Our mini-bus picks up at 20:00 promptly and we jump in. Our travel agent is there to see us off, showing the nothing but professional service we have received from him. We are delighted to find out we are the only two passengers on our 8 hour drive to Pangandaran, which means we have the whole bus to ourselves. Our last few bus rides have been a little cramped and uncomfortable and we haven’t gotten much sleep, so this is a treat. We are expecting a few breakdowns on the way, but this is to be expected.
We get away quickly and fall asleep in the luxurious rows. After a few hours we stop for a break and soon get back on the road.
We have expected to get to Pangandaran at around 4 or 5 am, but we arrive at 2:30 am, without a single breakdown. Getting anywhere early is normally good news, but when you’re in a sleepy town and nothing is open it’s a bit of a problem. The bus drivers say we can sleep in the bus, which is great. They jump in another bus to sleep. The lady from the PT Lotus Wisata travel agent, where we have been dropped off, very kindly invites us in for tea and biscuits. We are keen to find a hotel to sleep, as we have been travelling by night bus and getting early starts for about a week now. She calls around but no one is up.
We chat with her for a while. She tells of how she once had a nice house, but it was lost to the tsunami and she now has just her travel agent buildings, which she shares with he son and daughter, both of which are there with us. Her son is sleeping on a mattress in the office, but she wakes him and sends him to the backroom, but I’m not sure why. She also tells of how the visitor numbers have fallen since the tsunami. I feel very sorry for her, but I’m glad she still has her children. She mentions the financial problems or rebuilding her business, and of buying a computer, which her son helped with as he has a keen interest in them. I have just bought a new laptop and I intended to give away my old one, which is off little value in the UK, but I think is worth something to the lad here. Once I have got all of my files from it I will bring it into the travel agent for the kid.
We get back in the bus and sleep well until 4:30 am when the driver and the lady’s daughter drive us to the Villa Angela, which they had recommended and called for us. When we get there the owner shows us to a lovely downstairs room where we can sleep until 9, when other guests will check out of their room and we can check in. We end up sleeping until midday!