of Bintang.
Before I get onto telling you about our journey back, I do just want to have one final whinge about the ‘very nice hotel’ if that’s permitted. Considering that the hotel was situated just a wet tea bag’s throw away from literally 1,000’s of acres of tea plantations, the ‘VNH’ managed to produce THE most disgusting cup of tea that I have ever had in my life. End of whinge.
Farjar collected us from the ‘VNH’ at one o’clock today for our trip back home and we immediately hit heavy traffic on the road back to Bogor. The journey to Bogor. up, and over the Puncak Pass should have, at the very most taken 30 minutes. Instead it took over 2 hours. We crawled along. painfully slowly, moving just inches at a time whilst the hawkers knocked on car windows and touted their wares along the route back. Sunday is when all the folks whom have left Jakarta for their weekends away, naturally need to then head back home again. This gives ample opportunity for all the local entreprenuers to take full advantage of the sitting ducks in traffic. There were so many hawkers selling snacks and drinks that it felt like being in a never ending Drive-Thru, except it was in painstaking slow motion and there was no hope of a delicious, juicy hamburger at the end of it.
Amongst the medley of snack vendors, there were also blind beggars being led around through the cars, and other beggars so crippled and deformed that they could only shuffle on their backsides through the choking fumes. It was very difficult to feel upbeat witnessing all of this pain and suffering.
Amongst all of this hardship however there was a touch of ‘glamour’ with the ‘Lady Boys’ also getting in on the act. Heavily made up and wearing the shortest of short skirts, they wiggled their bottoms through the throng of traffic singing and pressing their ample ‘bosoms’ up against the car windows.
At one point, we had been stuck in the same spot for over an hour. Suddenly there was a great whistle, lots of shouting and noise, and then, like something out of the ‘Wacky races’, engines roared and the cars suddenly started to get moving. I asked Farjar what was happening and we couldn’t believe it when he said that the two-way road that we had been on had now become one -way all the way to Bogor to help ease the congested traffic. We are talking about a 39 Kilometre stretch of road here! It was totally bizarre but at least meant that we started to move. I felt very sorry for anyone wanting to travel from Bogor in our direction as the road was the one and only route in and out of Bogor from this side, hence the hideous traffic jams.
Thirty minutes into the journey I desperately needed to pee despite having ‘gone’ just before we left the VNH. The only toilets available were by the ‘shops’ at the side of the road and I knew that they weren’t an option as you will see from my pictures. I couldn’t jump out of the car either and dive behind a bush or a tree as we were on a narrow, mountainous road with steep sides and even if I had managed to clamber up the bank, all eyes would have been on me. I was absolutely stuck crossing and uncrossing my legs for the entire 4.5 hours journey back to Jakarta.
All of these photographs were taken by me today through the car window. THEY WERE ALL TAKEN WHILST I HAD A BURSTINGLY FULL BLADDER. After 4.5 hours we eventually made it back home, and mercifully without a massive flood in the back of Farjar’s pristine car.