A Short Trip to Bangkalan, Madura

A friend of mine once told me that I’m not the kind of person who can be spontaneous. And she said that I need to slack off once in a while, and be more impulsive once in a while.

So last Friday evening, when a friend of mine took me home after dinner and then asked me to join him and his friend to go to Bangkalan, Madura and watch the sun rise in a lighthouse he once found when he was there, I got persuaded and finally decided to go. Of course, I made the decision only after they assured me that I’d be home soon enough to get to work on time.

Well, to me that’s probably one of few spontaneous thing I’d ever done.

So, barely getting enough sleep (because I went home pretty late that night and so I was afraid that if I’d slept soundly that night, I wouldn’t be able to get up on time), I woke up at 3.30 the next morning. Preparing stuffs that I needed, my friends picked me up at my boarding house 30 minutes later. The three of us would travel by motorbike.

FYI, in order to get to Bangkalan, Madura, we would need to cross the Suramadu (Surabaya-Madura?) bridge first.

As we crossed the bridge, I regretted my choice of clothes right away. I wasn’t wearing shoes (sandals instead) or scarf (to cover my neck–I was worried about my cough considering how strong the cold wind blew at that time, especially since I’m on a motorbike) and I thought that I should’ve worn something warmer. But of course, it was too late to go back at that time, and I thought that I could stand the cold just fine, and that I only do this kind of thing once in a while, and lastly, I tried to reassure myself by saying that my immune system is not that weak.

And putting such troublesome thoughts aside, my friends and I managed to stop somewhere in the middle of the bridge (we were lucky that we didn’t got caught, really!) to see the night view from the bridge. I tried to take some picture before we moved on, but it was really hard for me to get a good shot.

My failed attempt to take a picture of the night view (using my digital camera).
The only successful attempt (which was taken with my iPhone).

Afterwards, entering Madura, the path we took was pretty scary for me. It was really dark all around, and I could only imagine what the surrounding was like from my friend’s saying, “In daylight, you’d see rice fields, trees and wild grass here and there. Well, just imagine the scenery of Africa you usually saw in the movie.” Well, Africa may be too extreme, I think, but my mind flew to Disney’s The Lion King right away.

Getting closer to our destination, we could see the sky beginning to lighten up. Uh-oh. No good. The sun’s about to rise. So we rushed.

But then something happened. More specifically, flat tire happened. And worse, there weren’t any place where we could patch the tire that early, none of them would have open at that time of the day. But we tried and tried.

After dragging the motorcycle for some miles, the sun rose higher and finally we realized that we’d just skipped the sunrise. There’s no way we could get to the lighthouse on time. So we thought we’d just call it a day and decided that we’d come again another day.

Finally, my friend decided to park his motorbike on the side of the road, and the three of us would use the only motorbike left, used by my other friend (remember, there were 3 of us, and 2 of them were riding the motorbike while I hitchhiked on one of the bikes) to get to our destination.

By the time we arrived there, it was bright already, but we got there.

I’ve never seen a lighthouse before, and that was my first time.

Apparently it was an old lighthouse built long time ago, when Indonesia was still the Dutch East Indies. All we knew (and heard) is that during the World War II, when our country was invaded by the Japanese, whenever a Japanese ship was nearby, the lighthouse would stop operating.

Getting a bit sleepy already from my lack of sleep, I couldn’t believe my ears when my friends told me that there were 15 staircases to climb before we get to the top.

So after several rests, dizziness (all me, really, the boys didn’t seem like they’re tired at all), and complaints, finally we got to the top.

And the view was breathtaking. I didn’t travel very often, and I hate to admit that I’m actually more of a mall-person than a hiker, nature-lover or such person, so I got really awed to see such view which I rarely come across.

The view is superb. Too bad the trashes were all around.

Of course, we didn’t come empty handed. We brought instant noodles and coffee–we thought it would be nice to have an early breakfast and morning coffee while watching the sunrise, and one of my friend brought his portable mini stove.

Inside the lighthouse, ready to eat our instant noodles.
Sipping my morning coffee. Mmmmm coffee! :-9

After getting enough shots using our smartphones and digital cameras, we decided to go back home. It was around 7.30 AM, if I had not mistaken.

First, though, we need to deal with the flat tire. We got back to the place where one of my friend parked his motorbike (which luckily didn’t get towed or stolen–theft is a pretty common issue here), and since it was a bit later than when we first arrived, we finally managed to find a place to patch the tire.

And then we went home.

Rice fields on our way home.

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Published by

Laksmi

An MA student at Waseda University, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyo, Japan. An avid reader. A language geek as well. And a book hoarder.

2 thoughts on “A Short Trip to Bangkalan, Madura”

  1. Nice story:).

    Three on a bike? The three of you were real daredevils! And you obviously are very spontaneous for a non-spontaneous person :).

    The pictures tell at least three stories I think.

    First of all that’s fun to embark on a sunrise-expedition with friends. Secondly that the environmental condition is poor over there; a lot of littered areas and leafless, dead, trees. And last but not least the name of King Willem III ( who was an unpleasant, adulterous, authoritarian and grumpy guy, by the way) on the lighthouse is telling that people back then ( over a hundred years ago) knew about how to construct solid buildings in

    PS: Your definition of cold looks extremely funny to me. Whenever I was in Indonesia I was sweating at noon and at night, in the morning and afternoon and wherever I was in the archipelago (except for altitudes over 1000 metres) :).

    1. Hahaha. It wasn’t that far, and it’d be such a waste to cancel the trip to the lighthouse because of the flat tire accident, so we did it.

      The first story is completely right. Especially since there are so many spots in Indonesia where you could view the beautiful sunrise ;) And as for the second, that’s also true. It’s a shameful fact that people could still litter on such a beautiful place! But I thought the leafless trees are what makes it beautiful. Not that I think dead and leafless trees are good things, really. I never really knew the story of King Willem III, though, but I suppose it’s true about how solid the building is. Everybody here (up to now) still say that the old Dutch buildings are much better than the buildings constructed in the present days.

      As for the cold, well, in my defense, I was born and raised in a tropical, hot country where the coldest weather I’ve ever had is the freezing wind of Malang. I was living there for a year and I got all sweaty when I moved to Surabaya, but then I came back to Malang once in a while and feel that Malang is just too cold for me! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to any cold weather (sigh…)

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