Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Apr 29, 2007

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Wednesday, September 6, 2006

04.20 Mosque awakening was a bit irratating as we had to get up at 7 for our train journey... The first class seat was well worth the money - very pleasant journey. Although the air con was a bit extreme, like a meat chiller! Met a 17yo kiddy at the station, on his way to college, who like many other Indonesians just came up and made conversation, just to say thanks for visiting the place.

In Jogja we found a very cheap room (75p each, en-suite!) it wasn't until a couple of hours later we realised it was right by a mosque... grrrrrr!!!!

The local area is a maze of tiny streets that make Brighton's Lanes look like mororways! Quite interesting to walk around, but we did get sucked in to viewing a Batik Art Gallery, was OK though - they showed us the process and didnt push too hard for us to buy anything... As with elsewhere in Indonesia there is a big lack of tourists (more than Sumatra though) Part of the problem is due to a massive earthquake that hit the area in May this year, killing over 5000 people and creating about 200,000 homeless. We have it lucky in the UK, but its scared tourists off...

People here are friendly but in a Bangkok sort of way - ie they want to take us somewhere, make us buy something or generally get money off us! Suppose they've got to make a living though... There's even Bangkok style lies about places being shut.... And so many ruddy Batik Art galleries!!! Its OK now though, they know us so leave us alone except to talk about football!!

Walked around some museums and the sultans palace, but it was all a bit rubbish, seen MUCH better elsewhere - lucky they were cheap... Got a bit frustrating walking around the virtual maze, especially as "friendly" people tried to help us out, but their directions lead to..... yep you've guessed it - Batik Art Galleries!!!!!

Next day the 4.30 mosque awakening wasn't altogether unwelcome as we had a tour at 5am!! Fist stop Borobudur, the largest monument in the Southern hemisphere, and the biggest Buddhist temple in the world.. All about the path to enlightenment, which was just what we needed. On the tour bus with a couple of Dutch girls, who seemed pretty nice, but we couldnt work out which side they played for....

Then a huge Hindu temple, Prambanam - Also impressive, but unfortunately the recent earthquake has destroyed many of the temples, and rendered others too dangerous to get near - so we had to view from afar. Only took an hour to look round, but had to wait for half hour due to Friday prayer time for our tour guide!

Needed a hearty lunch after that early start, so found a Padang restaurant - we know a (very) few Indonesian words now, so managed to get Rendang, Eggs and rice - was well tasty and only 75p each - much cheaper eating in locals places.... That meal would cost about 2 quid elsewhere! And Rat says it was his favourite meal on Java! (So much so we ate their again the next day)

In Yogya the done thing is to go to classical dance and puppet shows, but we thought balls to that and went to pub with a Rolling Stones tribute band! Full of Indonesian men, but rat did get a bit of interest from one of the few local ladies....
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