Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
Trip End Nov 01, 2005

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Day: 11
Date: 9/20/05

Hey all. im in Bali now! it is everything the postcards say (show)! never-ending white sand beaches, perfect wave, friendly people, the works!

OK, back up.. Last post was from Yoga, I didnt get to hike Mt Marapi the active volcano i wanted to because the tour was canceled. i guess it worked out for the best though, because it was really cloudy anyway, and the visibility would have been terrible. Instead, i left a day early towards East Java. I did a tour of Mt. Bromo instead. By chance, there is a major ceremony once a year - for only one day - and that was the day i was there. the travel group consisted of a 2 Austrians, 2 Dutch, a Brit and myself. It was definitely a pretty chill group and we had a great time together. (everyone spoke English of course)

The trip to the mountain was more of the same.. slow, dirty uncomfortable, hot, and sleepless - but was made much better by good company. We left Yoga at 2pm and got to the town at the top of the volcano plateau where the tour starts at 1am the next morning, the jeep tour then began at 3am - so we could get to the top by sunrise - so we all managed a few hours of sleep before we went. i say jeep tour - and since i used to be touchy on this subject i should rephrase - "land cruiser tour" I swear that half of the remaining old land cruisers left exist on this mountain. it's pretty much all they drive and there were hundreds if not thousands of them. Anyway, the sunrise was spectacular (see photo album). it's hard to tell if we were luck to be there on the day we were or not.. because of the once-a-year ceremony there were tons of people there whereas it usually only has a very small amount.

I though LA had bad traffic, but this was ridiculous! the trail up to the peak is a single lane 4wd road that can easily fit two cars side by side but not much more. after sunrise everyone wanted to get down, naturally, and since myself and others took so much time taking pictures we were some of the last to leave. we got about half a mile down the 2 mile road only to hit bumper to bumper traffic. the problem, it turns out, was that at the very bottom a few people were still trying to get up to the top. so for the last 100 yards traffic as going the wrong direction. instead of the few people at the bottom turning around to let everyone else off the mountain they kept inching up and up making the problem much worse. anyway, i could tell that this was an all day ordeal and tried to convince everyone else that it would be far better if we simply walked all the way back to the hotel (roughly 5 miles). the only one i convinced was the British guy and we set off down hill and across the desert caldera.

we made it back to town by 10am and had beer in hand not much later. slowly by the end of the day cruisers started to filter back into town, but nowhere near the hundreds that were still stuck on the mountain side. who knows what happened to the rest of our group. they had no food, no water, and little shade. luckily we exchanged emails so i cant wait to hear about how they faired.

John, the British guy, and i then took a bus across the rest of Java to a ferry to Bali, and here we are. we spent the whole day yesterday getting beaten to death by the waves trying to surf. i rented a board for the next two days for a few bucks so im gonna just hang out here for a while and play :-) hopefully today is less painful!

well, that's all for now. hope you all are good.


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