exploring in my own backyard

there is nothing else like it...


It’s funny to think that after four months of living here in Batu Karas, that there are still so many surrounding places that I just haven’t seen yet. So today I decided that I would make an effort to just go and see what lays outside my village borders and test the roads further than I have driven before. 

It was a beautiful day, the sky a spectacular blue and the sun its usual golden orb keeping us all sweatier than we would like to be. We hopped on our bikes and left the village a little after nine, choosing to go the opposite way to my normal treks for food and supplies… and head through one of my favourite exit tracks which is a tiny bumpy road which winds up and through the jungle giving glimpses of volcanoes, canyons and in places, over the top of the rambling hills, you can even see the sapphire sea. 

The road winds through little poor villages and emerges back at a busier road, which again winds up and over a mountain, back toward the coast, we past Bulak Benda – a local favourite surfing spot, and also the spot of the most devastation from the 2006 tsunami and kept going west. This is the furthest I’d ever been before today. 

We wound along coast roads and back into the jungle, thick and heady with its scent and its dense humidity clung to my face making sand and dirt cling to my skin for the ride. 

We travelled through village after village being greeted by children and adults alike who all seemed excited to have foreigners riding through – even if we didn’t really stop. I realised as we rode through thousands of beautifully maintained rice fields that I really do have an affinity with them. I love rice fields, perhaps I was a farmer in my past life. I would happily live in a little hut amongst them forever, there is nothing so green, nothing so expansive, nothing so beautifully ordered… I think I’m in love. 

We took the time to visit another turtle rescue operation and to nap in the shade of a bamboo hut for a while. When he hit Ciputajah, it was time to turn around again – so weary, sunburnt and with a serious case of riders bum, we did a u-turn and headed back to the village. 

Six hours later, we cruised back to our own little beach in the village I now call home just in time to see a storm coming across the ocean, everyone was rescuing surfboards and fleeing the beach as the winds blew strong and fast. 

I drank juice and watched the wind blow little white peaks all over the great body of water in front of me, shingles flew from the rusted roof above me and leaves the size of my face blew towards me. The storm stopped, all of a sudden, and the sun came out again… crisis averted, for now… I think it perhaps was a warning. 

Barefoot out, time to smother my farmers tan in aloe to take away the sting… what excitement will the village bring us tomorrow?

Only one way to find out…


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