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An Indonesian Off-Roading Adventure in Bandung

When you think about Indonesia, most people picture romantic overwater bungalows and tranquil meditation retreats. There is also a side to Indonesia that will make your heart beat faster and your knuckles turn whiter.

Bandung Off-roading was made for thrill-seekers. It was meant for me.

The vintage Land Rover jeeps stopped at Dusun Bambu leisure parc, where we had just enjoyed a relaxed lunch overlooking a rowboat-filled pond lined with wooden villas. Let’s just say this was the calm before storm. Wonderful Indonesia wanted to spice up our visit.

Getting Dirty with Bandung Off Road 4×4
Getting Dirty with Bandung Off Road 4×4

It was time for adventure.

A bench seat was provided in the back of the jeeps to accommodate a few daredevil passengers. We all jumped into the off-white Jeep Wrangler because it reminded us of home. The top had a fabric lining and open-air windows on both sides. Every seat came with a strap to attach to the ceiling.

These straps could be very useful.

Each of us were given a helmet and we began our journey along a paved road through the town. After passing through a small village, we turned onto a gravel road which took us into the forest. The road was bumpy, but not as bad as mild plane turbulence.

Is it possible to wear a helmet while driving?

Naively, I thought the mile of gravel road was off-roading. It was a fun adventure for tourists. I was so wrong. It was a wonderful addition to the list of top adventure things you should do before your death.

After about twenty minutes of driving, we stopped at a tailgate party. A caravan of about a dozen cars stopped on the dirt road to find a table and chairs set up. Classic rock music was playing from a large speaker.

A brightly colored coffee cart was ready to make a cup of coffee.

Indonesian Off Road Adventure in Bandung
Indonesian Off Road Adventure in Bandung

We spent some time here, enjoying our hot drinks and taking photos in the tall trees.

Before we could continue, we were given a safety alert.

  1. You should not expose any part of your body to the elements.
  2. Keep your cameras safe by storing them in their cases.
  3. Grab onto the straps at the top of the jeep’s interior.

We began on a more rugged route through the Jayagiri Rainforest, where the barren dirt passages were more a suggestion of direction than an actual maintained road.

The cars ahead could be heard screaming, which gave us an idea of what was to come. Some sections had us deep in muddy water while others had us stuck between high dirt walls. I was bounced from my bench numerous times, sometimes landing on my back and then onto the ground of the jeep.

This was a testimony to the Land Rover’s durability.

Many times, the driver would just ask “right or left”. The driver would ask this question to find out how adventurous we were. Were we willing to bounce off our chairs, possibly end up on the lap of a neighbor or be tossed around?

We choose the adventurous route.

This option caused the jeep several times to get stuck in the mud, and then had to maneuver expertly out of the mud or be towable by another vehicle.

After driving for about an hour, it was time to stop and turn around. It was either better or worse to know what to expect on the return.

It was an exciting ride in any case.

I held on tight.

I am happy to report that I returned home in one piece, with just a few minor bumps and bruises.

Tips

  • You should bring a change of clothes in case you are sprayed by mud. This happened to many passengers in our jeeps.
  • You will have the opportunity to get out of your jeeps at times, so make sure you are comfortable wearing sturdy shoes.
  • For more ideas, contact Bandung Offroad.

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