Thursday, 24 January 2013

Trip to Anyer

Recently as part of a team building exercise all the staff from my centre at EF Puri went off to Anyer for a weekend of socialising and games and relaxing. This is the second time I have been to the west coast of Java and it was a nice break from Jakarta.

We set off in a big rain storm and passed through the countryside of Java which is mainly fields and trees and small villages with big industries in the distance and by 4pm we were somewhere near the coast.

Anyer is close to Jakarta and it is a popular get away from the city and only 3 hours from the city. You take the toll to Cilegon and then head off the toll past the huge industrial plants of Kracatau steelworks and then over a bumpy road you eventually start seeing hotels, villas,beaches and the sea.
The coast line is not really that amazing as the beaches are small and the sea is wild but the sea is reasonably clean and on a clear day you can see the islands where Kracatau (Kracatao volcano) used to be and where the new island is forming deep in the Sunda Straits. You can also see the tip of Sumatra as well.

The trip to Anyer was pretty much an uneventful affair as the bus hurtled along the toll way. We did pass some flooded fields and went through some very heavy rain but that was pretty much it. We stopped at some Indomart for a toilet break and some snacks and then headed off to the beach resort that is Bulakan Beach.

We arrived there at 5.30pm and once the rooms were sorted out (29 of us into 4 rooms) time was our own until 7.30pm when we were to eat. So, we all wandered about taking photos and chatting.
After dinner, the need for some beer took over and so a few of us wandered off out of the resort to find some. We were shown to a small hut that sold stuff. It took a while to find as there was a power cut and so the whole place was pitch black. The small hut did indeed sell beer but at 23,000 for a can of Anker we decided to search elsewhere.
This is where I slept
This is involved a 2km wander down a pitch black pot holed road in the middle of nowhere dodging the holes in the road, cars, motorbikes, motorbikes with no lights and trucks carry huge excavators and stuff. Eventually a small bus trundled past and stopped a little further down the road. The driver locked rather stunned when 3 western men climbed on from nowhere and then got off again 600 metres later as we had found an Indomart and so happy once more. It did not sell beer.
At the end of the pier

The whole pier

The beach

Views of the beaches and coast

night time lights

waiting to eat

Leaving there armed with coke and more snacks we walked back in the relative safety of random lights as the power had been restored and once we eventually got back to the resort, went and sat in on pier refusing offers of durian from the locals there.
Around 9.30pm, there was another power out and then it decided to start raining. Not just a little drizzle but a full on storm. So in the dark, with the waves crashing below, the rain belting down and the thunder crashing  over head we stayed on the pier for over an hour because we could not see the way back, and wind, rain and waves made it a little more impossible to do so. Once the rain had died down however we were treated to an amazing lightning storm which was very impressive. We eventually got to the villa at 11.30pm.

The next morning the storms had waned and blue skies started breaking through. I wandered about taking photos before breakfast and then after breakfast we had some team building games which were, er, fun.

It was quite nice once the sun started shining

The best bit was when the boss instructed everyone must swim in the sea and no-one was exempt. Throwing in the admin staff into the sea was very satisfying, although I did apologise for getting her veil wet but she seemed not to mind and swam off!

The swimming and larking about lasted for a few hours and with the sun out and the air clear, sunburn hit a few of us.
Finally blue skies

Teachers and staff

Where we stayed

Once we had all showered and sorted ourselves out, we ate in the restaurant opposite the hotel and then clambered back on the bus for the return trip home, which like the trip to Anyer was rain filled and quick.

It was a good weekend away from the noise and chaos of the city and a fun time was had by all. Next year I think we will go to Puncak.

For more information about the place we stayed go here:

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