1/17/2012

Bandung to Lampung

Before taking off for the western tip of Java, Joanna and I took some time to wander Bandung, one of Indonesia's liveliest cities: walked the scenic Dago Trail to the north, checked out all the budget dives, tried to navigate a few of its gigantic new air-conditioned malls and went out on the old Dutch downtown to wind up at a face-searing Bon Jovi tribute show. A flood hit the west of Java just before we boarded our next bus, and we finally reached the grimy little port of Merak late in the afternoon. Crossing the Sunda to Sumatra, the view south to Krakatau was smothered in heavy clouds. 
A jolly young Justin Bieber fan drove us the 30km to Kalianda in his decked-out angkot, complete with spoiler, neon lights and a giant sub in the back thumping the likes of "Never Say Never" all the way to our dingy hotel. After a glorious visit to the beach we moved on to the regional capital, Bandar Lampung, where we soon became official guests of the governor. Although our business in town was finished the night we arrived, we were convinced to hang around another day to check out the swamps of Way Kambas National Park, home to a slew of endangered Sumatran species, among them elephants, rhinos and tigers. We did get to spot one of these groups, largely thanks to the chains clamped around their legs. Back in Bandar Lampung, we waited until late for our next bus to arrive. The trip to Padang, assuming the Sumatran roads were all clear our bus was in decent repair, would take just 24 hours. 








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