Published: July 23rd 2010June 1st 2010
The road to and from Borobudur was the challenging part...we arrived into Jakarta airport ready to go get our indo visa's with credit card in hand when the officer said no credit card....everything I had read that it was that you could now pay by credit card...maybe just in bali anyway I was accompanied to the ATM to withdrawal some cash so we could pay....it only took a few mins to get the payment and then we were well underway to customs....this is where it took a little longer....scanning finger prints and get the photo take....then the third degree where are you onwards tickets from Indonesia, why don't you have a copy....we explain we are travelling for six months and have taken over 15 flights and have never had a copy with us of onwards journey...turning on the computer to see if I can get internet and show him the confirmation just as it loads he says ok you can go don't worry....grrrr.
We make our way over and get our bags that are the last ones left there and ask a air asia staff member which terminal we need to go to...is it open all the important questions....so we
get a ride down to the other airport even though this one is open the other one is too and has a star bucks (free internet) its about half after midnight when we get to the terminal and no its not open...we can go in to use the toilet however we can't bring our bags in as they have no scanner working....so we end up sleeping on the tiles outside the door for departures (the airport is brand new clean and the tiles are white and well polished however still not my favorite place to sleep!) By 2am I was a getting so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open and I layed down to have a sleep...but getting comfortable enough was hard I eventually slept for about an hour and when I woke up Mike was asleep sitting on a luggage trolley (his choice however he looked mighty uncomfortable.) so after waking up and packing away my silk sleeping bag and putting on my jumper as I was cold (I know its 26oC at night how the hell am I cold) we can see movement inside....they ended up letting us in about 20mins early only to be left sitting
wondering how long it would be for the airasia staff to come they made it about an hour later and we checked in went through got breakfast and then waited for the flight to leave for Yogyakarta we finally made it and were happy to see the sign for us upon arrival and made our way out to get the car to the hotel....its hot already but the aircon in the car is good and I soon fall asleep in the back of the car making the trip alot quicker than 1hour 20mins.
Once we get to the hotel we checking and go to have a sleep....its difficult and not really happening so we end up giving up on that idea and soon get up have a snack and make our way up to the temple thinking we will just have a little look around and four hours later we were still there....Middle of the afternoon its hot and uncomfortable but this place is amazing and so interesting that time gets away from us as we walk around we are impressed with the carvings that surround us in all directions the stupa's and buddha's. I was approached by many
kids and ladies wanting photo's with me....I should have started to charge people per photo haha. We head back down to the hotel and sit around appreciating what we have seen and read about the place that we just experienced in the book that they have left in the room on the bed....watch the media show they have on the t.v and learn all about it. We relax at the hotel for the afternoon and night.
This is my understanding of the story of Borobudur it was built over 1000 years ago and it was a pilgrimage site for many people they travelled there by boat, horse and foot covering hills, streams and a lot of land.
They found the temple and started to restore it as there was damage from many earthquakes this is common at the surrounding areas is four major volcano's (one that is still active) and a hill range that looks a bit like a man sleeping.
As most temples there is four entrances the north,east,south and west and you enter through the East gate as tradition would have it the pilgrims would have walked around clockwise on each level a different amount
of times depending on what the gallery contained...a gallery is made up of rows of reliefs on either side some will have one row and others will have two rows on each side so you can have up to four rows on reliefs which mean four circles to meditate on each level of reliefs one at a time.
In the reliefs are different types of teachings...meaningful animal stories to teach you about greed, deceit and many other things.
one of these that I remember the most would be...
There is a monkey sitting in the rain shivering and the bird looks down from his nest and says 'why didn't you build a house in summer to keep you warm and dry like I did' this made the monkey mad so he destroyed the birds nest and so they both sat in the cold rain shivering.
They would say the meaning here is 'Its sometimes better to help than convort'
The other types of stories are stories of the incarnations of the buddha and also the story of buddha's life. It really was rather interesting for me the buddha was born and could walk straight away
and as he walked lotus flowers appeared below his feet they new he was special and from then on he had many challenges one day he met a sick man, old man, poor man and a Monk and on meeting the Monk he realised that the Monk didn't need anything he was never worried about money, food or dying at this point he decided he wanted to leave the palace and live the simple life....the king tried to stop him many different ways he got many women to come and offer to look after him in anyway he desired. The king couldn't convince him and one night he escaped.
His new life was lead as a Monk would live and he continued his journey eventually one day sitting under the boute tree he developed into the state of Nirvana (total peace) and he then became a real Buddha.
Basically that is the state/stage these pilgrims want to get to by coming here to borobudur-Nirvana when you continue your walk up the levels you finally come to the archway where you walk through the mouth of Karla, walking through this archway all of your distractions, negativity etc is removed
from your mind by Karla and as you approach the next level you are to pass by over 72 small stupa's containing buddha's and one large one that is empty, The lower stupa's have diamond shape holes and the upper stupa's have square holes something to do with square being perfect....on the upper level on the east side the first stupa on the right has a special buddha inside that you are to make a wish and then touch its hand through the holes and the wish will come true....this in the past used to be for the blessing to have children however no people just wish for whatever they choose! On reaching the top the pilgrims would sit and you have reached complete nirvana.
On the morning that I chose to go up to the temple for the sunrise at 4.30am it was warm and very dark as I walked up with everyone to the temple its slowly changing colour and the sky becomes the midnight blue I got a few shots with the low light but really wish I had my tripod to make things easier....I walked around filling totally in awe and focused on what was
happening and the quiet. The sunset slowly rose and I can see three volcano's the active on is smoking away...as the sunrises between the two volcano's at the lowest point...a perfect glow its stunning! The whole morning is magical as there is a mist everywhere in the valley below but the sky is perfect I walk around enjoying the temple and all it has to offer in much cooler weather and quieter place than the other day when I was here...although I did still get many photo's taken of me....and the asked for my facebook details.
So we just hung out at this hotel for a few days as we have booked our tickets to bali we fly there direct a bit earlier than orginally planned...on our last day we checked with a couple of girls that were at the hotel if they were returning to Jogjakarta that day lucky for us they were and they were happy to split the cost of a car so we did that...only thing was we had to wait at the airport for the next 6hours a slow and long wait terrible,terrible afternoon the slowest we have had in a long time. These
two girls are a lovely couple and we share great conversations on the way to the airport and when we arrive we put our bags into storage and soon it starts to rain its a real tropical storm and within ten mins the flooding is pretty bad! While waiting I do start to wonder if there will be delays....soon there is some and I think we should be safe...we wait with nothing to do for hours and hours and eventually go inside and then wait some more....the best thing inside was the very bad reception on the t.v that was televising one of the games of the world cup.
We eventually made it to bali and came through the airport in record time....we got to the hotel and there was a major storm with thunder, lightening but no rain!
There are more photos below