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On the way to Garut


From Cilacap I went on the way to Garut. There was no ferry anymore to Pangandaran, but there was an interesting road to cycle. The idea for the next few days was to cycle to Banjar, then Ciamis, Tasik Malaya and Garut.

I expected the problem here to begin. Problems in the sense of hills, climbing and more traffic. It started with leaving Cilacap.

Early morning in Cilacap on the way to Bandung
Early morning in Cilacap on the way to Garut

Quickly I was outside the city on the way to Wangon. The road was in good condition and there was little traffic. I wanted to cycle to Waten and then take the junction west. For whatever reason I missed the junction. It should have been at the railway crossing but I didn't find signs and locals told me there was no road to Banjar or Sidereja.


Early morning, on the way to Wangon

Nothing lost though. Now I continued a little climbing here and there to Wangon. After a coffee stop at about 8.30AM, I cycled out of Wagon on road 2. Main roads are not my favorite but again it was all very quiet. I had a few stops on the way in some villages. Sometimes locals came to ask why I had not taken the bus, that was much easier. The idea I just cycled because I loved it was something alien.

The road to Garut
The way to Garut

Girl in Singaparna
Are you going to make a photo of me or not?

The road to Banjar turns out to be for the most quiet again. In Majenang I expect the road gets better as I am leaving the hills but instead after a few km it gets worse. And to my dismal the road surface gets worse too. Just 10km before Banjar it gets better but then the rain comes closer. Dark clouds cluster above me and when I check in a hotel in Banjar the rain comes pouring down only to stop the next morning.

The morning is cool, I have breakfast in a road and leave Banjar. It's not particularly nice cycling here. The road is reasonable busy and not in the best condition. It gets busier when I come closer to Ciamis and I decide to continue to Tasik Malaya. Both Ciamis and Tasik Malaya look like "just another city" to me and as there is no need to stop so early in the day, I continue to Sinparna.

I have a stop in Singaparna and get a meal in a local shop. I chat a bit with a girl in the shop who asks me to make a photo. If it takes a little longer then she expects, she makes a funny pose ===>>>.

I leave Singaparna knowing it's 40 km on the way to Garut. It was still early enough. Quickly after Singaparna the road starts swindling up. It goes slowly, but soon I realize I am already climbing for some time and here and there I can see a little of the lower lands. It takes about 25 km before I arrive at the highest point.

On the way to Garut, just under the top about 18 km from Garut

On the way to Garut, just under the top about 18 km from Garut

It's been a long climb and although I am quite tired, I am also surprised how relatively easy it went up. Still, when the locals in the village tell me it's all the way down to Garut I feel relieved. Indeed it goes a bit down for the next 5 km but I still I have to climb most of the time. That is until I finally reach the highest point.

The road to Garut

And then it goes down. I get my biggest gear but I hardly have to pedal for the next 10 or so km's. I decide I will not stay in Garut but in the nearby hot springs tourist resort: Cipanas.

Bathroom in Cipanas
Bathroom in Tirta Merta, Cipanas, I could almost swim in here

If there is ever one place where it is worth to spend a few more dollars for a hotel, it's here. There's nice walks in the area to waterfalls with cool views over the surrounding areas but the main attraction are the hot springs. All hotels have their own tap from the hot springs, even the cheapies. But to stay in the expensive Kampung Sampireun Resort was a little bit too much of the good (Tirta Merta was good enough for me).

hotel in Cipanas, Garut

I decided to get a slightly more expensive place with a large bath. It was worth the extra dollars to give my legs a special treatment.

The "exciting" village center of Cipanas
The "exciting" village center of Cipanas

There was very little of interest further and anyway, just after arrival .... again... more rain!

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The road to Cilacap

An amazingly nice, quiet and scenic bike ride through south central Java:

The road to Cilacap from Borobudur


Dieng Plateau

The Dieng Plateau does not get the visitors the area deserves to see. There are several small temples to visit. This plus the magnificent scenery and lakes make the plateau a well spend day out of Yogyakarta.

Dieng Plateau