Friday, December 16, 2011

Java, Indonesia

After a red eye from Tokyo to Singapore, David (Adrian's friend from UT) and I met up in the Singapore airport for our flight to Yogyakarta, Indonesia.  Funny how we just met a few days ago and after spending non-stop time together you seem as if you've known each other for much longer. Eventually we (Adrian, David & I) all met up and took over the Sheraton, literally. The club lounge for free meals, our personal lagoon, shuttle buses - everybody there was so hospital and awesome.

We explored the city of Yogyakarta where we encountered batik art form, street food and our first of many Bintang (local flavor of beer). The one thing that really struck me and was hard to see -  the blind beggars singing karaoke. It was really sad, reminded me of Slum Dog Millionaire.
Yogyakarta, Indonesia
The island of Java has so much to see, it was hard to choose. The three of us dwindled it down to Borobudur (sneak peak post) and Dieng Plateau.

We hired our ~60 year old ex-gymnast/military taxi driver, Hendrik.  Boy can this guy drive, like a bat out of hell! I don't think words can describe his driving - The horn was the most important part of the vehicle, "warning" all (motorbikes, pedestrians, trucks you name it) that he was passing your ass. He came within inches from other motorbikes many times. I have no idea how there are not accidents every two seconds, the roads are horrible, a gazillion motorbikes and no rules - U-turn anytime you want!  Even in front of three lanes of traffic, nuts!
Hendrik & Me at "Lunch"
3am wake up call for our adventure with Hendrik.  We set out in the pitch black to make it to Borobudur to watch the sunrise. Breathe taking. Don't you agree?

Off to Dieng Plateu. Crazy bumpy drive, no way we were getting much of a nap in.  Lunch at 9am was interesting - especially Indonesian food that early. Another ridiculous food moment, that we were laughed at for, was eating raw cassava chips. Who sells chips that need to be fried still? Overall, it was a really stunning drive and great sights.  At a few of the temples we all said  AAAAAUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM together.
A – Fire, U – Water, M - Oxygen
This day was definitely the most we've all done before noon. 12 hours in a car and this is what you can see:

We all decided to scratch Mt. Bromo and the two 10 hour bus rides that would be required to get us there and then onto Bali. A last minute $50 flight straight to Bali made that decision pretty easy. Java I will be back!

To view the entire album on Picasa:
Java, Indonesia

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