Off to Java Boats, Trains and Buses

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

08:26 Everything has sprung into action, at 3.30am I got of bed and went with David and Donnie to the bus station. We got a local bus (a nice air con bus with reclining seats and hardly anyone on it) from Denpasar to gilimanuk for only 30,000 each! I had been wondering why travel was so damned expensive and that's because the shuttles are for tourists at stupid prices. So, it cost 2 for a 3 hour journey, which took us right to the docks where we bought a ferry ticket for 40p to java, once there we will get on a train to probolingo, a six hour journey away which is where bromo is.
The boat crossing is only half an hour and we got 2 coffees for 9000- 65p and a couple of donuts for 80p whilst we enjoyed a big seat and some music on the way over.
08:55 We will meet Grant and Donnie in Yogyakarta.
09:33 We got on the train just near the ferry port, bought first class tickets for 80,000-5.80 and got on board. It's quite nice to be on a train again, watching the world pass by. I have lots of leg room, power sockets and can buy coffee for 5000 - 36p. Now these are the prices I was expecting, not the ridiculously high prices you find in Bali. Looking out the window and seeing the rice fields go by with people ploughing them using water buffalo or those funny little tractors with wheels on. It looks a little poorer out there, but the prices seem in keeping and thus far no one has attempted to overcharge us on anything.
The toilet is a squat toilet and is just a hole into the track! It is clean and very respectable however so using it wont be too traumatic! When I came out the car door was wide open as it is only closed using a simple bolt, so really you can ride along with standing at an open door!
15:35 Arrived in probolingo just after 2 and got in a Becack which is a bicycle with a rickshaw type bit on the front to the hotel Donnie had told us about. The guys immediately started texting people whilst driving, no doubt to let them know foreigners were in town. The lady there doesn't speak English and the driver was telling us that we couldn't stay because we weren't married, we kept saying that we wanted a twin room or even separate rooms, but he said that she said we couldn't because of this reason and he'd take us to a more expensive hotel which would be ok. We called Donnie but no answer but eventually we managed to get in a twin room.
He soon called back and they spoke and it was all fine, we think that he was telling them one thing and us another, all to get us to go to a more expensive hotel.
I few minutes later another guy, Baggio arrived and we thought this was the guy Donnie had sent and it soon became apparent from speaking to him and his sales pitch that he didn't know who Donnie was even though he had made out he did, and his price for the trip was 300,000! Donnie had said we could get it for less and he'd sort it out later. So, no sooner than we'd arrived than people were trying to fleece us! How mildly irritating! Once we got sorted and had got ourselves a twin room with a fan and a tv (no English of course) for 70,000, we went for a walk to see what probolingo has to offer. Not a lot is the answer.

On the way back from our walk we got chatting with an old guy called Herman who invited us to his house for a chat and a drink, he kept saying he was poor apologetically. It's true he lived in a simple house with a falling down roof and hard floors, but he offered us biscuits and juice and told us about his time in Europe since he was in the navy for 44 years!

Whilst speaking to him Donnie called and explained that his friend called Baggio (coincidence or not?) would be taking us to Bromo in the morning, that it was 90,000 each for the jeep and 25,000 each for entrance fee and he would pick us up at 3am.

We returned to the hotel, I handwashed some clothes and had a shower then Baggio arrived. It was the same guy as earlier!! The price was going to be 240,000 then and he wanted it all up front. I never do that so I gave him 150,000 on his insistence despite trying to not to pay anything until tomorrow. It seemed he was refusing to sort it out without money changing hands. He wrote a receipt on a bit of paper and left.

It was about 7, I didn't have dinner, I just went to bed, to sleep.

Best: being on the go somewhere else!
Worst: getting up at 3am
Beautiful: watching the java countryside pass by in continuous bright blue skies, acid green fields and endless palm trees.
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Lizziekins on

oh how I've missed the updates on the toilets

zoebuck on

I know, I couldn't resist really! Lol!

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