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Bandung to Bogor


The road from Bandung to Bogor is for the first 20 km were very unpleasant. I even got lost in the suburbs of Bandung as I ended up on a one way part of road #2. It was pretty bad until just before Padalarang. Just before the junction with the motorway all traffic was forced through the village as through a bottleneck.

On the way to the Puncak Pass

On the way to the Puncak Pass

Obviously all the Angkots, the little mini vans in use as public transport blocking the roads extra, so even a man on a bicycle couldn't pass. Once passed the village and the junction it became remarkable quiet, finally!

The market in Cianjur at sunset
The market in Cianjur at sunset

I was again in the countryside, on a road with limited traffic ... at least for the most. It was many kilometers easy cycling in west Java, little traffic, wide open lands and all the way down. Bandung had been at around 700 meters altitude, I was now back at around 300 meters. No wonder it had been easy!

Just outside Cianjur, the road is still flat
Just outside Cianjur, the road is still flat

After crossing the river, it started to climb again. The last few km's to Cianjur quite a bit steeper. But alas, here was a town, I should be able to find a hotel. That was not easy though. The first hotel was not to be found at first, then turned out to be full. Fortunately there was another hotel.

Just after Pacek, where the road started rolling
Just after Pacet, where the road started rolling

The town was pleasant although there was little of interest except the usual watching of locals, eating a bit and a spectacular sunset over one of the many markets in town.

The next morning I knew I had to cycle up to the Puncak Pass, from 500 meter altitude to over 1400 meters. It turned out to be an excellent ride to the pass. After the pass it was a pain.

View of Mount Gede
View of Mount Gede, an active volcano

Direct after leaving Cianjur, the road started to climb. It was a gradual climb passing here and there some villages but it was mostly passing terrace rice fields and higher up tea plantations. It was one of those days I could do anything. It was a very quiet road, even in Pacet, a hill station with many hotels. It was still quite chilly here especially after sweating so much in climbing.

There was not a flat piece of land, just before the Puncak Pass
There was not a flat piece of land, just before the Puncak Pass

I took a break in Pacet but it was clear, this town flourished only because of weekend tourism. Some of the views in this area were magnificent. Some people in Cianjur had told me that after Pacet it would be flat and going down. It didn't. After Pacet there were more climbs and some were quite steep too. But the views were even better than in Pacet.

Having a little rest just under the Puncak Pass top
Having a little rest on my way from Bandung to Bogor
just under the Puncak Pass top

It was like after every bend in the road a new landscape was folding out. And because the road was mostly not very steep, I had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery.

Turning around with this view and Mount Gede to the left
Turning around with this view and Mount Gede to the left

This part of the Bandung to Bogor ride had taken me 30 kilometers to the top. I was expecting more climbing but instead I had reached the top of the pass and before I knew it I was at the scenic spot to view all the lands to the north. It was with over 1400 meters quite cold here, so I put one of my scarves under my shirt (I didn't have a jacket or a newspaper with me).

View from the Puncak Pass
View from the Puncak Pass parking lot towards Bogor

The road swindled like a snake through the tea plantations. It was a magnificent view. Soon however I changed my opinion when I started going down. It was hard to say where all the traffic came from but within minutes I was surrounded by cars as if it was the Tour De France.

View from the Puncak Pass

Bandung to Bogor, a view from the Puncak Pass

In Cisarua it was a massive traffic jam. Angkots were blocking the little left over space in the town center and even with a bicycle I had to go on walking speed. What had been so beautiful in the climb, turned out to be half a nightmare, not mentioning the road surface which was now partly potholes.

Tea plantations at the Puncak Pass
Tea plantations at the Puncak Pass

Quickly I cycled to Bogor, and checked in a hotel. Minutes later the rain started, I had finished my ride from Bandung to Bogor.

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