When I went to Jogja back in 2011, we visited Parangtritis, the place has black sandy beaches and some really good waves, able to surf but of course I wasn't surfing during that time, we went there as part of our program. Parangtritis is just south of Jogja while Gunung Kidul is a 2-hour drive to the Southeastern part. It was one spectacular road trip because it wasn't only challenging and hilarious (especially when we were pulled over by a cop), Jogja's scenery down south has so much to offer. If it weren't a rainy season or if it weren't just the two of us, possibly we would have stopped by to some favorable spots.
Nevertheless it was one of our first road trip using a motorcycle, bought gas from a local station, pulled over by a cop at a foreign country, anxiously trying to maneuver along with massive trucks and buses, looking at google maps almost all of the time, checking for signs and paying toll fees. Everything was a first to us since we usually do not have a toll fee here in Mindanao; neither using a motorcycle. Most citizens in the Philippines would prefer a car.
If you want to read the whole shenanigan,
Day 1 in Jakarta: http://moonlitplaces.blogspot.com/2016/12/backpacking-in-jakarta-my-first-time.html
Part 1 in Jogja: http://moonlitplaces.blogspot.com/2016/12/backpacking-yogyakarta-part-1.html
Part 2 in Jogja: http://moonlitplaces.blogspot.com/2017/01/backpacking-in-yogyakarta-part-2.html
Or you can skip them and proceed...
TIP: Basically you have to rent a motorcycle or scooter and ask for an available one beforehand, meaning you have to reserve the bikes before using them. Usually gas is almost empty therefore you have to ask where the nearest gas station is.
Abrakadabra art bnb has a motor rental for 70k idr per day (260 php). That's the most affordable one you can get and easier as Andi the receptionist prepares it. Gas comes cheap as well, gases are pertalite or pertamax either will do or, you can buy a bottle of gas at a BENSIN vendor. 'Bensin' means gas.
Be sure when you're traveling long distances it's better to go in the morning, either rainy season or not. They say the roads can go absolutely dark hence they lack street lights in the rural areas.
Right to Left lane - as a Filipino this is pretty common right? I hope you get what I'm pointing out because in Indonesia it's the opposite - Left to Right lane. Always go left coz the other way around is right. Traffic in Indonesia is downright frightening and road accidents are not part of our bucketlist. As much as possible drive carefully, follow the locals' signals and just relax, don't race along with them.
Another reminder for you is you don't really need an International Driver's License. I don't know in other cities though but Yogyakarta was pretty chill about it. When Sheff drove off through the opposite lane, we were abruptly asked by a cop to pull over. I was so scared because neither of us would want to interfere with Indonesia's rules. He spoke in Bahasa Indo and I couldn't understand nor did Sheff. Sheff and I were discussing in our language, almost in riddles both English, Bisaya with a mix of Tagalog. The cop must have been so confused and annoyed, he let us go with a smile and a thumbs up lol. I simply replied we're so sorry then drove off. You don't want that as well so you should have to be focus on the road when you see traffic enforcers or cops around.
Ah enough already.
Geared up and ready!
Really enjoying the highway even though it's kinda narrow but if there weren't any heavy traffic ahead, it feels awesome!
Before arriving in Wonosari, you'd see this tiny park looking absolutely refreshing.
Welcome to Wonosari. Wonosari is the center of Gunungkidul.
Since we were a bit hungry and tired, we stopped by Indomaret near a gas station. The gas station has a toilet and, next to the convenience store has some really good tempe chips and other delicacies.
I bought an Indomaret batik-inspired lighter haha!
Wonosari map. You will see this map when you stop by Indomaret.
Since we went to the other side which is going to Pantai Krakal and not Pantai Baron because we had limited time (we didn't want rain on our way back home). First stop was at Pantai Sepanjang, in english 'long beach' from the fact that it is the longest beach in the area.
As much as I wanted to immerse myself in Pantai Sepanjang's waters, I expected a more secluded area (so I can wear a bikini). I only took pictures and videos here.
More slopes and wonderful scenery to Pantai Krakal. Actually the coasts have inexpensive toll fees inclusive of parking and fishing I guess.
Pantai Krakal's main beach. There were some 'warung' or restaurants facing the shore. We didn't swim in this area, the sands were too squishy like mud; hard to walk.
There is a shelter on top of a huge rock in Krakal, it has a bird's eye view of the entire beach but when we got there it was close. The secret is to find out for yourself haha! *it's at the back of this rock*
What's in store for you at the top.
Because it was a weekday, the cove was almost deserted; we were the only ones swimming. Literally my jaw dropped when I saw this place.
Bali is not just the 'paradise' you can think of when you're traveling in Indonesia. Yogyakarta likewise, is much more than an average vacation destination. It's a real cultural experience, plus you get to enjoy cleaner and greener spots such as this.
We left our belongings here although I'm not sure bout the safeness however overall nothing was stolen from us. Nice place to chill and drink cold beer with friends.
Water was clean and clear. White wash everywhere but it depends on the size of the wave. As a matter of fact, barrels were forming as high as 6 feet or more.
I would definitely come back here and probably bring lots of money so we could eat lobster at one of the warungs haha!
Yeap just lie down on the sand and relax.
Distinctly an abundance of marine life.
So after submerging the cool waters of Krakal, packed our bags and drove 2 hours back to Yogya. We didn't plan to eat our lunch here because we were absolutely sure it will rain around 3 in the afternoon. We traveled Indonesia on the 3rd week of November.
Before arriving in Yogya, we stopped by Indomaret again and bought a few souvenirs like tempe chips. The sun was so bright I just had to replenish, tehbotol is tea with less sugar :}
So much vegetation and agriculture :}
Back in Jogja and finally got our lunch fixed. I recommend Gudeg Sagan, although a bit tricky going here, I suggest you memorize the path because one-way lanes was a crazy experience!
Gudeg Sagan offers a variety of local dishes but my goal was to let Sheff try 'gudeg' for the first time. Gudeg is a traditional Javanese cuisine and is made from young unripe jackfruit with palm sugar and coconut milk, and what's unique about 'gudeg' is 'krecek'. Be sure to try gudeg with krecek. Krecek is cattle skin with sambal (don't worry it's soft not chewy). That's the best Javanese cuisine I've had, one of my favorites!
At last back in Abrakadabra and changed our room; the graffiti this time. Still nice and clean, murals were everywhere, can't help but be inspired.
A few hours rest and went out to get dinner.
Mie goreng (stir-fried noodles) and capcay (chopseuy) for dinner. Ugh so yummy at Warung Heru. Capcay was okay but mie goreng was awesome!
After devouring our meal, we walked back to the bnb and relaxed, as usual we had tea, it was raining, and then we slept like babies, burnt ones lol.
- Make sure you withdraw money from the atm first, you also need to get some change like 2,000-10,000 idr. There are minimal toll and parking fees along the way.
- Reserve a motorcycle beforehand so the bnb receptionist can prepare it for you. Full tank is much better if you're planning to use it the next day.
- Bring and use sunscreen lotion if you plan traveling and swimming throughout the day.
- Drop by Wonosari's Indomaret near a gas station, you will certainly notice it just beside the highway. I recommend Tempe chips at Dunia Bakery & Coffee just next to Indomaret.
- More driving and cool scenery going to Pantai Krakal, be patient and don't race with other drivers. Be sure to concentrate where you're going, there were a few holes on the paved road marked in white.
- You can pass by all the pantai in that region, good luck and enjoy! :}
- There are wash rooms and toilets which you'd have to pay a tiny fee to the locals, 'wc' goes for washroom.
- Highly recommend Gudeg Sagan for their super affordable and delicious gudeg krecek.
- Mie goreng in Warung Heru was absolutely lovely, must-try!
Thank you for reading! :}