Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pangandaran/Jogyakarta, Bromo, Ijen

Indonesia is an amazing coutry with equally amzing people. I am enjoying myself so much here. My visa runs out next week and i am looking to extend it a month. Actually, if you told me i had to spend my entire trip here, it would be a real treat

The place is hot, damn hot, and muggy (it is rainy season). It hits 30C before I fifnish breakfast. The rain comes most days, a few times a day. That being said, it is just a variable, along with no easy train/bus info, squat toilets , cold showers, really lousy bread, etc. All these things can be workded around. I have been to the mountains a few times and the drop of 5C is worht the work to get there. Everyone can help you get to where you want to go, either as hostel support of local tourism.You take a bus/shuttle/car/moto/train somewhere. for a few bucks, someone picks you up where you are staying.

Whie I genrally like to be my own support staff, this place is just so social and inter-connected that I am enjoying the different way to get things done. I am spending about $32 a day for food, lodging, beer and including transport and the guided and non-guided tours.

Breakfast is usualy in the losmen , homestay of hostel. Lunch a steet stall or resto and same for supper, which runs to $2.50 without a drink.

Local Buses and trains are a riot. As many people selling food and services as customers, and they all change every stop or so, so are continually inter-acting with these people, who are basically polite about their business. I enjoy moving about this country a lot. I smile,say hello or laugh with people 40-50 times a day and it is addictive. When you get in a public spot, like a temple, like Eva from Germany says, it is like being Madonna, surrounded by people who want to talk to you, take pictures with you. It really is a heart-warming culture

You give an Indonesian a smile, you get a bigger one back.

Been busy with sports and cultural, a few volcanoes, rivers, plantations parks, temple sites, beaches, day hikes, mucho hours on a moto. The traffic here is intense. No way a description or photo does it justice. It is not as intense a India, but in the same ballpark. Really need to follow the rules whne xrossing lanes of traffic that splay all over the roadways:

Walk, don't run. Don't stop

Traffic will flow around you. Honest. Believe it. You have to believe ro never cross a street.

Been way more social than usual, as the backpackers crowd tends to hit the same places and between the tourist attractions and bars, you keep hanging out with a flowing group of 10-15 people that changes as the towns change. Facebook is the common language, which is why I bought a for, for the wifi connections that exist everywhere and people post and comment like CDNs text all day. I have to work a bit to get time to myself and get things done like reading and this blog. I use


What a week, nice little surf town, great place to stay (Panorama), lots of new friends, a few nights at the beach bars being silly, a jungle walk (the pic is from a swim...stunning view), a tour thru the kampung (local villages), coconut farms, a day of canyoning with some big jumps and of course, surfing. An amazing week all around.


Another amazing week, the little backpacker section of the city is all little alleyways maybe 6 feet wide, no vehicles. You can get anything you want without leaving, sleep, eat, drink, laundry, internet. The tours around include Borobador and Prambanan, plus the Merapi volcano. Did all of this, but no luck with a view on the volcano. Also finally got a phone, as wifi is everywhere but internet shops not so much. The train to Jogja was a riot.


Bromo is the crater everyone goes to see when travelling from JogJa to Bali. With the Merapi washout, we also went to Ijen...a most stunning place with guys digging sulphur out of the volcano crater and hauling it up. We live in a funny world.

Stunning amount of bussing it takes to get this done. 12 hrs to Bromo, 8 to Ijen and another 8 to Bali. Current medical report has a heat rash on my ass, a rash from climbing Merapi in the rain with sandals and a foot infection (small abrasion canyoning, exacerbated by leash on surf board and the volcano hike, no way to deal with in 3 days of bussing) and voila...now holed up in Denpasar, Bali with antibiotics. No surfing, no beer. Catching up on things which is good.

Indonesian Hospital...in and out in one hour with doctor appt, cleanup and meds..all for $40. Sweet.

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