A Travellerspoint blog

Moving West...

... to Java

sunny 25 °C

Hello from Java!

First of all - if any of you heard about the earthquake in Java, don't worry we are fine and until we got emails and texts from relatives, didn't even know it had happened!!

So if we go back a few days.....we got a sleepover bus from Lovina to Probolingo in Java which wasn't too bad a journey. We left Lovina at 6.30pm and a couple of hours later we were inside the bus on the ferry for the short crossing to Java. Once we arrived at our destination, many hours later, we realised how different Java was from Bali and Lombok...there you cannot move for taxi drivers but when we arrived at Probo at 1.30am there was just one little man trying hard to sell us massively expensive package tours to see the volcanoes. We eventually shared a taxi there with 2 polish boys that had also been on the bus with us and arrived in Cemoro Lewang at about 3am. We bargained the room rate down considerably seeing as it was some stupid hour of the morning and went straight to bed!

The next morning we met a couple at breakfast (Phill and Himma) and got chatting to them, we ended up spending the day with them on a crazy adventure on 2 scooters! First we attempted to ride down to one of the volcanoes, however the ground made this pretty impossible as it was deep sand so we decided to head to a waterfall that the others had spotted a sign for the day before.....it ONLY took 2 hours and lots of 'it's only 5km further' from LOTS of locals that we asked along the way. Anyway we did find it in the end and it was well worth it, once again it was a matter of shoes and socks off as we had to cross the water many times. We also had to use giant leaves as umbrellas as we walked right underneath it on occasions.

By the time we got back it was very cold as we were high up in the mountains (where volcanoes like to live!) we had an early night as we had to get up at 3am the next morning to meet Phill and Himma to take a jeep up to Penanjakan to watch the sunrise over the Bromo region (a vast, ancient volcanic crater which is still active). The sky was looking pretty cool while one of the volcanoes continued to smoke and fill the sky. We may have taken 5 or 6 (hundred) photos ;-p Once the sun rose we then got the jeep to the volcanoes and climbed to the top of the active volcano, Bromo - it was a hard climb with many people all doing the same journey and it really stank at the top but the views were great.

So after that we had breakfast and set off once again for pastures new....

Posted by bumblebum 07:15 Archived in Indonesia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Leaving Bali

Onto Java

sunny 38 °C

Since the last update we stayed in Ubud. Ubud is a large, bustling town full of boutique shops selling art work, jewellery and clothes. There are lots of lovely places to eat and spas dotted all over the place trying to persuade you to have a massage or manicure.

The ferry from Lombok back to Bali was an experience! We decided to get the public ferry this time and before it set off it was crawling with sellers. At one stage Gerald counted 17 directly around us selling everything from fruit to T-shirts to massive and dangerous looking knives! It took a lot longer than our previous journey as it is the ‘slow boat’ but it was a calm crossing and we had the joy of a movie too – a very odd Indonesian horror film!

On Sunday morning we headed down Monkey Forest Road (the road we stayed on) to – yes you guessed it – The Monkey Forest! It is a huge area just teaming with monkeys like the ones we saw at the side of the road on Lombok. They sell bananas at the entrance for you to scatter around for the monkeys to eat, they strongly advise that you don’t actually feed them or tease them with food or hide the food in your bags or clothing. We had met a girl in the Gili’s who had been in hospital due to a bite on the face from a monkey so we didn’t buy any food as I didn’t want to get that close. There was a cute little monkey eating a banana on a wall so I bent down to take a photo and it jumped onto my lap and continued eating the banana then it started to play with my necklace. Gerald persuaded me to attempt a smile for the camera before I ushered it off me! Anyway the monkeys seemed to like me as whilst we were watching some of them another decided to climb up onto my shoulder and just would not get off, it was playing with my hair and trying to take my glasses off and I was following the ‘rules’ of the place which instructed you to ‘walk slowly and they will jump off’ however it really didn’t work so instead of helping Gerald decided to video me!!! I’m pulling some great faces!

The rest of the time there was spent exploring the town and getting Gerald a haircut which cost £2.50 including a tip! I’m not sure we can carry on being so frivolous ;-p hee hee!

On Monday we headed to Lovina in the North of Bali, our last stop before heading off the island and onto Java. There is nothing great here, the beaches are full of locals trying to sell stuff, the beach is black sand so not that beautiful and although there are plenty of nice places to eat and drink and we are staying in a place with a great pool we have decided to head off to Java now.

A
xxx

Posted by bumblebum 02:09 Archived in Indonesia Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Waterfalls

and monkeys too!

sunny 35 °C

Thought I should update as G has been hogging the page!!

Today we went on a big tour of Lombok, we hired a private car & driver to take us to all the best spots. Our first stop was just at the side of a busy main road, the driver got out made a few clicky noises with his tongue and beeped his horn and all of a sudden monkeys started coming down from the trees and running across the road to see us, there were so many and lots of them had tiny babies hanging from them. They were very inquisitive!

The next stop was a traditional village which we had a little wander around, we saw more chickens and goats than villagers but did stop and have a quick chat with some of them.

Next it was onto the waterfall trek. We had to pay another guide for this part (our bargaining skills are improving with experience despite the fact there are price lists!) It took only about 15 mins to get to the first waterfall which was pretty but nothing amazing, then it was another 45 mins to the next one which involved lots of scrambling up and down narrow dirt tracks and tree roots and then picking our way across the wide, calf deep, fast flowing stream which was a lot harder than you would think due to lots of loose and slippy rocks on the river bed!
The water fall was lovely and a lot more impressive than the first one. G couldn't resist a dip and so he and the guide picked their way over more gushing water and slippy rocks to get there and go for a swim.

We have decided to stay another night in our little beach cottage as it is so nice (and we like the free internet we have hijacked!!!)

A
xxx

Posted by bumblebum 06:30 Archived in Indonesia Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

addendum

...

sunny 32 °C

That's all for now.

(sorry Simon. hope this makes up for it.)

:o)

Posted by Big.G 03:32 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Negotiations

Get you everywhere

sunny 35 °C

Hiya!

We've left the Gili Islands after a few days there, including a snorkelling trip around the three of them. Very very nice place to stay, very relaxed, no problems, no hassling/beach sellers (well, very few) and the snorkelling was very good, we were hand feeding some fish off the coast of Gili A, saw 8 or so turtles and some blue coral!

If you want to go somewhere and have a nice (if slightly expensive for this country) time, then thoroughly recommend the Gili Islands. Go on, do it! Oh, there are LOADS of italians there. No idea why.

We took a shuttle ferry to the island of Lombok, almost got fleeced by a horse/cart taxi (20,000 for a 5 min walk to the bus station? Thats like £1.50! We walked!) and then a shuttle bus to the resort area of Senggigi (we're still arguing about how to pronounce that one). With a budget of 250,000 maximum in mind we looked at a couple of places to stay. The first two were 100,000 a night, but no hot water or air-con (not that we really care about air-con tho) and one even had a 'manual flush' toilet: a bucket of water beside the toilet to use for that purpose. There was a nice looking place of cottages across the road from the beach that we thought we'd check out. They wanted 350,000 a night tho, or maybe 300,000, they reduced it to? But we stayed firm, 250,000 max, said thanks and left. Half way down the drive the reception lady came running after us and said, OK, 250,000 but no breakfast included. Which is exactly what we wanted! So we're in a little cottage, hot water, air-con, mini-bar, television (CNN only english channel), HUGE bed, free WI-FI internet (not sure who's it is, but we're using it!) and a view from the hill over the beach! Nice!

Tomorrow we may go take a tour to a waterfall and monkey place, but right now I think it's time to hit the pool... yes, there is a pool too...

Take care
G

Oh, and tans are going well.

Posted by Big.G 22:31 Archived in Indonesia Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

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