Across Java

Trip Start Mar 01, 2006
Trip End Dec 01, 2007

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Saturday, September 30, 2006

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The night train. I had bought comfort in a first class train, in order to have a good night's rest... I ended up sleeping only a couple of hours, even though it was great to have a large seat to sleep in (fairly uncommon for the past few months).

Air con and TV, a meal served for feast break. The TV cast was a succession of very poor english movies, interrupted by commercials and indonesian songs, which I have to qualify as quite poor too.

Arrived in Surabaya at 6am. The sunrise during the last hour in the train was glorious. A white mist was covering the country side, the yellow disc slowly rising through but without dissipating it.
A huge dark shadow was emerging from the south. I suppose it was Mt Arjuna, which peaks over 3300m.
As the humidity saturated air was warming up, the fields and trees started to give a shape to the still short horizon. This world was showing up little by little, and that was just a perfect morning. I could only hope to have the same at Mt Bromo.

Surabaya is the main city of east Java. I bought my ticket to Probolingo, which is further east on the way to Bali, and the drop off station for MtBromo.
Among the many asking me where I wanted to go and trying to help me, a man introduced himself as studying french, and asked if he could practise his conversation skills. I asked him to take me to a place with good coffee, and we had a deal. The guy was nice, speaking well, and we had a good time with other indonesians at a small cofee and tea wooden shack on the street.

He proposed me javanese cofee, which I immediately accepted, even not knowing what it would be,at the condition that there would be no sugar in it.
"Java Cofee" powder is a clear brown in color. They put at least 2cm of it in a glass, then filled with boiling water. Up to there, nothing new. But then, and they do that with tea as well, you have to pour the coffee in the small plate under the glass, let it cool down for a minute or two, and drink it from the plate. Good cofee, and pouring and drinking it from the plate offers two advantages: the coffee in your glass is boiling hot, and stays hot, so you always drink the coffee at the righ temperature in the fast-cooling plate. Secondly, you let the coffe powder settle in the glass, and do not pour it in the plate, so you can't end up with your mouth full of cofee marc.

I still had some time before my next train,so I decided to go for a walk into town. Nothing opens early, so I just ended up walking back to the station after 15 minutes.
There a small stage was being set up, and at 8 in the morning a singer started to perform very calm romantic or dramatic songs, same kind as on TV. That created a very calm and relaxed atmosphere in the trainstation, everybody waiting on benches, the morning still offering remains of its coolness.

I boarded my train and found my seat: I had two hours ahead of me, and I used themwell: I slept.

Then, after taking a bemo from Probolingo train station to its bus station, I took a 2-hours bus to Cemoro Lawang, the village near Mt Bromo. I had already written about the fabulous bus ride to Phonsavan, in Laos. That was another breathtaking ride, across the mountain: steep slopes, cliffs, vegetation everywhere, lots of fields on the slopes, and what views! I guess it all depends on the day and on the mood, but all the colors were there and I could not take my eyes off them. A strong wind was blowing, and the vegetation looked just like used to it. The villages, the people, the peaks and the waterfalls, the fields and the vegetation, all was just harmony.

And then I reached the Tengger crater...

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peacefrog on

Re: java
Et avec ceci? Ce s'ra tout?

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