Trip Start Oct 06, 2007
Trip End Apr 06, 2007

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Sunday, March 18, 2007

We've spent the last couple of weeks traveling across Java, exploring its volcanoes, temples and cities. We've covered a lot of ground and here are some of the highlights:

We rode horses and climbed to the top of Gunug Bromo for a whiff of this sulphur spouting active volcano.

In the city of Solo, we got in touch with our inner artists during a one-day batik-making course. It turns out batik is really hard and our struggles were documented on camera for a Malaysia-based travel show. (Speaking of being "on camera" we've been asked so many times to pose as the token white people in photos with vacationing Indonesians that we've decided to start charging 1,000 rupiah for this service.)

Also in Solo, we toured the neighboring villages on bike to learn about the cottage industries of the region: sarong dyeing, tofu processing, gamelan making, rice cracker baking, roof tile pressing, and arak distilling.

Along with the daily commuters and pickpockets, we rode a train for the short 50 kilometers from Solo to Yogyakarta. We were befriended by one of the commuters (who later arranged our transportation to the Dieng Plateau) but later in the trip a pickpocketer also got friendly with Jay's pants. Fortunately, our hero intercepted the potential thief as he was removing his hand from Jay's pocket, and after a small scuffle, the pickpocketer slunk away.

Yogyakarta, affectionately known as Jogja, is actually slightly better known for its cultural offerings than its thieves. The city served as our base of exploration for the temples and countryside of the surrounding area. In one and a half days, we went on a marathon sightseeing expedition, which included the aforementioned Dieng Plateau, as well as the temples of Borobudur and Parambanan.
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