Pangandaran National Park
PangandaranFollowing the stopover in Bandung we made our way to Pangandaran, a narrow isthmus that at one time was said to have some of the best beaches on the south coast of Java or at least before the Tsunami hit. We traveled through fantastic scenery and reached the Sunrise Beach Hotel in the late afternoon, just in time for a swim except we didn't swim but watched some fishermen haul in their their catch with their large net that required multiple fisherman to haul in. After struggling In the morning we left the hotel for a day excursion through the countryside which allowed us to see the local people doing their daily activities and we visited various home industries where people made cooking oil, brown sugar, shrimp and rice cracker. The brown sugar was made from coconuts and since they were all around us and all you had to do was climb a tree and only the laziest person had any excuse to not be gainfully employed. The brown sugar was especially sweet.

The area has still not recovered fully from the destination and unfortunately tourists have been slow to return. It was especially poignant how we were welcomed, listening to the local guide talking about the lack of tourist and his hopes for the future. While most of the debris has been cleared away we still saw many foundations where buildings once stood.

Pangandaran Later we visited the Pangandaran National Park, home of hundreds of “Long-tail Macaque”, wild buffalo, barking deer and other species of animals. The deer did not feel like barking that day, preferring to doze in the sun and the wild buffalo were a little too wild. The monkeys however were a little more accommodating. Hundreds of monkeys were all about. In fact we were told that they were expecting us to bring their daily nourishment. Of course we were warned to protect our sunglasses as well as are cameras but alas I didn't see any sunglass-wearing monkey taking pictures while I was there.

Later we embarked on a boat trip and visited the “Green Canyon” one of the most famous tourist attractions in Pangandaran. The canyon they say is newly discovered but if you asked me "newly exploited" would be a more accurate term, still in a land of lush greenery this canyon stood out in its lushness. In fact there seemed to be a permanent rainfall as well as rainbow within its natural cavern.