After two days in the futuristic and disproportionate world of Singapore, we embark on the 2nd of May for an Indonesian getaway backpackig. Let’s go to Java! Yogyakarta, located in the South-Central of the island, allows us to familiarize ourselves gently with the Javanese universe. With a little bit of agripping, we find the streets crowded of 2 and 4 motorized wheels with uncontrolled trajectories, still there’s a nuance of “calm” compared to India or Nepal. We do not fail to make ourselves collar multiple times for a tuk-tuk ride (a kind of rickshaw in front of a bike or a moped) but resist and use our legs to visit quickly the vicinity of Kraton, historical and political downtown and taste the first local dishes: chicken in soup or skewers, rice often steamed and some vegetables (beans, cabbage or cucumbers) cooked just enough spicy and of course bananas of the market!
We leave the next day exploring Borobudur and its temple “postcard”. It was expected: the entrance ticket is disproportionately expensive but the site is actually charming and photogenic. First Sunrise at 3am and first volcanoes on the horizon, we look forward to approaching its!
Soon we set sail to the East by bus to the city of Solo (Surakarta). Let’s be honest, we’re disappointed. The big town lacks charm, the corks are omnipresent at the moment of our journey between the station and the hostel. Fortunately the day without car on Sunday brings us a certain comfort: sandals, skates, carioles and horses are out! During this time, Ramadan launches into the streets of the city with a multitude of itinerant walkers, sails that unfortunately resemble more and more to burkas and prayers in echo several times a day. These moments of prayer rather depaying at the beginning, then become slightly invasive by their duration (sometimes several hours) and their volume (they are ubiquitous!).
Further to the East, we return from balm to the heart when arriving by train to Malang thanks to our pleasant rooftop Hostel made of bamboos, to new culinary discoveries (bakso and Sate to the menus) and the colorful alleys of Jodipur district. It is also an opportunity to cross the first “counterparts” backpackers tourists. Indeed, we are getting closer to Bali…
New stopovers of this first week decidedly urban and made of public transportation: Probollingo then Jember and Kalibaru who do not really have a particular charm but leave glimpted green forests surrounding and flirt ever more with the majestic volcanoes. We take te road to Bromo and then Ijen!
Here, believe us, our experience is up to what we have been able to read or hear. Each of the volcanoes visited at night offers us a magical experience: Bromo immortalized from afar because again in activity since 1 year ago and Ijen accompanied by a guide as close as possible to the sources of bluish sulfur. It’s touristic but still pretty darn handsome.
Thus ends these 8 days in Java, authentic, urban and relatively preserved of mass tourism, except in the vicinity of volcanoes. If you plan to mak a trip there, choose the train to cross the island (economy class is enough) and Yogya to discover the urban side. What’s next? Bali where we will try to avoid hordes of Australians and Frenchies to rather meet nice fish. To be followed!