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Mt Bromo, Java

27-10-10 to 28-10-10

sunny 28 °C
View RTW Part 2 (Aus/New Z/Cook Islands ... home time) on RosiePony's travel map.

Wednesday - 8am pick up in minivan to transport us and luggage to Probalingo, a town hub for trips up Mt Bromo volcano. We arrived at Probalingo at 4pm, changed to a different minivan to be taken up the mountains winding roads in the dark fog. Helen and I sat in the front so we had a great view!! Slept at a hostel that im describing as a 'dive'*, where nothing had been cleaned, the bathroom had soil from an air vent spilling down the wall from the ceiling, the toilet was yuk n we had an ant invasion somewhere between the minivan and the hotel room (luckily for me n hel, this only involved dutches bag). Plus I needed food and was served bad* noodles for dinner. (*please note this is a replacement word for blogging purposes, I am sure u can think of worse ones to adequatley describe the 'hotel' once u see photos or hear the description).
I hate it when locals take advantage of the fact that tourists will be booking on a tour, so no effort is made with service or accommodation. And the tour we were sold ended up having different accommodation to the one we were shown back in yogjakarta when we booked it (we were expecting something like this would happen).

Thursday - Up at 3 the next morning for sunrise at the viewing area on the top of mt nr by for a couple of hrs then on to climb mt bromo.

I got a horse ride up to the start of the steps (the horses were there, he hill was steep, it took 10 mins and cost about 70p!), climbed the steps alongside a 60yr old man, he over took me, i over took him and so on and so forth (altitude is a killer!) then at the top j enjoyed suffocating by sulphur. It's free n everything! Just breath in the egg fumes at the top of the volcano as they blow towards you. Beautiful.


All that aside, amazing views, you can go right past the railings and commit suicide in the volcano itself should u wish (I should point out I'm writing this sat at Bali airport the day after a flight cancellation so apoloies if I have a bitter edge in my narrative), but I'm sure you'd have horrific injuries first on the way down since the sides are so steep. If u keep your sanity at the top, and you make it back down the steps you get to drive across the salt planes at the bottom in jeep. Its fun. To stand on the filled in crator of a once humongous volcano that now houses 3/4 smaller volcanoes itself. After all the excitement, it was back to 'hotel' for a 10am pick up to take us back to probalingo.

Upon arrival at the tour office we were suprised when we were given money back (50,000rp) since the trip was meant to include a ferry n bus to lovina, Bali. However 'suddenly' this section coludnt be arranged. We got a bus to the ferry (6 hrs) then bought our own tickets for the hr ferry journey n out the otherside at 8/9pm when it was dark. we had to negotiate with a bemo driver to take us to lovina. Luckily there were 5 of us because normally you have to pay for the entire bemo or wait for more people to come. I couldn't see much chance of more ppl coming but a French couple did. That sold it and the bemo took us to lovina for the 50k we were refunded. A beautiful start to Bali.

Posted by RosiePony 02:51 Archived in Indonesia Tagged mountains java volcano backpackers Comments (0)

Yogjakarta, Java

24-10-10 to 26-10-10

sunny 30 °C
View RTW Part 2 (Aus/New Z/Cook Islands ... home time) on RosiePony's travel map.


Sunday - Arriving late last night wasn't as bad as I expected. Yogjakarta is a cool relaxed city where it's safe to go out late at night alone (not that I ever was alone) so we got cash out, walked to Bladock, our hostel and hoped they had room for us all! They did n we went straight to bed since it was about 3am...I got up early ish and went to do a rekky of the area: find a place to hand in laundry and find out prices for Batik courses (more on this later). Walking along the main road there are lots of cycle rikshaws that can hold 2 ppl, and horse drawn carridges taking people down the road (have to do it!). I've learnt the phrase 'jalan jalan' which means just walkin around so no one bothers me too much. It's hustle and bustle down the main road, with stalls of crafts (bags, clothes, jewelry etc) which tempted me into buying some bracelets and a batik bag! Bargained of course ;)

I returned to meet Helen and Aljan, who then ventured out with me again down the main road in search of food. We ate off a street vendor
(has spring rolls and mie goreng - fried noodles and chicken) which was delicious. Then we visited a batik showroom, where 35 artists
created different pictures on canvas using the batik technique - you use hot wax to create an outline of the design, then add colour and
more wax to build up a picture of your design. Finally the wax is melted off leavin the design clearly seen. Helen and I picked out what
we liked, haggled and I was 'lucky' enough that my artist happened to be in the studio, so I got a piccie with him. After a while I got a
price I was happy with, got the pack and left. It was only when we were walking down the main road and someone came up to us asking if we wanted to see a 'real' batik warehouse that we realised we may have been duped?!
We went along anyway to compare prices, Aljan teasing us all the while, only to find, they had the same 'unique' batik pictures for sale- luckily at the price I paid, so I didn't feel bad, liked my purchase and could see the funny sideWe took a horse and carriage ride back home (Which has a pool did I forget to say?!) to freshen up then we had dinner. We arranged a batik course for the next day as well as a massage (in need of one from all the bag carry travel in bogor) for the eve and then had a beer n went to bed.

Monday - Today is our Batik painting course. Very exciting. We designed our patterns of pictures in pencil on a piece of square linen material before being shown the batik process:
- use hot melted wax to protect the material from the colours you add to the design.
- use paraffin wax to protect the colours you use from running with the final colour background.
- melt all wax and you have batik design
This sounds simple but you have to use an old style nib to apply the wax to the cloth and it can spill or blob, the trick is to keep the application slow. Anyway this whole process took the entire day but it was pleasing to see the end results.

Tuesday - 8am pick up in minivan to the temples, an hrs drive away from yogjakarta. Lunch restaurant is pointed out and we get tickets to the temples, enter the complex, get a free map then head off on our exploration. The first temple is Borobudur. This is a single temple,
with steps leading uptown the main stupor with 4 levels on the way up. Each level depicts different scenes on the walls as you walk round.
The steps are guarded by lions on the base of the main staircases. The steps are not uniform and are steep. I went straight to the top
(Learnt to do this in china since getting up is the hard part, coming down is easy!) to explore and saw the main stupa was surrounded by
lots of smaller stupa in a circle on the level below. Inside each stupa is a Buddha that if u can reach through a hole in the stupa, u
can make a wish on. I could so did, can't tell u wot I wished for tho otherwise it won't come true! I was asked for photos by lots of indonesians so I was reminded of china a bit, then got chatting to some students who wanted to practice their English with me. 20 mins later I had found out their ages (16, 17 and 20), had discussed football, my travels, going to university in indo and how much it costs (lots for them) as well as the uk and if there were any temples there (I mentioned stone henge since it's the only thing I though they could relate too). Back to the minivan to be taken to a mid stop on route, another temple with an admin fee so I bypassed it and visited a Buddha monastery instead which was much more peaceful than walking past the hawkers outside the temples- trying to sell me another batik bag (they wouldn't buy mine back off me when I offered). Then onto pranayama (Hindu temples) which reminded me more of Angkor Watt temples that were four or five temples situated around one main complex. Again steps up each one! So a good workout today ;)

The thing about these temples is that they have been rebuilt due to 'conservation' since the earthquake in 2002(?). So whilst they look
pristine as they once might have, they have been pull apart bit by bit (or excavated in the case of the earthquake) and then labelled and
reput back together. That's one big jigsaw puzzle! Back in the minivan to yogjakarta where we met dutch for dinner at the hotel. We had arranged a massage the previous evening for 9pm tonight - my massage was with hot jasmine oil for 1.5hrs (blissful sigh)...as I was lying there I heard Dutch finish his massage (it was an hr), rustle around and say the fateful words we've been teasing him about ever since "excuse me, may I show you something?". I knew instantly Whiteley and I had the same thought reactions ('it's not THAT kind of massage parlour'), but in dutches defence, he IS a qualified physiotherapist and genuinely wanted to share knowledge. So whiteley and I found ourselves mid way through a physio seminar held by Dutch at 11pm the eve before we have to get up at 7 to go climb a volcano! Classic. Pity the Indonesian boys who did the massages didn't look remoteley Interested. But in thanks the owner gave Dutch a buddha head statue which he is still reluctantly lugging round in his bag, ha ha ha.

Posted by RosiePony 04:53 Archived in Indonesia Tagged java backpacking yogjakarta Comments (1)

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