Indonesia journey 3

Indonesia journey 3

Below is my third journey in November 2019

Back to my roots…

Back again…

After I came home (in time for my brothers wedding) I missed Indonesia so much that I decided to go back as soon as possible. Luckily I was able to take two weeks off in november. This time I arrived in the middle of the night and only stayed one night in Jakarta to take the first plane in the morning to Jogja. I stayed at Teduh hostel near stasiun Jakartakota, where coinsidently now works Donald, who I met last year when he worked at the hostel where I stayed last year when I went to Indonesia for the first time. He immediately reconized me and it was good to see him again.

Jogja

Back in Jogja I was picked up from the airport by my good friend Efan and stayed at my favorite Otu hostel where my friends work. I had a big jetlag and was very tired but immediately made some new friends here. And good to be back here. 🙂

Roadtrip around Jogja

The next day Efan and I went on a roadtrip into the mountains to see the waterfall with nice views on the way and we had lunch at kopi klotok pakem sleman together. Back at the hostel we went for a relaxing swim in the pool. It was a very nice day.

Malioboro street

On a car free day at Malioboro street, I went shopping with Elena, Lea and a brazilian girl. It’s bizar to see an empty Malioboro street. We went to Hamza batik where they sell everything you can possibly want to buy and bought some nice presents for my family and friends. We also had lunch and dinner together.

Bromo

The last two times I was in Indonesia I allready wanted to go to this vulcano, but I didn’t have enough time. Now I finally went. Bromo is one of the most well known active vulcanoes of Java, situated in a massive sand sea in the east. The area looks like a moon landscape. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god.

After a trainride to Probolinggo, where I stayed at the nice Clover Homestay, a driver from this homestay picked me up from the station.

I went to see the sunrise near Bromo with a german couple and a guide. It was 1.00 am when we drove up there and we climbed the last hour to the top of a mountain nearby to see Bromo at sunrise. We had to be back at the car at 6.00 am to drive to the crater.

So after the sun was up and I took some pictures and videos, I rushed down to be back in time. On my way down I forgot where the car was parked. When I reached the village in the valley I knew I went too far down and still had 10 minutes to go back. Luckily I ran into a guy with a horse and they brought me to the car.

When I found the car we drove to the village and changed to a jeep to drive to the crater. It was a beautiful view especially with the morning mist and dust from the jeeps and horses.

Banyuwangi

After breakfast and a quick shower the driver brings us to the trainstation. Next stop is Banyuwangi! It’s situated all the way in the east of Java. Here I want to see the vulcano Ijen, go snorkling and there is an island with turtles, beautiful beaches and waterfalls I would like to see. But first the driver of Didu’s homestay is waiting for me at the train station. I stay here in my own little house with my name on it. 🙂

Snorkling at Bangsring UnderWater

The next morning a Grab scooter takes me to the beach at Bangsring. This is a very nice place to go snorkling. There are many beautiful fish here, also little sharks, blue seastars and I even find Nemo and his clownfish friends right under my nose! Everybody here wants to take a picture with me and we feed the fish together, even underwater. This is the best snorkling place I’ve been to so far and my guide Yanto showed me the best places to see the fish and took pictures of me as well. I can’t get enough of swimming with the fish.

Ijen

In the middle of the night it was time to go to Ijen. An american couple and a guide went with me. After a few hours drive and a two/three-hour hike we reached the rim of the crater. It was still dark and a 45-minute hike down to the bank of the crater. This last part was hard, because you only walk on (loose) stones in the dark through the fumes. Many people started to panic and push other people out of the way to run back to the top when they smelled the sulfer.

Inside the area of the active crater you can see the electric-blue flame of Ijen. The blue fire is ignited sulfuric gas, which emerges from cracks at temperatures up to 600 °C. The flames can be up to five meters high. It is the largest blue flame area in the world and local people refer to it as ‘Blue Fire’. The phenomenon has occurred for a long time. Escaping volcanic gases are channeled through a network of ceramic pipes, resulting in condensation of molten sulfur. You need a gasmask if you want to come close to the Blue Fire, because the gas fumes are very toxic. I also had to close my eyes often, because it hurts too much to keep them open. But it was worth to see this.

The sun started to rise and now we could also see the one-kilometre-wide turquoise-coloured acidic crater lake. It is the world’s largest acid lake, corrosive enough to dissolve metal. After a few pictures of the lake and the area the fumes start to hurt my eyes so much that I decide to go back to the top.

There are also many miners at work in this crater. They break the cooled bright yellow sulfer into large pieces and carry it away in baskets. Miners carry loads ranging from 75 to 90 kilograms, up to the crater rim, with a gradient of 45 to 60 degrees and then 3 kilometres down the mountain for weighing.

All the way at the top you have an amazing view on the crater, the lake and the area. It’s very windy and cold, but as the sun is rising it gets warmer. From here you can also see a dam at the edge of the lake, which was built by the Dutch in colonial times to avoid the overflow of crater water.

On the way back to the car, we can see a lot of trees are burned. My guide tells me this whole area has been closed for a month until a week ago, because of a huge fire. This happens often here, because it’s very warm and when the branches of the trees hit eachother frequently by the wind, they can make sparks and set the dry area on fire.

Jagir Waterfall

When we drive back to the homestay, we pass by the Jagir Waterfall and make a stop there. This waterfall is very beautiful and you can swim in it.

Permuteran and Menjangan

I only have a few more days left and Bali is also still on my list of places I want to go to. At the homestay I met a dutch woman before who was traveling around Bali on a scooter with her french husband. At breakfast she tells me about the island Menjangan where she went snorkling and recommends me a Bed&Breakfast where she was staying in Permuteran. I contact the owners and manage to get a good deal for staying there. So I decide to go there next and come back to Banyuwangi another time (when I have more time) to see the turtle island. Next I’m off to the ferry to Bali.

When the ferry docks at the harbor in Bali, I find a driver to take me to Permuteran. We pass by Bali Barat National Park, a rainforest with special plants, trees, wildlife and coralreefs. From the car I see many monkeys. After a few hours I arrive at Mango Moon and have a relaxing massage and swim in the pool.

In the morning I go to the beach which is only a 5-minute walk. The coral and fish can allready be seen after a few steps in the christal clear water. It’s so beautiful, but I don’t have an underwater camera to take pictures this time. Again I can hardly get enough of floating/swimming in the water and watching the beautiful fish. After lunch my friends (the couple I met in Banyuwangi) come over, before they continue their trip in the south of Bali.

The next morning after breakfast I’m going to snorkel with a group near the island Menjangan (which means deer). It’s about an hour by boat from this beach. On the island live a lot of deer, other animals and a few monks. We can see the temple from the boat. We make a stop at the island and I feed the deer some water. And the snorkel area is amazing! Wow, so many beautiful fish and coral!

Lovina

Lovina is a coastal area of small villages in the north of Bali and well-known for the early-morning boat trips off the coast to see dolphins. I would love to see them, so the next morning I leave with a driver to go there. When I’m on the boat, the sun starts to rise and we see many dolphins.

In Lovina I have a room with a balcony and view on the ocean and there is a swimmingpool as well. I’m staying at the centre near the boulevard and a street with little shops, bars with live music and restaurants. In the evening people gather at the Dolphin statue and beach to sing songs together or have a drink at one of the beach bars.

Next to the hotel is a hindu temple and there are many more in the area, like Pura Dalem Desa Pakraman Kalibukbuk at the other end of the boulevard that is build to protect the village. They are not open for visitors. I took some pictures of the beautifully carved statues.

Nearby, in Banjar is the buddhist Temple Monastery Brahmavihara-Arama that is open to visitors, off course you have to wear a sarong out of respect inside. It’s Bali’s largest Buddhist monastery.

In Banjar is also a very nice hot spring where you can swim.

On the way back to Lovina we stop at Den Bukit Luwak Coffee House. It’s a farm where they make the famous Kopi Luwak, other coffees and herbal teas. Kopi Luwak is a coffee that consists of partially digested coffee cherries, which have been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet, the Luak, that’s a small catlike animal.

Roadtrip through Bali to Denpasar

From Lovina it’s a 3,5-hour drive to the airport in Denpasar in the south of Bali. It’s a very nice drive through the mountains with amazing views. Along the way it starts to rain. Finally the rainy season has started. I really have to come back here later, because there is so much more to see in Bali.

Back in Jogja

In Jogja I’m going for another roadtrip to the beach. There are many fishers here and beside the fish they sell some delicious fried sojabeans snacks. Off course I also get some ice cream at the best ice cream shop and spekkoek as well.

It has been a fantastic holiday and I’m definitely coming back to Indonesia again.

This is my third journey in November 2019. You can read my other two journeys by clicking on the link:
My first travelstory of October 2018
My second travelstory of August/September 2019

Note: These stories are written from my point of view, based on my experience while traveling here, stories from my family, talking to many people and some internet sources like Wikipedia and other pages.