Pentai Timang gondola

Pentai Timang gondola

A flimsy hand-made wooden cage supposed to carry me across the ocean. The Pentai Timang crossing takes people from the rocky coastline to the remote island of Watu Panjang – that is the big ocean rock you see on the picture below. The nylon ropes were battered and worn out but our driver told us that local lobster collectors were using this daily as their only means of transport. So it must be safe, right?

To reach the wooden gondola, I walked through slushy mud that swallowed my left flip flop so I had to continue bare feet. After a backbreaking journey of almost sliding downhill in the sea I was super excited to try the gondola for myself. I watched the colossal waves pounding furiously against the Watu Panjang rock. Before I got on the gondola I imagined what to do if the carriage were to fall in the wave-infested ocean and calculated my chances of survival; they were nil. I got myself a ticket anyway. There was one person in front of me before it was my turn. As the anticipation was building up my body filled with excitement. It was finally my turn! But, as if it were an omen, the heavens opened and rain started to pour down.

The gondola operation was halted and we ran for cover to a small wooden hut. We waited and waited. And waited more. One and a half hour later the weather was still in bad shape. I looked up to the sky but did not see any signs of weather improvements. I was cold, defeated and still bare feet in a tiny wooden shed. We decided to call it a day. I stumbled back over the same muddy man-made path and reached the car. The driver revved up the engine and we left the scene. The car struggled to get up the slippery water-flooded hill and I waved goodbye to the Pentai Timang gondola that disappeared slowly behind us. We turned around the corner and, as if on cue, the rain stopped abruptly and rays of sunlight appeared. Clearly, it was not my day to die yet.

Pentai Timang gondolaPentai Timang coastline

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