Published: June 8th 2008June 8th 2008
I think this is our last entry. We may find time for one more if there is cheap internet in the airports where we will spend many hours of our live's in the very near future, but maybe not, as we don't get any responses from you anyways, probably you don't even bother to read it anymore..:)) Have some shame people - we are exposing our existances to you on a regular basis, but I hardly have any idea of what is going on in your own lives. And I WANT to know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
( to friends and family:)
Ok, don't panic, you can still redoom yourselves and creat some long and detailed emails to send to my address.
We are in Bali, but will start with Java, both of them are islands of Indonesia as you know, maybe you didn't- I , for example, had no idea where is Java, Sumatra etc were or that they exist. Now I know and can show off my knowledge to ignorant and unknowing people :)))) So everybody - bow and admire me!
Anyways, as I wrote before we made that hideous bus journey from Sumatra to Jakarta which took us around 56
hours (including a 16 hour wait for the bloody bus- we were led to believe that the bus would be there in an hour, but....) Anyway it's quicker, easier, more time saving and often even cheaper to fly the distance, but Steven insisted on the true travelers experience and so we had it. It wasn't that bad, it was worth it for Steven which I was a bit happy about as he didn't want to listen to me when I tried to reason on behalf of flying..:))) Yeah, it was quite a ride- an old, crowded bus , full of local people who smoked all the time (reminded me of China, but luckily they don't have the habit of spitting all overthe place here).
Jakarta didn't seem too special - a big, busy city . We stayed there 2 nights and went to Jogjakarta. Jogjakarta, on the other hand, is a lovely town. The city center is cosy and it's little streets wriggle in different directions. Lots of art , especially batik work. We went to see Borobudur (this big , antient temple, one of the bigest in SEA, but it didn't impress me much, I was more impressed by
the ticket price which, in my opinion was much too high. After 3 days we continued our trip to mount Bromo- nice lovely place and wild setting. We stayed in a hotel overlooking the mountains and went to bed under 2 blankets as it was rather freezing up there. Woke up just after 3am to take a jeep to a view point to see the sunrise. I have never been too impressed by sunrises, but sometimes you've just got to go with the crowd. The view was nice, but I'd prefer to stay in bed and not to freeze in order to witness the sun coming up. But treveling forces you to do things and make pictures and all sorts, so you can give a decent account of your actions and won't be accused of not doing something while you were there....
Anyhow, we left Bromo and took the poshest bus in my life - it was tip top, the upper class of tourist buses, except that we were the only westerners there. It was freezing- as all airconditined buses seem to be- it always puzzles me why they are so determined to freeze their passengers? The good thing was
Dutch colonial era building, Jakarta
This may even be the Dutch East India company warehouse that I read about, but maybe not.
that we were given woollen blankets and pillows, but even then I was feeling very cold for most of our 10 hour journey.
In the morning we were in Bali, heading to a lovely (by discription given in the book) black sand beach place called Lovina. The sand was lovely, but the place rather touristy and ... I don't know what exactly, but I just didn't dig that place. And one very disturbing thing that helped in making the decision to leave the town the very next morning were touts... Everybody wants to sell you someting to offer their services which are usually unbelievebly cheap( that's what they say)...You can't even move 50 or even less meters without somebody coming up to you. We went to the beach, Steven went swimming and I just sat there with my book, 5 min later I discovered that there are 5 people sitting around with different things to sell. But I thought'"I don't want to buy anything I want to READ! That's why I'm not in a shop looking through things, that's why I'm on a beach with my book!!!" It's an uneasy feeling as people are so desperate, you can see it
in their eyes, there are not that many tourists around, but competition is huge so they try as har as they can and you can really get a lot of nice things very cheaply (if you bargin). And they all said that I must by from them- something for their good luck. In those situations I feel very uncomfortable- I can't save everybody, I don't have enough money to buy something from each and every one of them and, most importantly, I have no need for all those things they're offering.
We left the next day and went to a rather nice place- Amed (we got a recommendation for that place from a lady in Sumatra who runs her own guesthouse). We splashed out us well, got a lovely bungalow- a 2 floor, spacious building with your own bathroom and big terrace and swimming pool next to it for 10$- it was a bargin as they are short of tourists. The place was smaller than Lovina, more deserted and with far less touts. The black sand beach is very nicce and the water was so clear. Also a great place for snorkelling right of the coast. Yet again, every time
we went to eat somewhere or stoped for a longer time, we were approched by locals with the same money earning look, saying that they are out of work and that they can drive us to our next destination- very cheap - NOT! And if you argue that it's not cheap they will say that the price of oil has gone up recently (which is true) and therefor everything is more expensive (which is true as well), but they don't realize that we've been traveling in their country already for a month and we know the prices (even though we are probably ripped off when we think we pay local rates)
Bali, by the way, is completely different from Java and Sumatra. To start with it's a Hindu region, also more touristy and a bit more expensive.
After Amed we went to Lombok, another island of Indonesia, by what I had heard before - a gorgeous place! We went to a smaller island off Lombok called Gili Trawangan or something like that. We found cheap , nice bungalows away from the main part. It was so nice, the place was remote, not many other people a bit wild and beautiful.
In the village (that's the name of the center of the island) there were lots of accomodation, bars, shops, all made up to attract tourists- very neat and with imagination, but I had not even the slightest wish to be there or spend my time there. .. Am I getting old?
5 days went by and we had to leave, actually I was ready to leave, and I was suprised about that, as I imagined it would be the other way around. We are in Ubud now (another place in Bali), arrived yesterday from Lombok. It's nice, lots of shops and temples, even houses are like little temples. I like it. People put little offerings on the pavement every morning and burn inscense and they have very traditional clothes.
one more day here and then we leave to Kuta to meet our friend Pavel from Russia and then on 12th of June board our first plane back home...
There are more photos below