CORONA JOURNEY 17: JAVA BY WOODY & HARRISON


Corona Journey No. 17 saw lensman Woody Gooch & aquatic style master Harrison Roach say sayonara to the lingering Australian winter, pack their bags and boards and venture forth to the Island of West Java in search of a little sunshine, ocean temperatures similar to that of bath water and a bountiful amount of uncrowded waves. Ticking off all of the above, Harrison gives a written recount of their journey, whilst Woody rather let his photos do the talking. Want to see the full photo series? Head on over to Corona Extra Australia.

 

In the hope of escaping the ordeals of an ever-expanding expatriate population, we avoided Bali and made our way to a little known or perhaps, unknown village in West Java.

Winter at home… it was in the jacket over my shoulders and the boots on my feet. I relished in the feeling I received from traveling friends’ Instragrams. Coming at me from all angles was an undeniable desire to escape. It felt as though that in missing warm weather I was missing a part of myself, and my friends felt it too. At the local bean shop we reminisced on times when bikinis and board shorts were a staple in our day-to-day outfits. When congregations for cervezas were more common than congregations for coffee. It seems quite fitting that it was on one such fuelled occasion that a group of us decided it was time to head for the tropics.

With Sambal on tap, point-side Pocaris and millions in our pockets, he eased us into a cruisey village vibe.

We left Australia’s cold weather for the ever-impressing coastlines of Indonesia. Along for the ride was Eadie Hancock, Matt Cuddihy, Zye Norris and the delightful photographer of whose work is herein displayed, Woody Gooch.

In the hope of escaping the ordeals of an ever-expanding expatriate population, we avoided Bali and made our way to a little known or perhaps, unknown village in West Java. The sound of Muslim calls to prayer, smell of smoke and ever-grinning face of local surfer, Husni Ridwan, welcomed us upon our arrival. Husni is the kind of person that goes above and beyond to make his traveling friends feel comfortable in his hometown. With Sambal on tap, point-side Pocaris and millions in our pockets, he eased us into a cruisey village vibe. The ridiculous heat and warm afternoon rain squall was cause for celebration.

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Our routine was basic at first. All we did was eat, surf, sleep and repeat.

Rather than refer us to the usual scooter hirer, Husni and his friends generously lent us their rides…two DT100s and a 67 Fiat sedan. We took turns thrashing around on bikes and touring the area in the Fiat. The villages were quiet and rural. People smiled at us as we passed and the children yelled and waved. It was refreshing to spend time in a place where the Bule hadn’t yet worn out his welcome.

Our routine was basic at first. All we did was eat, surf, sleep and repeat. The longboarding conditions were as dreamlike as we could have hoped for. But as Husni’s perfect point started resembling a lake, we began taking advantage of the other attractions of the village, the best of which being the Canyon. A swimming area of childish fantasy, the place was surreal; like stepping onto the set of an Indiana Jones or Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Just a week before, we’d wrapped ourselves in layers of clothing and complained about the cold. And there we were in West Java, soaking up the beauty, once again in bikinis and board shorts. In such stunning scenery, we felt the satisfaction that only comes from this kind of escape, the cold and wind burn of home long gone.

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Reminiscing about the journey a few weeks later it’s amazing to think how short-lived moments of contentment are.

Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, we said goodbye to the warmth and welcome of Husni and the village just eight days after arriving. So soon was our experience over that it felt like dream more than reality. Reminiscing about the journey a few weeks later it’s amazing to think how short-lived moments of contentment are. With jackets on our shoulders and boots on our feet, we await our next escape, hoping that summer comes early.

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Words: Harrison Roach / Photos: Woody Gooch

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