It was a beautiful, sunny morning when we started a two- and-a-half hour drive from Yogyakarta on the Indonesian island of Java to Pantai Timang, taking a scenic route through the mountains. Our destination? Timang’s unique “sailing gondola”, a wooden box on ropes on pulleys that you can ride from the coast to a nearby island. Along the way, we discovered that the beach is virtually inaccessible by car due to the state of the roads and the only way to get to our destination was via an ojek , or motorcycle taxi. So, we were dumped on the side of the road about 5km from the beach itself where we met our ojek riders. We weren’t given helmets; we just skidded off through the rocky and narrow roads in the now rainy weather conditions. My poor driver had to put up with me blurting out various obscenities and clutching on for dear life – not for the faint-hearted! We made it to the coast in one piece, though the drizzle had finally set in and our next task was to walk down the steep hill to the gondola itself. After partaking in our usual customs such as looking at the view and taking various snaps of the cliff, the sea and the locals, we finally set off for our gondola crossing. Or did we...? No! Just as we handed over the 400,000 rupiah (S$40) entrance fee, the drizzle degenerated into a full-blown thunderstorm. After about half an hour sitting inside the locals’ hut to wait and see if the weather would pass, we gave up and were refunded our money. By this point we were drenched through as we mounted the ojek to take us back to our car. By then our spirits were as damp as our clothes – a trying but unforgettable experience!


Getting there: SilkAir and AirAsia both fly direct to Yogyakarta (2 hours 15 minutes). Yogyakarta is commonly called “Jogja”. The city is close to Mount Merapi, which is designated as a “Decade Volcano”. The Decade Volcanos are 16 volcanoes around the world deemed worthy of particular study because of their destructive eruptions close to populated areas. The island that Pantai Timang’s sailing gondola arrives at is a renowned lobster habitat. Trivia time: | Daxiao Productions



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