A road trip again, this time 1100 km, and crossing two seas. That’s one way, times 2 if you count the way back home. Exciting plan, and we prepared well for the journey. My car is a city car, not one that is suitable for a long-distance travel. Well, at that moment we planned we thought it would a good try and a great adventure. I lived in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta and to go to Lombok we had to travel to the east.
A road trip from Jakarta to Lombok is not exactly an autobahn experience like what my father used to take me around Germany. It depends on your luck. It can be a smooth ride, or maybe a bumpy one. Me and my husband started to drive early in the morning, we went through the toll road Jakarta-Pejagan. It was a 249-km toll road, and most of the road was straight. It would make you sleepy because the long and straight road looked so boring. That’s why at the first time the toll road was open a lot of accident occurred along the way. The more dangerous thing beside drunk driving is sleepy driving. I recommended for drivers to have enough rest if they wanted to make the journey. As a co-driver, I fell asleep numerous of time. Thank God, the driver which is my husband could stay fully awake. We arrived at the end of the toll road before noon. The toll road ends near Brebes, and we planned to have lunch somewhere in Pekalongan which is around 57 km, 1,5-hour drive if the traffic is good. Our choice was Garang Asem at one restaurant at the side of the road. Garang Asem is a traditional food from Pekalongan, it is made from tetelan beef and smothered with sauce that tastes sour but delicious and fresh. Tetelan beef is the part of beef that sticks on the bone. Try it when you visit Pekalongan, it is quite spicy though for people who do not like spicy food.
We continued our journey and stopped at Pati. We planned to visit a friend but we arrived very late because of an accident somewhere before Demak. It delayed our journey for 2 hours. We arrived at the hotel, The Safin Hotel Pati, at 9 p.m. Tired from the journey we decided to eat at the restaurant and took a rest because the next day we had to start early so we could arrived in Bali before midnight. We had been to Bali by road some years before, so we knew that we had to reach Bali that day in order to get an early start to Lombok the next day.
The 2nd day started in Pati, it took at half day to reach Surabaya. It was lunch time already but we could not stop in Surabaya. We decided to stop at Pasuruan, we knew this town at the time we went to Bromo. One of the traditional food in Pasuruan is Rawon. It is served with chili peppers, sliced onions, and bean sprouts. It is tasty and people who enjoy spicy food you can try this. After that we continued our journey through the northern coast of Java (Pantura). One place that I would always remember every time I made a journey to Bali by road was Paiton. It is located 35km from the city Probolinggo, it is a large thermal power station that can generate 4,000 megawats. It is one of the main electricity source for Java. We arrived in Ketapang (harbour in Banyuwangi) at Maghrib time, we stopped for a rest before we continued our journey to Gilimanuk (harbour in Bali). It was a one-hour journey from Ketapang to Gilimanuk. After we arrived in Gilimanuk we headed to Denpasar. It is another 2-3 hours’ journey Denpasar, and it is getting late. Along the road from Gilimanuk to Denpasar there are a lot of trees. I like them, it feels like driving inside a tunnel of trees. So peaceful and dark of course because it is already late. The hotel was in Tohpati, we chose it because of the location. We arrived at midnight at The Favehotel Tohpati, was at the side of the road heading to Padang Bai Harbour. We took a rest for the night. I was so excited because the next day we were going to cross the sea to Lombok Island.
3rd Day, Lombok here we come. We set out for the journey after having breakfast. The journey from the hotel to Padang Bai Harbor only took around 1 hour. The harbor was not as big as Ketapang or Gilimanuk, not mention Merak Harbor. It is a small harbor at the ferries are not that big. The sea was clear green color, overall it is a beautiful harbor. We waited for a ferry to come and dock because we missed the first one. Most of the vehicles that crosses the sea are trucks and busses. My car is a city car, it looks so small compared to the others.
After a 3 hours ferry ride we arrive at Lembar Harbor, Lombok. This is a very simple harbor, small and not really city car friendly. As you know city car does not have a high ground clearence, and to get out of the ferry there was no support except the ferry door and ropes. It was quite high from the ground and my huband had to be realy precisely put the tyres on the road so the bottom of the car would not touch the ferry’s door.
Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is seperated from Bali by the Lombok Strait, the capital city is Mataram. Eventhough it is 4,514km2 there are less than 4 million people live there. There are a lot of smaller island around Lombok that are called Gili. Gili in Sasak language means small island. Eventhough it is a neigboring island of Bali, the island’s indegenous people are predominantly Muslim. It was the first time I stepped my foot in Lombok. Hello Lombok, the island of a thousand mosques. Lets begin the journey in Lombok after 2,5 days road trip.