Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Weekend Getaway Pelabuhan Ratu Part I

I have been gone for quite a while now. China was really getting to me so a break back to Indonesia was required. It had actually only been about 3 months since I was last year but this leg I just pulled in GZ was really intense. I don’t know how some people work all year with only 3 or 4 weeks vacation. I would be taking 6 months off every other year! So I got into Jakarta last Thursday and took off to Pelabuhan Ratu the very next day. The south coast is about a 4 hour drive from the city but in my opinion it is the best weekend getaway Jakarta has to offer. Puncak is too crowded and run down (unless you got your own villa)and Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands) is too much of an effort. Plus it is too damn touristy staying on a resort island. The drive to PR is awesome as well. You can really feel the city peeling away as you drive through the mountains and lush forests. I could not get over the fact that the same time on the day before I was sitting behind a desk in an office building.

B was doing the driving and I could see he was getting a bit antsy after winding through the mountain roads for almost 2 hours. But once we peaked over the final hill the blue hue of the ocean just jumped out at us. It was so fucking liberating to finally see the sea. I just love the South East Asian coast lines that are studded with rice paddies and old fishing villages.

For our first night in PR we managed to secure a cottage at the Ocean Queen Resort which has been my regular spot for over 5 years now. There are numerous spots to stay at along the coast but Ocean Queen in my opinion has managed to capture a really good balance. They are rustic but still offer all the amenities and comforts of home. Until recently none of their villa was even air-conditioned but I guess they had to give in to popular demand. Their cottages are still pretty old school though, fashioned from a combination of wood, brick, and bamboo. There are over 20 cottages on the beach giving each private access to their own beach and gazebo on the beach.

It was already early evening by the time we got there so we immediately fixed up a few drinks and started to work on dinner.

I would like to say I caught this sucker myself but truth be told, I bought it, fresh from the market. Our house boy cooked it up real nice with his home made marinade. I also brought up some chicken that I soaked in a Thai sauce I made. We had one hell of a BBQ that night.

I had been looking forward to building a HUGE fire on the beach. I love bonfires but I have learned from past experiences that fire is dangerous. If you fuck with her, she will burn you. So I bought a shit load of wood and very carefully built a fire. And it was good. There is nothing like spending a cool night out by a hot fire with a bottle of bourbon. And although you might think a night on the beach on Java would be too hot, it was actually quite cold. Inny managed to come up as well and only made it to the villa at about 3 am.

I could not have imagined a better way to pass my first night back in Indo. Unfortunately we could only secure a villa at Pelabuhan Ratu for one night on this weekend because they had some big corporate event coming in from Jakarta the next day. The owner thankfully hooked us up with another villa to stay at which actually turned out to be pretty awesome. More about that on the flip side.

No comments: