Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spilling the beans on Java

Let’s cup the crap. No time for airy fairy waffle here. There are three crucial aspects to any cycling tour; the food, the coffee and of course the cycling. So in an effort to keep my rambling as succinct as possible I thought I’d shoot off a quick fire report day by day as follows:

Location: Jombang, East Java, Indonesia.

Pre Race
Coffee Report- Non existent! There is nowhere to get a coffee in Jombang, nowhere! What to do? Well Brad Hall our team leader took some directions and came back 750,000 Rupiah lighter with a coffee machine in his hands. It was a weird percolator style machine but it did the trick Excellent.

Food Report
Great. Dinner at a local restaurant proved to be a big winner, lots of good rice and noodle dishes, some curry, some sate skewers and some soup. Top notch. I was full, mission accomplished.

Day 1
Coffee Report
Sufficient. UHT milk and 3rd run percolator, I must have been desperate

Race Report
Lasted 20 k. Sore, injured, should have stayed home. Day not wasted though, spent the rest of the race (4 hours!!) in an ambulance eating peanuts and giving feeds and drinks to the autobus. A nice day helping out and watching a bunch of salt crusted blokes wobble all over the shop for the last hour of a 200k stage while they experienced what appeared to be all new levels of hypoglycaemia and the associated hallucinating/suffering/discomfort/urge to kill whoever suggested they take up cycling.

Dinner Report
Repeat of previous night. Again, flawless. The addition of Gado Gado (peanut + shrimp paste sate sauce on top of stack of vegies and potatoes) brought the level up another notch. Many belts were loosened. The locals were bemused at the silly westerners who had to ride 200k each day because they ate so much ate dinner.

Day 2
Coffee Report
Not bad. Brad had perfected the art of the percolator, 1st run was hitting the spot

Race Report
I spent day 2 in the team car doing a whole lot of nothing. Sad, boring, frustrating, but that’s was it. Did some feeding, ate some food my self but pretty much did nothing. Watched all the boys put their arses on the line for team climber Adam Semple who put in another solid ride.

Dinner Report
We made the move to venture to another restaurant, it was an interesting choice. We had no idea what we were ordering so we took the sensible option of ordering nearly everything on the menu. Only halfway through did another team arrive and translate the Bahasa jibberish to a more familiar English. As the words liver, heart and tongue made their way into the conversation most of the forks surrounding me were holstered with lightening speed. I took one for the team and finished off the offal but passed on the cold chicken, some boundaries are made for pushing, but chicken cooked who knows how long ago in a dirty kitchen with no fridge is getting too adventurous for me.

Day 3
Coffee Report
See above

Race Report
See above

Dinner Report
Back to our original haunt. Stomachs full again. Satisfaction level high again. Only difference was this evening we had fireworks, lots of fireworks! Needless to say, the hotel rooftop beckoned. The only comment I can make from that evening is that I can see why fireworks are illegal, they sure are fun, but they sure are dangerous!

Last Day

Coffee Report
Who am I kidding, percolator coffee sucks. Sucks! Give me some fresh ground, a good tamp, a big Synesso and let the magic happen.

Travel report
Suicidal highway travel, tediously boring plane travel, stiff, sore, generally down about life at this point in time.

Food Report
Did anyone say all you can eat buffet at the Singapore Airlines lounge in Surabaya?!? I got my moneys worth, let’s leave it at that!

Conclusion
Indonesia is hot. It is polluted and smoggy. It is not overly clean. The traffic is crazy. The coffee is lacking. But I loved every minute of it!

The people are really friendly, the food is fantastic (obviously if you want a chicken parma for dinner you’ll go hungry..), the exchange rate is brilliant

If you have a chance to go, then go!

Next up is recovery and rehab to get my left glute firing was again, some hard training and some SERIOUS uni catch up. Econometrics anyone?

Cheers,

Jono

3 comments:

  1. Hahaha I remember first year econometrics. That class sukd a big one!!! Whatever you do dont sign up for second year econometrics...

    Do 'Sports Economics'. That one is fun. Or 'Post War European Economic History'. That one is ok too.

    Are the chicks hot in Java?

    Vadar.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes.

    Stop hiding out, get back to TAN!

    ReplyDelete