Je bekijkt de reis...
24 november 2014
The flight from Singapore to Jakarta went very smooth. The Air France airplane took me to my destination in 1:30 minutes. I collected my luggage and went to the bus terminal were I met Joost and Noortje. They didn't book a hostel so they decided to follow me to my hostel. I checked in at Six Degrees Hostel and went out for dinner with Joost and Noortje. I scanned the menu and there it was: the peanut sauce section "back home I love to eat peanut sauce with almost everything :)". I ordered some chicken with the sauce and enjoyed every bite. We went back to the hostel and drank a couple of beers on the rooftop bar. We got in touch with two other Dutch girls: Diede and Marie Claire and talked about what to do the next day. Around 1:00 am everybody was tired and went to bed. I was still on the rooftop with three drunken Schottische people.
The two guy's were blasting rock music out of the speaker and jumping all over the place. I was chatting with a Schottische woman that was trying to sit still on a bench. At some point she lost her balance and fell backwards on the ground. The guy's picked her up and luckily she was okay. At this point the guys asked me to be the DJ and I started to "spin some plates". The guy's were getting very energetic with the selected music and grabbed broomsticks to pretend if they were playing the electric guitar. They also got the woman involved which they were dragging around the dance floor like a mannequin. It was around 3:00 am when they were out of energy and said goodbye to each other. I was walking away when they started singing the same phrase over and over again: "You ain't much if you ain't Dutch!"... Welcome to Indonesia Erik :).
I woke up the next morning around 10:00 am and went for breakfast at the hostel. I met up with all the Dutch people from the night before and one German girl (Anne). We all went to the national monument were you had a nice view over the city. We grabbed a taxi to Fatahillah Square were we ate something and walked around. The final stop was the Pasar Ikan area. This is an old harbor fully packed with old cargo ships. Joost and I climbed on one of the cargo ships and got an impression on what was going on over there. Later we all took a small boat and sailed through the harbor. The captain dropped us off at the suburbs were we walked around for some minutes. We went out for dinner at the backpackers area and went back to the hostel again. We chilled on the rooftop again before getting to bed.
Bogor and Bandung
The next morning Joost, Noortje and I took a train ride to Bogor to see the botanical gardens. We were walking to the gardens with our luggage in temperatures reaching over 30 degrees and we're getting fed up with carrying it around. We walked by a luxurious hotel and went in "with our fingers crossed" to ask if it was okay to store our luggage. I walked out the hotel empty handed and with a smile on my face. We walked around the botanical garden for an hour and enjoyed the nature. For the locals we "white people" we're the biggest attraction. Everyone wanted to take a picture with us... At some point we were actually getting off the main road to avoid the locals. We picked up our luggage and went with a minivan-taxi to the bus station and got on a six hours bus ride from Bogor to Bandung. We arrived at Bandung were it was pouring rain. So we wanted to grab a taxi to the Hunny Hostel.
We got off the bus and asked a cabdriver to bring us to the hostel. I looked in the cab and there was no registration equipment inside the taxi..."Discovery channel: Scam City: No registration equipment means don't get in the cab and look for one that does..." We were looking for a official cab but could not find one... So back to the unofficial cabdriver. I asked him how much it would cost to the hostel, he charged us 100.000 Rupiah (€6,50) which is way to expensive for Indonesia standards. We said no and went on to the next taxi and so did the cabdriver... As soon as we asked the next driver how much it would cost, the previous driver would yell to him that he had to charge us 100.000 Rupiah... And so he did. The same ritual happened another time so we walked away from the bus station and found a minivan-taxi for 50.000 Rupiah. Still to much but at least 50% "cheaper". After a lot of hassle he dropped us off near the hostel.
We checked in the hostel that was totally abandoned and went to a food market. We ate some nice local food in a steamboat (comparable to hotpot). After dinner we walked around and got into a rock bar with live music. It felt if I was on the rooftop bar of the Six Degrees again, only this time without drunken Schottische people. We drank a beer and went back to the hostel. We looked at the movie Cops before going to bed.
In the morning we decided to go to Ciater Hot Springs. We asked the owner of the hostel how much it would cost to get there. He told us around 20.000 Rupiah each and that a minivan-taxi is around 3.000 Rupiah a ride for tourists... We jumped on a public bus but he was stopping at every street corner and was not making any ground. We got off the bus at some point and grabbed a minivan-taxi to Lembang. From Lembang we sat in the back of a pickup truck, not the safes way to travel but very cool :). We chilled out in the Ciater Hot Springs and wanted to go back to the hostel again. We grabbed a minivan-taxi to Lembang. When we arrived in Lembang the driver jumped out of his seat and stood in front of the only exit for us "here we go again"...
Driver: "Okay this is your stop, you have to pay 50.000 Rupiah each". Joost: "Sir, we already know that the normal price for tourist is 3.000 Rupiah each... But we will pay you 10.000 in total". Driver: "No, you will pay 50.000 Rupiah each". At the same time something snaps in Joost and my head. The discussion got pretty tense. At some point the guy in the passage seat told the cabdriver to back off because he was not gonna get the money he was asking for. The driver grabbed the 10.000 Rupiah out off Joost his hands, we got off the minivan-taxi and he drove off. Victory for the Dutch :).
We grabbed another minivan-taxi to Bandung. During the ride it started to rain very hard and the streets were turning into fast flowing rivers. Luckily we were nice and dry in a minivan-taxi. In the evening we went out for dinner and to a jazz bar. There was live music and the atmosphere was great. At the end the owner of the bar offered us a free ride home, which was very friendly of her of course.
The next morning we wanted to go to the bus station just outside the center. We wanted to grab a official cab so we walked to the Hilton Hotel just around the corner. The guy at the door told us we could call a taxi but he also had a own service which would be better for us. I asked him how much it would cost, he replied with: "120.000 Rupiah"... I told him to just call a official taxi. 45 minutes later we were dropped off at the bus station for just 40.000 Rupiah. We hopped on a bus that brought us to Pangandaran seven hours later. We checked in at Bale'ku hostel were we had a little bamboo hut next to a pond. The owners wife prepared a lovely dinner for us with chicken sate and some other local food. We chilled on the terrace and drank a couple of beers before going to bed.
The next morning we decided to join a full day tour on a scooter (without helmets) through plantation, the Green Valley and the Green Canyon. Another Dutch couple Bart and Jelleke from Bale'ku joined the same tour. We drove over dirt roads through plantations and the guide was telling us what they we're growing. At some point Noortje almost fell with her scooter but luckily she could correct herself. After a while we arrived at the Green Valley were we went swimming in a fast flowing river without a life jacket... The first part went pretty smooth until we reached a little waterfall.
Noortje jumped off the rock but didn't get far enough, she was trapped and being sucked under several times because of the waterfall. At the same time the guide and Joost jumped in the water to rescue Noortje. The guide was able to pull Noortje and himself out pretty easy, but now Joost was stuck and being pulled under several times. Another guide from a different group jumped in the water to rescued Joost, luckily he did it successfully. It was a scary moment but at the end we got off the river safely.
The water in the Green Canyon had gotten to high and we were not allowed to enter it anymore. Instead of the Green Canyon the guide took us to the Natural park of Pangandaran. We walked around and saw a lot of wildlife (monkey's, deers, squirrels and a Komodo dragon). At some point the guide saw a big vine, he jumped in it and was acting like Tarzan. Joost also gave it a try, only he is a bit more heavy then the guide. While he was in the air the vine broke of and he landed flat on his back. He stayed on the ground for a while to recover from the blow but he was okay. We ended up at a beautiful white beach with a lot of monkey's before getting back to Bale'ku. It was a fun, exhausting day with a lot of experiences.
The couples and I planned to go to the beach the next day and join a surfing lesson. We first relaxed in a hang mat before getting the necessary information. After a warming up it was time to get in the water and give it a try. It was very hard to stand up but sometimes I was able to stay on my feet for a couple of seconds. The lesson lasted three hours and we were completely exhausted after it. We went back to Bale'ku and had a nice dinner once again. After a beer I packed my bags and was ready to leave the next morning.
My alarm went of at 6:30 am, at 7:30 am we were picked up by a car that would take us to Borobudur temple and Yogyakarta. It took us eighth hours to reach the Borobudur. The temple looked beautiful and the sun was setting down what made it even more stunning. I was walking around on the top of the temple when I saw a man with a white polo with the words Mars Incorporate on his chests. I had a short chat with him and he explained me that he was from the Indonesian marketing team. He was guiding a group of other Mars Dubai associates that were on a visit in Indonesia. What a coincidence to run into people from the company were I worked for 5,5 years.
After Borobudur I checked in at EDU hostel at Yogyakarta and chatted with Jurjen and Niels before going out for dinner with the two couples. We sat down at a bar after wards when all of a sudden the police came storming in. The music went off and all eyes were on the policemen. They ran to the back of the bar and arrested three guys that didn't resisted... As soon as the police was gone, they turned on the music and acted if nothing happened. We stayed in the bar for another hour and went back to the hostel to catch some sleep.
The next morning I joined Bart and Jelleke to go to Pranmadam temple. We went with a public bus and entered the temple facility. A guy in college clothing walked up and told me that he wanted to guide us around. The only thing we needed to do was to write a review for his teacher. He showed us around for a while and gave us a lot of information. At the end of the trip we gave him some feedback but in general he did an great job. We went back to Yogyakarta and met up with Jurjen, Joost and Noortje. We ate something and walked through the famous Malioboro street. We went to the same pub as the night before and drank some beers once again.
Today was gonna be a relaxing and traveling day. I walked around Yogyakarta for a while and went back to the hostel. In the evening (20:15) we were traveling to Malang by train to visit the Bromo volcano. We booked a last minute tour and we would be picked up with a jeep from the train station at 4:00 am. The driver would show us around and bring us back again. We all jumped on the same train to Malang in the evening and tried to get some sleep for an exhausting day.
I slept for two hours maximum and got of the train at Malang. Our guide (that could not speak English) was waiting for us outside of the train stations. The sun started to rise while we were driving towards Bromo. After an two hours drive we arrived at a valley that was cover by mist and a sun just above it, beautiful. We drove down into the mist to get to a lookout point over Bromo. It had a real mysteries look because we could not see where we were going... We only saw other jeeps and horses going the other direction but luckily our guide knew were to go. We arrived at the lookout one hour later and were amazed by the beauty of the view. While we were up the mist started to faith away and we made our decent to the foot of Bromo. We climbed up to the edge of the volcano and looked down into the crater. Unfortunately you couldn't see the lava because of all the smoke but it was still nice. The guide brought us to an nice looking waterfall as last stop and drove off to the airport...
I've been traveling together with Joost and Noortje the last 10 days and now they were flying back home again. I had a really good time and a lot of experiences with them. We said goodbye to each other and promised to meet each other again in the future.
Jurjen and I booked a Best Western Hotel to get a nice shower and a good night sleep. We arrived at the hotel and had some troubles checking in because they could not speak any English at the reception. After 20 minutes of discussion we were finally allowed to go into our room. We ate some food just around the corner and went back to the hotel. When I was back in the room it started to rain and thunder. At some point the lightning hit the hotel and scared the hack out of me. Luckily nobody got hurt and nothing got damaged. In the evening we ate some food down the road and drank some beers with Bart and Jelleke.
We hired a motorbike for a day and drove to a nearby town called Batu. Jurjen his grandpa was stationed here after the Second World War. We found the building pretty simple and looked around for a while. We drove off to another small town called Punten that had a lot of farming going on. Around 16:00 we drove back to Malang and took a ice cold dive in the swimming pool. We went back to the restaurant around the corner and ate some nice food once again. Bart and Jelleke joint us for a drink on the rooftop bar of our hotel before going to bed.
In the morning we drove to a restaurant named Toko OEN. They have Dutch food so I ordered a kroket with mustard :). It didn't taste anything like our kroket but it was nice anyway. In the afternoon we ate some food at the restaurant around the corner of our hotel and went to the train station. We got on the train towards Banyuwani at 15:00 and sat down with four Indonesian people. One of them could speak good English and he explained me a lot of Indonesia culture and way of living... Always nice to get some information from locals! Jurjen and I got of the train at Karangasem around 22:00 and walked to Kampung Osing Inn. We checked in and relaxed for a bit before going to bed.
Jurjen and I decided to hire a motorbike and drive through Banyuwani. There wasn't much to see so we explored the road towards the Ijen volcano. We planed to climb the volcano during night time so we could see the blue fire at the crater. We bought some flashlights and supplies at the supermarket and prepared ourselves. In the evening we ate some bakso (soup with meatballs) and went to bed for a power nap.
My alarm went off at 23:45 and we jumped on the motorbike for a 30 kilometer ride to the foot of the Ijen volcano. We were five kilometers under way when it started to rain very heavily. Visibility was poor and roads became fast flowing rivers. I succeeded to drive us safely to the foot of the volcano in 1:30 hours. Our pants were soaked but luckily it was dry on the top and they had a big bonfire. We started to walk to the top of the volcano and met a sulfite miner named Achmed. The miners carry 80 to 120 kilograms of sulfite a trip and do this three times a day. I carried his empty basket for a while... I was equally struggling with only five kilograms on my shoulders. Deep respect for those guy's.
At some point I started to sing a song for Achmed: "Achmed is the man olé olé, Achmed is the man olé olé, Achmed is the man, Achmed is the man, Achmed is the man olé olé". He had a smile on his face from ear to ear and now started to take the lead. Achmed: "one, two, three, four. Achmed is the man olé olé, Achmed is the man olé olé, Achmed is the man, Achmed is the man, Achmed is the man olé olé". He did it a couple of times and before we knew it we were on the top of the volcano.
Now the hardest part of our trip was about to begin: The decent to the crater of the volcano. Achmed was taking the lead and brought us safely to the blue fire in 30 minutes time. The conditions were very good, the smoke was blowing away from us and the fire was clearly visible. We took some photos and walked around when the wind started to turn all of a sudden. We covered our faces and got away from there as soon as possible. A lot of people weren't fast enough and they were coughing pretty heavily. We reached the top of the volcano and looked for a nice spot to watch the sunrise. The sun came up and we could finally see the beauty of the volcano. We stayed on the edge of the volcano for a while before heading back to our hostel. It was 7:30 am when my face hit my pillow after an amazing trip.
I woke up around 11:00 and ate some breakfast. I was still tired from the trip so I wasn't planning to do a lot today. I drove through Banyuwani with the motorbike and bought some beers at the supermarket. The rest of the day I used for writing my blog.
I just opened up a nice ice cold beer to celebrate my successful stay on Java. Tomorrow I'm going to Bali were I will meet my brother at the 29th of November. Another friend (Bas) is also joining in a week later! It's gonna be awesome.
24 november 2014 12:58 | Door: Els
Wat een schitterend verslag Erik. Ik zie het allemaal voor me.
24 november 2014 20:35 | Door: Wim
Hi Erik, hartstikke leuk verslag en wat een ervaringen om nooit meer te vergeten.
25 november 2014 16:08 | Door: els vilten
zo wat een lekker lang verslag zeg , ik heb weer erg genoten.
let goed op jezelf en geniet van de komst van je broer en vriend , maar wel schrijven en foto's maken hoor.
groetjes els vilten