Getting towards the end of our trip to Indonesia, but with some of the most exciting things still left to see.
Up at 3am, we climb into trucks and head for the viewing point of Mount Bromo.
It’s still dark when we get there and the sun is just starting to be visible (as well as the screens of several camera’s and mobile phones.
The view of mount Bromo and surrounding vista from Mount Penanjakan.
Thinking that the fun is over, I climb back into the truck expecting to head back to the hotel for breakfast.
But no, we head out into the desert.
Mount Bromo. At 2329m, its the most well known location in the Tengger valley. Now in the valley we get a chance to walk up it and look inside.
Someone was even renting out horses to ride to the volcano (one of the Americans on our trip had worked with horses all her life and briefly considered hiring it, but we were told not to as there were “well-being” issues with the animals there).
There was no way I could make it there and back in 45 mins, so I bought some coffee off the local traders and a Gollock jungle knife which I’d use later in the trip.
Nikki however did manage to get to the top, and took this excellent picture.
Finally, back to the hotel for breakfast, a dip in the pool and then off to the train station.
This time were headed for Kalibaru.
Our guide always got us to the locations in plenty of time, so there was time to get out my kindle and catch up on some reading.
Our hotel in Kalibaru was so close to the station that we were able to walk.
I have to say, the hotel was excellent, but the town of Kalibaru itself, didn’t have much going on.
In the hotel grounds, when I went for breakfast, this bat was hanging from a tree near our room. Honestly, it must have been 3 feet long (but perfectly harmless).
We visited a plantation to see how the locals make Coffee, cocoa and rubber.
This picture shows the rubber being harvested from the tree.
And this one the finished rubber after processing.
Afterwards, we had to chance to try Kopi Luwak coffee with fried bananas.
Said to be the best coffee in the world and nicknamed Civetcat Cofffee (as it is digested my a Civetcat and the “output” is processed into coffee).
Its also the most expensive with a Kilo costing upto $700. We got a cheaper version to take home. I have to say the coffee was very nice.
A minibus to Gilimanuk, we wait for the ferry across the Java Strait.
We’ve now left Java and are on the Island of Bali.
Staying in a place called Pemuteran, the best hotel of the trip, with another outdoor bathroom.
There were various options for activity’s for the day like Yoga and Snorkelling.
We decided to go on a jungle trek. It was organised by the hotel and the trek was lead by a local park ranger.
The route we’d be taking would be from Tegal Bunder, visiting Prapat Agung and circling clockwise around the coast of the West Bali national park.
The intention was to stop at Waka Shorea at an isolated hotel reached by boat for refreshments then follow the trail around Tluk Terima to finish at Labuan Lalan.
8 miles. It seemed an awful long way to me in baking heat.
We arrived at the start of our walk and were introduced to our guide. We’d brought plenty of water but were given 2 extra bottles each by the guide.
We’d been told to bring packed lunch. The night before we went out shopping for supplies. We had mostly fruit and biscuits, as you can’t buy M&S sandwiches in a place like that.
We needn’t have bothered, when we arrived, they gave is these really nice chicken salad things, wrapped in leaves.
This is mine, opened out later for lunch, with the Gollock I used to chop through the jungle.
In some places, the jungle was quite dense…
… and in others, just brush-land.
After several hours of trekking, I’ve had an amazing time, but I’m exhausted (my companions are raring to go).
Nusa Bay is normally only reached by boat and is an exclusive resort. I have to say we didn’t really look like the G&T crowd when we arrived, but we had a coke and a well earned chance to relax.
At this point, I realise I’m really struggling and regretfully, I consider getting a taxi back the 2 miles to Labuan Lalang. But wait! what taxi?. There isn’t a road, it’s meant to be a secret hideaway.
Our guide is able to help. The staff boat, taking people home who have finished their shift has just left, so they are radioed and come back for me.
Some of the staff seemed quite interested to hear where I’ve been.
Others just looked tired after a day at work and annoyed I’d delayed their journey home.
My companions and guide, continued the last 2 miles on foot, while I hung around for about 90 minutes relaxing.
Finally, were all reunited and and treat ourselves to coconut milk.
A really memorable day. Exactly why I love adventure travel.
In the evening we have dinner at the hotel and the staff entertain us with music and traditional dancing.
The hotel was quite stylish with a really elaborate breakfast on offer.
They wrote our names on the plates, but unfortunately, got Nikki’s name wrong.
Just after breakfast and were back in a minibus heading for Ubud (sadly, the last destination on our trip, before home).
Driving along we get to see views like this.
After stopping for lunch, we visit Taman Ayun temple.
It had loads of open spaces and tree’s and stuff like that. The spirituality of it was perhaps lost on me, but the connection with nature wasn’t.
Unfortunately, there’s very little time available to spend in Ubud.
We quickly put our stuff in our room, then head to town.
A few coffee’s and a walk around the shops.
Before you know it, its dark and we have a wander around a few bars.
It’s the last night of our tour, which officially finish the following day after breakfast.
I’ve met some pretty cool and interesting people on this trip (a German psychiatrist, An American woman who worked for 20 years in a prison and in her youth did Rodeo, a New York city guy who wanted to try something different).
Also, our guide Abe (pronounced Abi). A modern young processional who’s still in touch with his countries culture and history.
Excellent food, excellent wine and excellent company (but sad all the same, I’ve really enjoyed this fantastic trip).
The next morning, we get packed and ready for home.
Our flight is leaving about 2pm, a friend from the trip has booked a local guide to drive him around some interesting places and invites us along.
So, the adventure is back on.
We spend an hour visiting the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. Like the shires from Lord of the Rings.
The Turtle temple (which looked like a sort of cartoon turtle to me).
We wander down the many levels of the Elephant cave temple of Goa Gaja.
There’s even a nice cafe, and some traditional Indonesian coffee.
Our bags are in the guides car, so he drives us straight to the airport. The morning turned out ok after all.
And to top it all, the flight is overbooked, so were upgraded to business class.
The chap serving us wine, is delighted to speak to Nikki, as he finds someone who appreciates just how knowledgable he is.
Indonesia, somewhere I’d never thought of going, but what an amazing trip.