Day 72- Mt Bromo and Beyond

Trip Start Aug 23, 2009
Trip End May 23, 2010

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Thursday, November 5, 2009

The other day we left Bali for Mt. Bromo.  It is 1 of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia.  It took us about 12 hours by bus and ferry to reach central Java.  Mt Bromo was beautiful.  It had sulfur gas rising out of it with an huge dormant volcano right next to it to making it seem very cerebral.  On our way there we meet a guy named Don who was a retired professional photographer/journalist who was traveling and still doing research about numerous topics.  He was on his way to observe the local village people of Mt Bromo who he had been studying over 40 years.  His generosity was overwhelming.  He guided us up and down the volcano, took us on sunrise and sunset hikes, invited us to a local ceremony celebrating their ancestors, and let us have breakfast at a local tribes family were they used an open fire to cook for us.  Mt Bromo was spectacular (especially the sunrise) but Don made it a very memorable experience for us.  THANKS DON!!!

When we left Mt Bromo Don assisted us in hiring a local to give us a ride to Jogjakarta.  The trip is about 400 to 450 km or about 10 hours due to there not being any highways.  The first thing I noticed was the honking.  It seems as though these guys honk their horns every 10.seconds.  The second thing was their ability to pass.  They passed other vehicles on both sides of the road.  They used the shoulder and passed in no passing zones.  They even passed vehicles when motorbikes were coming the other way because they expected them to scoot over.  The third thing I noticed was the motorbikes.  There were as many motorbikes as cars and they drove on both sides of the road.  Several times I also noticed a family of 4 on one scooter.  What was most shocking was that some parents had helmets on while their 6 month old and 3 year old didn’t wear anything.  This wasn’t just a regular stroll in the park either.  Cars, trucks, and other motorbikes were flying, honking, swerving everywhere.  I would have to guess there are many fatalities throughout Indonesia.  The forth thing I observed and probably the most crazy was the accident we got in.  All three of us were sleeping and all of the sudden we woke up to hitting the person in front of us, then quickly felt the truck behind us, hit us.  I thought we were going to pull over to asses the situation but soon realized that we quickly kept going as though nothing happened.  Our driver explained to us that he would rather ignore the situation then have to deal with the cops.  This isn’t my country so I didn’t know if that was the norm or if he was just participating in a hit and run but I didn’t want to stop either so we proceeded to our destination.  The trip was a total cost of $35 for all three of us.  With $20 spent on gas our diver profited $15 for just over 10 hours worth of work.  He seemed happy and so were we. 

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