[Travel Journal] Unplanned Trip

Erisha Bella Christy


I was thinking about my planned long-weekend that night; I would go home, meet my boyfriend, and hang out with my friends, as usual. However I needed vacation to refresh my brain, or I might dead tired due to these routines. Suddenly, a pop up of a message from David, which showed up on my phone screen, saved my life.


“Do you want to come with me, Jaka, and Wahyu to Santolo beach tomorrow?” he asked me.


“I do! Where is Santolo beach, by the way? And how much it will cost to go there?”


“It’s at Lombok, just bring three thousand hundred rupiahs, I guess that will be enough.”


I was so excited to hear that. I searched the information about the Santolo beach, how to get there, I read some people’s experience on their personal blogs, and I even was searching for the motel on the internet, until I finally found out that Santolo beach is at Pamengpeuk, Garut, and not Lombok. Gosh.. I got fooled by him.


“Vid, Santolo beach is at Garut, isn’t it?” I texted my boyfriend.


“Hahaha, yes, Santolo beach is at Garut. That’s why I suggest you not to bring a lot of money. I’m going to Jatinangortomorrow at 8 pm with Jaka by bus.”


“Okay, then. Me and Wahyu will pick you up at Cileunyi. ” I replied.




We were going to Garut by bus at 7 am, it only costed ten thousand rupiahs from Rancaekek or also well known as Dangder.It only took an hour to Garut’s bus station. As we arrived there, we had a breakfast and that was the first time I tasted Sundanese’s uduk rice which was so different from Betawi’s, because Sundanese’s not as tasteful as Betawi’s. After we filled our stomachs, we were searching an Elf- a mini bus, to Pamengpeuk. The residents said it might be taken five hours to get to Pamengpeuk, and that was right.

I sat right next to the driver with David. When we left the bus station we would meet the bustle of Garut city, then after an hour the scenery changed to country view. There were typical country houses and paddy fields on the left and the right of the road. Another hours had gone by, straight road turned into sinuose road. Country view that we had seen before had changed into highland view.

I felt like riding a roller coaster since the car was running so fast on the winding road. The air were so cool until it made my eyes so heavy. I looked into the backseat that my friend Jaka had been fall asleep to stranger’s shoulder, and that’s made me and david giggled.

After the long road I smelt the scent of the beach. The air became warm. I could hear the sound of waves too. We arrived at the Santolo Fish Auction, the fishy smell bursted there. We had to cross the river by boat. It only took few meters to reach the island where the Santolo beach are, but we still had to use boat due to the height of water that we could’t handle by walking.

When we got there, we were welcomed by a gate written ‘ Selamat Datang di Pantai Santolo’ and the jungle atmosphere because there were a lot of trees there. We were strolling around as we searched for some motels to stay that night till we reached the end side of santolo. Two of my friends decided to search a place to  stay, after they asked me and david to stayed for kept their stuffs save. David and I sat at simple gazebo under a tree, then we saw children from santolo swam in the sea to scramble for money which thrown by the visitors as an entertainment there.


“A’ hiburan a’ yang kertas di masukan ke botol, yang koin langsung di lempar aja,” said the stranger


I was throwing a coin to the sea, and the children started to scramble for the coin I threw.

My friend came back and told us if they found the place to stay at Sayang Heulang beach. We had to walked along the seashore and passed two beaches; Santolo beach and Ranca Buaya beach, to get to the inn at Sayang Heulang beach. The water began to tide, it made us hard to walk. David fell into the water so all of his clothes were wet.

We arrived at the inn. It was a small room with two beds and a bathroom for four of us. We changed our clothes to play at the beach and waited for the sunset. The sand was beige, not smooth, I still could feel the texture of shell. The characteristic of southern beach was the waves broke in the middle of the sea, so you wouldn’t be hit by the waves at the seashore.

We went back to the inn when the sun had set and sky got darker, the waves were getting higher and closer too, due to the water had tide. We were starving after played at the beach, and we decided to eat the holy boiled instant noodle with egg because the grilled fish was so expensive there.

After we cleaned up ourselves, we made bonfire at the edge of the beach in the night, accompanied by some musics and beers.

We went back to the inn and sleep, because we had to wake up in the morning to caught the Elf to Garut’s bus station.




We woke up at 10 am and packed our stuffs to go back home. We asked the hostel’s owner  where we could find Elf to Garut’s bus station, and the owner said that if Elf is rare in here, we should walked about one kilo to the main road. Then we decided to ride stranger’s car. We waited at the edge of the road with our hands craned and thumbs up in the rainy day. Finally a truck loaded with cardboards gave us a ride, we asked to stop by when there was an Elf. Finally we found Elf and arrived at the Garut’s bus station at night, then went back to Jatinangor by mini bus.

That was the most unforgettable trip ever, because that was the first time i rode a truck, the first time i tasted Sundanese’s uduk rice, the first time i went to Pamengpeuk. As Lao Tzu said, “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”. No plans no worries, just go ahead.


Reference: No reference


Word count: 1091

[Travel Journal] Picturesque Prague

Niken Pratiwi Dwi Ritami

The city of a hundred spires. The home of Kafka. Those are two things you can’t put aside when talking about the capital city of Czech Republic. On my second day there, the sun came up late, at 7.30 pm. The rise of the sun didn’t make the weather any warmer. It was still freakin’ cold.

I ate my breakfast on the big table in the hostel pantry. There was a guy eating too and he initiated a conversation, asking me where I came from and how long I’d stay here. He was Canadian and an English teacher in Prague. I had no idea why he stayed at hostel if he had a job in here, actually. We started talking about things in each other’s country. The typical things like weather, language, and people. Honestly, I didn’t really always catch what he said because he had unfamiliar accent.

After I finished my breakfast, I started putting on my coat, scarf, and went outside, didn’t forget to bring the city map with me. I was ready to face the killer weather. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that cold outside. Around 10 degrees celcius, but the wind wasn’t being extreme. I took a tram ride to Letna Park. They said it was a great place to see the scenic view of Prague. To be honest, I didn’t really recommend to visit parks in winter, because you won’t see any green grass or blooming flowers.

There were so few tourists like me up there at the park, only some locals jogging. Except making use of the playground, you can’t do much at the park. But if you love landscape photography it’s a must to go there.


I climbed down some slope stairs and took a short tram ride to Mala Strana, or known as “Little Quarter”. It is a district that is packed with Baroque-styled buildings which some of them are used as cafes, hotels, and bakery shops. It was quieter than the city center, offering a pure sense of Prague’s old days.

As I started freezing, I dropped by a little English bookshop called Shakespeare a Synové, which means Shakespeare & Sons. I was really excited to find this bookshop because so far it was hard to find one which sells English books. Usually, in one bookstore there was only one small section called “foreign language” that displays English books, which is pretty much the same in regular Indonesian bookstores. I thought it was easier (and cheaper) to get English books in Europe but turned out it wasn’t, especially in Eastern Europe because the people still use their native language.

When I was eyeing for good spots to take pictures in the sidewalks, there on my left looked like an entrance to a park, a romantic one if I ignore the leafless trees, at least. Apparently, it brought me to Vltava River which was so dreamy because of the swans floated around it.


From that riverside, I could see the famous Charles Bridge from afar. The opening scene of Mission: Impossible (1996) took place atop this bridge, where Tom Cruise watched a car blow up from here. It is the best place in the city to romance the skyline in the golden hour. The panoramic city view, street artists doing live drawing, the statues on both sides create supportive atmosphere. The most popular statue here is St. Nepomuk. It’s widely-believed that if you touch the “gold part”, your wishes will come true and you’ll come back to Prague someday.


Besides tourists, street singers, and painters, there were also beggars who added the crowd on the bridge. However, they were slightly different with most beggars in Indonesia who mostly sit on the sidewalk or knocking your car window. Czech beggars did things which were unusual like mimicking clown’s voice and dressing up as one, playing soccer tricks with their head, or even staying in static push-up position for hours. After reaching the edge of Charles Bridge, make sure you make your way to Old Town Square or Staromestka, and then you are officially a tourist in Prague.

The sun went down as I went back to the hostel. During the bus ride, the city surroundings offered me peaceful sceneries. This is a capital city, but it was almost no skyscrapers there. There were only buildings with typical European carvings, which I didn’t understand why the wall paints were all beautiful and harmonious with one another. I wonder; were there any governmental rule that regulates the selection of building paint colors? Because every building was beautifully crafted.

Prague might not be as popular as Paris, Amsterdam, or Rome. However, if you plan to do Europe trip, add two or three days in Prague to your itinerary list. I can tell you it’s very worth the visit if you want to feel the romantic ambience of Eastern Europe.


– Personal experiences.
– Passion Passport. Escaping Escapism. http://passionpassport.com/escaping-escapism/
– Like A Local Guide. Shakespeare a Synové. https://www.likealocalguide.com/prague/shakespeare-a-synove
– Pictures are personal property.

Word count: 811 words.

[Travel Journal] Once Upon a Time in New Zealand

Yuzar Adetya Putra Ramadhan

Sometimes an idea could come anywhere and anytime. Back in 2014, a very beautiful year because I had been visited the most beautiful country in the world, New Zealand. It came to our mind when breaking the fast, my family and I talked about a trip to New Zealand and decided to spent our holiday there at the end of July, right after Ramadan. Because New Zealand was located in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons was different with the countries in the north of the equator that were being summer. It was also the right atmosphere when Jakarta was hot as hell, and New Zealand was in the winter.

We had a couple of weeks to prepare any purposes of our trip like visa, tickets and hotel bookings, also looking for information about New Zealand from some reviewers on the Internet. They said that in New Zealand it was a kind of journey with full of adventures for it wildness that was so beautiful. We departed around 8.00 pm Kuala Lumpur time with the tickets we bought from Malaysia Airlines. It route was Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur – Melbourne when we continued our trip with Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Queenstown. That is why we set off from Kuala Lumpur because the plane had to transit there.


Queenstown International Airport stamped my passport indicating I was allowed in the area of New Zealand. We were welcomed with very fresh and cool air. After taking our luggage, we immediately hired a shuttle bus to the hotel, which has been booked. We went straight to bed because we were very tired after a very long journey.

After a short break, about 6.00 pm we had the time to walk around the Queenstown CBD. The sky was dark because during the winter, the sun sets around 5.00 pm. We went to a shopping center and we hoped to find a restaurant there. Once there, we wondered why this place was so quiet, those shops already closed. Incidentally there was an officer there, and we asked him why this place was like graveyard, he told me that this place was already closed at 5 o’clock when weekdays and closed at 6.00 pm while weekend. Ah … so sad. We finally had dinner at McDonald’s.

We planned to visit the southern edge of the world, the Milford sound known as an extremely beautiful scenery. It failed because it was full booked, again … so sad. We all day just sat in the hotel since we were disappointed and did not know where to go. Just around the city alone with a car while looking for a restaurant that looks tasty.

The next morning after breakfast, around 9.00 am, we did not want to dissolve in disappointment, we with our rental car headed straight to the lake Wakatipu for fishing because my cousin really likes fishing. We fished salmon in the lake Wakatipu. Then we headed to a place called Skyline Queenstown. The venue is located on a hill and we headed up there riding the gondola. We mistook, we thought Skyline only had the scenery, but there are several restaurants and recreational vehicles such as Ludge and Bungy Jumping. Had thinking to try Bungy Jumping, but I was confused and would rather not to did it. We had lunch there and prepared a-far-enough road trip around 800km towards Christchurch. We set off around 02:00 pm after lunch, and arrived at Christchurch at around 11:00 pm. All we want was just put our head down on pillow.


We all woke up late around 1:00 pm with a hungry stomach. While looking for a place for lunch, we also did a city tour with our rental car. Alongside the way, there are so many ruins of building caused by the earthquake that rocked the city last February 2011, it was very sad to saw and you know the city’s population was very low, it made silence in Christchurch.

The next day, our primary goal was Kaikoura, a small seaside town that is famous for sea travel, with any luck we could have seen whales swimming in the sea nearby the beach in Kaikoura. The distance between Christchurch – Kaikoura about 180km that we took about 2 hours journey. All the way to Kaikoura, we were just amazed at the gorgeous of outstanding natural beauty. The air was fresh and clean, a very lonely road conditions, which grass green hills, trees with it golden reflections caused by sunlight, it makes it difficult to concentrate when I became navigator for my uncle who was driving.

Playing on the beach made time elapsed fastly, time has shown at 6:00 pm. We’ve had to go back to the hotel to prepare for the next trip to the Auckland tomorrow. We have to get ready and sleep on time because we used a plane in the morning to go to Auckland. We used the plane since Auckland is located in the North island of New Zealand while Christchurch is located on the South Island. We went back to the hotel and took time to had dinner on the way.


After about 2 hours of air travel, we arrived at Auckland Airport, the the largest and busiest airport in New Zealand. We did not feel really cold here, because temperatures in the north island was not as cold as in the south island. We dressed more casual. Unfortunately, Auckland was a big city such as Jakarta with it lifes, but Auckland was just clean, neat, and COLD.

Two days passed and today was our last day in New Zealand. I had to do the most amazing things. Then me and my cousin remembered while looking for information about New Zealand, there was also bungy jumping in Auckland, precisely in Auckland bridge. It was on the bridge which is it was water down there and we think it was not too daunting than in Queenstown. From a height of 40m above the water with backsound “Superman” by Five For Fighting, I DID IT. I finally did bungy jumping. When so many people said that was so stupid and crazy, it was, but I did not care. I just did it.

It’s time to go home! At Auckland International Airport, we passed the immigration officer smoothly without problems. It sounded the call for passengers Qantas Airways to Jakarta. We went home to Jakarta, heading our real life. Bye New Zealand hope to see you again.

Word count: 1.081




[Travel Journal] The Cold of Merbabu

Rizky Kurniadi

The Cold Of Merbabu

I will never forget about my first mountaineering to merbabu summit. Especially

about my accident on the top of merbabu, kentheng songo. It was about the

middle of may, 2014, i was invited by my friend to went to boyolali, the location

of the mountain is, after i finished my final exam or maybe we know that as ‘ujian

nasional’. I am interest enough to go to there, so without i think anymore, i

accepted my friend invitation to that mountain. I asked my friend who had go to

the mountain about how is merbabu, and they said ‘merbabu is magnificent thing

that i had been through with my friends. Hearing that, my confident about

merbabu is getting high. I borrow my friend’s bag, i called that mountain bag before

i know the real name is carrier. The day that i had been waiting is come, before

we depart, my friend told us about the way we will face to climb merbabu. It is

selo, located on boyolali, we go there by train, from senen station. My friend said

that the selo way is the easist way to kentheng songo. Having arrived at boyolali,

my eyes is always pampered by the beautiful view of boyolali. Merapi mountain

is on there too, next to merbabu, very fascinating scenery that i have ever seen.

We was looking for vehicle that want go to selo. Selo is located in the middle

between merbabu mountain and merapi mountain. The place that i think if you kill

people, and leave the body alone, you will not get capture by the police. It is

really good place, high place, cold place. So many ravines on selo, many. We

arrived there at dusk, i think we will climb in the next day, but i was wrong. That

dusk we have to walk to the climb, because in tomorrow morning, there are no

people that delivered us to the campground. I am in camp ground now. Bringing a

few little gallon, i fill my little gallons with water, 2 with mineral water, 1 with

nutrisari. So i bring 3 little gallons on my back, and it is heavy. Much. The

mountaneering was begin.It was eve, we went deep through the jungle, black

everywhere. It was dark and only us left. I was with my 6 friends went across the

forest. During the journey, we always talk each other, firstly because it is the trick

for not really got tired for us, and secondly to reduce our fearness. We talked

much, from clear conversation until dirty conversation. The conversation i rwally

hated is the conversation about ghost, where the condition we was in the middle

of the jungle, so the conversation about ghost is not really help for us i think. We

climb and climb, met other people, little rainy, and cold. Very cold. I tried to hide

my cold with my jacket, i used my tripod to lead my vision, because what i can

see only dark trees, and dark. The rain was getting high. The air was not friendly

anymore, and our body cannot survive anymore. The wind started to swing. The

wind that bring cold air and the spark of ice. And i realized, it was blizzard. So me

and my friends decided to made a rest as soon as possible. With thunder and

blizzard i make a tent wildly, very ugly tent. I do not know how to make warm on

that day. I slept in the condition very ill. Tired. The next day the storm has

stopped, i prepared my baggage to comeback to the porpose to the summit. I left

some of my baggage in the tent so it was not really heavy and make it easier.

During the travel, we felt very tired because the condition of the track that have

many obstacles, rocks, trees, big roots. I do not forget bring my tripod. I look at

the sky, big clouds has come again, and it is bad. And i arrived at the summit,

kentheng songo. But the rain was come, and heavy rain, more heavy rain. The

particle of water fill with ice. And the wind very liar. I cannot hold it anymore, it

was dusk again. I decided to go back to the tent. But, i made wrong decision. I lost

at the mountain. I feel so cold. Worstly, i fell from the cliff, but i still survive,

because of my tripod. But i broke my tripod. But if its not, maybe i will lost my

life, and i never write this task. I am very grateful to have this experience.

my own experience
747 words

[Travel Journal] Angkot Eavesdropping: Sanguine Stories in Adversity

Yoga A. Pratama

It was a drab, overcast afternoon of the first week of April this year.

I entered the Carry-shaped conveyance and took a seat amid the exhausted, weary old men. A veiled mature woman sat there close to the entrance door. I sat on the opposite of two men: one of them was a quite mature man with a lanky appearance and tapering, tired countenance; the other one was so very old that you can see a frowned feature whom elderly men usually have. Well, the man on the left was a thing I knew not much of because I did not venture myself to stare at him for it, I thought, would be weird or ridiculous and, perhaps, disrespectful and impolite. I, in a surely unintended, brief gaze, only spotted his moustache, a cap and a red and white shirt in which he was attired.

“Yes, boss…you can be a commando here. Who am I? I’m just a construction worker. I’m free to be commanded,” he, the latter, the man of whom I had no perfect face delineation, mimicked himself, in Sundanese, of what he had said to a commander in his work place to the other men before him. (He plainly mentioned “commando”, not “commander”.) “I’m free to be afflicted with toils from you,” he mimicked himself again now with a higher yet tired tone, “but I have many friends…It’s easy.”

I, who sealed a 1,000-rupiah bag of peanuts and thus ate them, was ostensibly looking at the outside of the conveyance while setting my fixed ears carefully to their remarks, or else I would miss some interesting words from them. The weather outside was rather gloomy. It was a cloudy afternoon. And the melancholy impression from the outside was a naturally inevitable harmony to the faces of the men and the remarks they were conversing. They talked about their bosses, the preman who got tattoos so prevalent nearly on his entire body that his appearance looked threatening and whose hobby was being tipsy nearly all the time, and generally their hard lives.

The lanky man before me now got a turn to tell a story. “I went to a hospital in Rancaekek, you know,” he started, “and then the doctor suggested me to go to Rumah Sakit Sumedang. A bigger hospital. The doctor in Rancaekek didn’t want to take risk of my health. It’s a scarlet fever. But I didn’t go to Sumedang. I didn’t go to a bigger hospital. Well, I’d rather live or die at home. I didn’t fucking care if I really died,” he stopped for a while; I kept munching the peanuts. “But,” he continued, “alhamdulillah, gratefully, I got cured in a week’s time. You know, I frequently drank clear water and that one…what is it? Mmm…the guava juice. Yeah, guava juice! You know it’s good for scarlet fever, don’t you? And that was not the only one I drank. My wife nearly brought madu kurma every time she got home from work so I consumed it voraciously every now and then. And, all the more…surprisingly, I ate up to seven times a day when I was sick! That’s all because I had an absolute willingness to get healed. I wanted to get healthy again so I ate much. And, yes, alhamdulillah, I got healed in only a weak! Well, in a week I was not completely fit, you know, my body was still tired. And as a result, I got rest and didn’t take any job for a month.”

“Swimming! Swimming!” he mimicked, seemed to me, one of his children’s cry—here I was not completely sure if the child was a he or she because he himself only referred to the child as but budak. He told another story; it was not that he acted like a bogus story-teller so that he could get any attention from others and thus felt as if he were the man, or leader, who had an abundance of stories to tell, but because he wanted to share the complaints of his life for he initiated a fatigued tone on his remarks. He did it not because he was a boastful, blabbering sort of person, but because it was definitely important to share the sufferings to his fellows. “Swimming,” he continued, “my child wants to swim. The budak says that word frequently, nearly all the time, and begs me to go to a swimming pool. There…Yadika. How much money do we need to swim there?”

Here, I wanted to chime in because I actually knew the cost. For a moment, there was an awkward silence—a devoid of answer to the man’s question; thus I wanted to tell him what was in my mind sympathetically, but I unnerved myself to say a single word. Another man on the right of me, who also, I supposed, belonged to their set, at length chimed in. “It’s cheap,” he said. “Cheap. Very cheap.” I got relieved because I needed not impart a remark as an answer for I was too shy and felt that I had no right to say anything.

“How much?” the lanky man rejoined. The conversation continued.

“It’s very cheap!” the fourth man, as old as the rest of them, repeated the same words.

“Yes, very very cheap. But it has to be definitely clear how cheap it is!” the interlocutor complained with a drained tone.

“Fifteen thousand rupiahs.”

I, who initially intended to pronounce the answer, was grateful that I did not chime in because, apparently, I had different numbers on my mind. I thought it was ten thousand rupiahs. I was glad I was not being silly or gave unreliable information to them.

“Fifteen thousand?” he tried to ascertain.


“On Sunday?”

“Yep. Fifteen thousand rupiahs at your pleasure!”

Nah! Fifteen thousand rupiahs! I will just get there and say to them that I was one of the men who built that swimming pool so I might get free or, at least, get cheaper cost,” he laughed gently and poignantly as if he were objected to the number the fourth man had conferred to him.

My termination got nigh. I said “kiri!” to the driver. I got out of the conveyance with a bunch of peanuts’ waste in hand and paid the charge. I crossed the road. And on the way home, on foot, I was wondering what wonderful yet smarting stories I missed that they were likely still discussing in the remaining time of their long, tiring homecoming since I descended.

Word count: 1087