Travel Journal

Yogyakarta & Borobudur

(Monday 14 September 2009) by Jon Paul & Sarah
Hey Everyone!

Indonesia is continuing to treat us pretty well! I think we posted last from Lovina, on the northern coast of Bali. We spent only one night in Lovina; after breakfast we loaded up our bags and hailed down a couple guys with motor bikes to give us a ride out to a local hot spring. JP was still pretty burnt from Kuta, so he took the role of photographer, and I bore the burden of trying out the three, multi-level pools of varying degrees of temperature: hot, warm, and luke-warm :-)
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Water spouts leading from the original source and then from pool to pool made for some great neck massages...all-in-all, I definitely enjoyed it! We decided to walk to the three kilometers from the hot springs back to the main road. That route took us through a small village where the kids rained greetings and smiles on us the entire way through. I loved it! I think Bali children are the most adorable so far...though that may change in each country we visit :-)
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Back at the main road we found a bus stop, then haggled with the bus driver. It's pretty hilarious how much they jack up the price for us foreigners. We'd heard the local price was 25,000 rupiah (about $2.50) for the length of trip we wanted. The bus driver stubbornly insisted it was 200,000 rp ($20), and only slowly brought the price down bit by bit, but then wouldn't budge. Thankfully, JP was just as stubborn, if not more; when he threatened to just get of the bus and find another one, the driver finally relented with exasperated laugh. I have a feeling this situation is going to repeat itself over and over. (Even just yesterday, the same thing happened, but the driver realized alot sooner that we knew and were sticking to the local price of $1.20, and smiled sheepishly when he realized we knew his trick. A few minutes later another couple got on the bus, and we tried not to laugh as we saw them hand over $20 each in rupiah.)

So that bus ride got us to Gilimanuk, where we took a ferry across to Java
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, and then a big charter bus overnight to Yogyakarta. We found ourselves a hotel, and a bit later found a bus out to Borobudur! It was amazing - the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and dating back to the 9th century.
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Insane. We loved it. It was worth the almost overwhelming heat we endured walking out to and all around it. But it's ok, because they have nice hot coffee waiting for you when you get back to the international visitor's center :-\


We stayed here in Yogyakarta last night, in our oven of a room. When we first arrived at the hotel yesterday, we at first thought it odd that there were no blankets on the bed, not even a top sheet. Now we know why. If you've slept in a sauna before, try it. That's essentially what we did...we did soak some towels and draped them over us though, and that helped.

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So now we're off to northern Java! We're due at the bus terminal in a few hours, and then we have a 14-hour ride into Jakarta. So we'll update you a little later! Hope you're all doing well! Oh and we really loved reading all your comments on our last blog, keep them coming! :-)

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Love you all!

Sarah & JP

PS. I feel like I should address the various comments regarding "Great Earring Heist of 2009". The monkey was surprisingly gentle even as it tried to yank the earing from my ear, so there was no violence involved. The problem is, he had actually jumped onto my shoulders, and monkey fingers are surprisingly nimble little things. So despite trying to push them away, I knew it would be a losing match. I decided instead to just get the earing out myself, and beat him at his own game. So after wrestling his fingers away, I quick got it out myself. Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to stash it away; he immediately grabbed it from my own fingers and triumphantly ran away with it. (I had called for JP to help, but he was off somewhere taking pictures; there were several people around me, but they just all watched with open mouths as I struggled.) Crazy. :-p

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