Long & windy road to Yogyakarta (Jogya)
Trip Start Jun 22, 2012
39Trip End Jul 17, 2012
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With the sound of the waves breaking against the rocks just across the road from my bedroom window, it was time to get up to see the 30 minute sunrise show.
After settling up for my 2 hotel breakfasts: 44,000 Rp (NZ $6 or US $5) each, we were away just before 8 am by private minibus on a long 8 hour journey that covered only some 280 kilometres, such was the state of the main road. I did not believe it was just this short distance but it was.
The main road was in most part just a single lane with pot holes for huge distances. This meant a slow journey but the ever changing scenery made up for this. Patchwork of bottle green rice paddy fields, hills in the background and villages dotted the road side as we drove further east.
A section of the road was under reconstruction. I was surprised that concrete was being laid. Also glad that we must have got the timing right as we drove straight through and had no wait unlike the traffic at the other end.
One of the vans air con played up so this required a 30 min stop for the repair. A shorten lunch stop at a road side diner didn‘t put us much behind schedule. My lunch was a bowl of buntut or beef soup and some nasi putih or plain rice was 31,900 Rp (NZ $4 or US $3).
Yes, with the late afternoon sun and at one of the toilet stops while waiting, I ended up taking photos of the people coming towards me on the scooters - note the helmet or lack there of!
At last after 5 pm - Yogyakarta or commonly known as Jogya or Yogya depending how you want to spell it.
This area is Java's cultural heart. It is a bustling town with batik workshops in the back alleys to the nearby Hindu and Buddhist temples.
The guide books said that 'Yogya' is one of South-East Asia's gems. Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar (Burma), Java’s Borobodur makes rest of south east Asia spectacular sites seems incidental and insignificant. Well, we will see tomorrow …
First after checking in at the Hotel Grand Rosela, dinner was just along the road at Easy Goin. It was easy going and nice: Sego Abang or weedy rice accompanied with rendang beef, lodeh soup - coconut milk and tempe, fried tofu pieces, krupuk - shrimp rice crackers and sambai - homemade chili dip sauce = 45,000 Rp + large Bintang 30,000 Rp and a treat of a banana split to finish dinner off = 25,000 Rp. Grand total of 100,000 Rp - my most expensive dinner so far. NZ $13.70 or a shade over US $10.