Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 24 December 2009 • Itinerary
Sometimes things can go hectic at work. People yelling at you, people laughing at you, risking a life of a colleague, etc. After all that, up loading this entry really makes me miss holidays with friends. I’m not complaining about work, but I sure do miss the good times. Ok, on to our story…
We were enjoying Uluwatu and Bali the day before. It was a great leisure, had laughs, was inspired, and had a great time with friends. Not all had to end after a snoozing away though the night. Sure Bali did, but not the journey.
The morning came, and it was time to leave. We spoiled our sleeping sched a bit and were ready by 8 am. Had a light breakfast, say bye byes and all, and hit the road. I was pretty sad to leave Bondy, especially he is one of the owner of Puspita. It would be great to have him around to love the car too.
Really didn’t wanna head home, but I gotta go back to work one day.
I think I got my numbers mixed up… according to my agenda… this is suppose to be…
The trip was dandy and all… up to the point where we stopped for brunch. We stopped at a random pit stop still on the Bali island. We also remembered that we hadn’t had the chance to shoot Puspita with Balinese ambience to it. This pit stop had a little shrine, so it was perfect for a photo session! (which I think I lost the picture but will get back to you on that one L ). The food was moderately good, and we had a blast taking pics at the beach.
The day was bright and Puspita wouldn’t start… Doh! So we had to nudge her a bit… again! Realizing that the gas pedal was a bit wobbly, we decided to fix that in the welding shop that happen to be at this pit stop. Puspita sooo needed a male touch!
Back on the road, we came in to Gilimanuk and… guess what? We actually came in to the same ferry as the one when we were heading to Bali. Now what are the odds of that? Pak Salim, that helped us push the last time, could only smack his forehead seeing us coming his way. Bhuahahahaha… and we can’t help to shout and laugh out of joy. We decided not to turn off the machine this time… just in case. And it was a good call, apparently we were very famous for the last incident :P. Once Tari and I got to the top floor near the captains quarters, one of the crew immediately knew who we were, the girls with the broke down VW Kombi. We couldn’t make the same reputation as before, can we?
A nice clean farewell this time to Pak Salim and the crew, how we heart them so. The trip continued. We stopped at a random restaurant in Situbondo for lunch. This time, the trip was a bit more focused at getting to Sidoarjo. We had to get there before late where our friends, Piki and Indah, were waiting for us.
By the time we got to Surabaya, we were tired and smelled funny. A shower, local coffee, and a few bundles of fried rice did the trick. It’s always great to drop by a friend’s house while on a trip, don’t you agree? Especially since you have a lot of catching up on the past, on the last few days, and on unimportant philosophical discussions about the environment. By the way, Piki and Indah both studied Biology and focused in ecology, so… it was a looong unimportant discussion. A great one to add that!
Destination: Suramadu bridge and Madura
The next morning, we hijacked Piki who happens to have a flexible working schedule. It was a working day and Indah unfortunately still had to peek in her office. We headed out to the new Suramadu bridge. Suramadu stands for Surabaya-Madura.
It’s one of largest bridges build to date in Indonesia, extending about 5.4 km long. This is highly impressive for Indonesians. Madura is the neighboring island of Java located just besides Surabaya. It’s a relative big island considering the sizes of the islands in Indonesia. In the past, transportation to and from this island was done by ferry, but the Suramadu bridge has become an easier alternative, also hoping to improve the economy of the island.
The bridge was just officially opened by the president a few days before. It’s so impressive and looks like the San Fransisco bridge, Indonesian style. People headed out just to see and take pictures of it. People gathered around the middle to take pictures even though the police constantly asked them to move along. It is a highway, mind you. But they were Indonesian; us included. So we took the opportunity to act crazy and happy too. To pass this highway, you have to pay a mere Rp 35,000 per car.
One thing that Madura is known for is it’s Satay or Sate. We had to try it in its origin. We headed to the nearest city which was Bangkalan, and found out that they only sell Sate starting late in the afternoon. We got there by 1 pm so no satay insight. Tough luck! But glasses of cold coconut water and it’s flesh is always good to cover a disappointed heart. And a few vogue moments for Tari!
We tried to eat somewhere else that was clearly open. The Oleng Olang restaurant, a random pick beside the road, which served seafood. As if it heard our will to eat Satay, the universe showed us that we should have more determination. We never got our food since the restaurant was packed full, even after an hour worth of waiting. The fact that we were sitting on bamboo mini stages besides a great rice paddy does not help feed our hunger. We could tell that the area wasn’t ready for huge tourism, since we waited along with half of the restaurant visitors. If that didn’t stir us enough, Puspita had to be pushed to add to this Ra Ra!
So we left for the conquest to search for Satay. Eventually we ate at some tiny street vendor not far from this restaurant. But we did eat satay! I think now the universe has permitted us to leave Madura.
Heading back, we finally saw the mass that wanted to see the bridge. So many people were parked at the highway just to take pictures with the strait behind them or just in the area where they cut the hills for the highway. Good thing we were already heading back or else we would be in that jam!
We also stopped to see this mass, did a little souvenir shopping, and took a few snaps of this significant moment in East Java development… sounds fancy huh? We just like taking pictures that’s all hehehe…
Surabaya, for me to date, is the worst place to drive. People cut in to other people’s lane so impolitely. I guess this is an obvious habit of everyone in this city since we saw banners saying “Do not drive in a zigzag manner” made by the police. For somebody that drives really well – ehem! – this became my source of stress that night, especially since we were on the road at rush hour. Everyone seemed to understand each other except us. And the worst part of it is … YOU CAN’T USE A BLOODY HORN! It’s considered offensive if used in a mere case. Now how on earth did this city make such regulations that does not make sense?… that’s it. It’s Sally’s turn.
We picked Indah up at home and headed out to Kya Kya. This area is known for the night market, which sold a whole lot of food and umm… other stuff which kiddies shouldn’t know…. Turns out they already closed the area since about 1-2 years ago. Darn!
So we decided to head out to the Arabic part of the city. Around Sunan Ampel mosque… again we didn’t see the mosque because it was too late and we weren’t dressed properly. Another darn! In this mosque, women especially should wear relative closed outfit. And so does the men. Long sleves, a syal, and trousers are our safest bet for you. So what so special about the Sunan Ampel mosque? Well as said, this mosques is very impressive considering the architecture. Piki that has been inside the mosques says that it’s interior is beautiful. Ah well, Surabaya is a on day train ride away, next time…
Not all is lost. We did enjoy one of the best restaurants that sold middle eastern food.
Since we thought the night is young, and it’s a damn shame to go home that early, we decided to hit Kya Kya anyways. The area is well known as the old city district, and well know for Jembatan Merah or red bridge which is a legendary brige in the war. Had a few Kodak moments!
That’s it, I’m pooffed especially after the driving that afternoon. Let’s just go home and chat!
The only purpose we went to Madura was to eat Madura Satay. There are many types of Satay in Indonesia such as Padang, Maranggi, etc, and Madura is one of those distinct areas known for its satay. The thick peanut sauce with sweet soy sauce is its combination. Usually the basic meats are chicken, lamb, and beef. And it is served with rice. We just took some random stall since we could leave the island without eating such satay. Since it was a small random stall, each portion cost no more than Rp 15,000 including the drinks bottled tea.
The night we were in the Arabic village, we decided to try this restaurant a famous culinary adventurer recommended. It’s located in the Kemadjoean Hotel, Jl. KH Mas Mansyur 94, North Surabaya.
The restaurant was called Depot Al’Mutlik. The kebuli rice was really good accompanied by the grilled lamb which was cooked just right. Very tasty indeed! We tried a whole range of food, and ate out of each other dishes to have a taste. None fail the tongue. Not to mention they have Date juice. It was yummy, but a bit too sweet as a beverage. It’s better to drank as a relaxing dessert. Prices range from Rp 20,000 – Rp 50,000 per person with drinks.