Every country has places that are a testament to the soul of its people. Places that are a reflection of the heart of the country and when experienced bring you closer to understanding its beauty. Cimaja Beach is such a place. Tucked away in the south of Java, Cimaja is a sleepy beach town filled with Indonesians and foreigners from all over enjoying the phenomenal surf. Little had I known when I agreed to take the trip with my co-worker, Courtney, to the beach that I would end up in such a stunningly beautiful part of Indonesia.
The trip started at a Burger King…with a whopper and fries, but instead of ketchup, we had chili sauce. It was already late because we had spent the last few hours after work trying to find a Kos, an Indonesian style apartment, for my more permanent residence. So, with a long drive ahead of us, Courtney, an American, his girlfriend, Rika, an Indonesian, and I, meet up with Luke, an Aussie, at Burger King. After a quick bite, we take off, battling hours of traffic, winding pot-holed road mountain roads and exhaustion. Little did I know what I was about to experience.
From the right: Rika, Courtney, Me, Luke
We pull up to the front of a guest house that looks like a typical building you could find in the small beach towns on the central coast of California, named “Cimaja Square.” Nice but nothing out of the ordinary. I follow the group down the path leading to our bungalow and immediately the scenery changes. After a couple minutes of walking, I find myself find the middle of a huge rice paddy, the sound of the ocean in the distance, inundated by the smell of the salty breeze. We stop at our bungalow, a picturesque wooden house with a thatched room, equipped with a hammock and swinging chair on the porch overlooking the rice fields.
The weekend was filled with the slow pace of Indonesian living. The smiling kindness of the Indonesian people was a major part of everything we did. Surfing all day, the local surfing experts were patient as we got in their way on the waves.
A beautiful Thai restaurant filled with fresh vegetables and flavorful meats, overlooking the ocean, filled me with serenity and tranquility. Laughing over beers with the owner of our guest house, a Dutch lady named Nora, and congratulating the local surf hero on his newborn child filled me with the love and warm-heartedness of Indonesia. Nora also makes a mean pizza and probably the only authentic pizza in all of Java.
The scene from the Thai Restaurant
A weekend rush of excitement, then on Sunday back to Jakarta. We end the weekend at a beautiful Indonesian restaurant near my Kos, with ice cold aloe vera and coconut drinks. Perfect way to end the adventure.
Aloe and Coconut Iced Drink. I don’t even remember know the name of the dish.
The trip was not only fun, exhilarating and relaxing it also really gave me insight into this new country I find myself in. Hopefully, I’ll come back. I have a lot more surfing to do…maybe I’ll actually catch a wave next time.
I’m building pictures for a food post and an update on my living situation. Stay tuned. Same Choy time, same Choy channel.