Fun times in and around yogya!
03.05.2012 - 07.05.2012
After Bromo we went to Yogyakarta by bus, which took 12hrs! We arrived in Yogya at midnight and seeing as we had been up since 3am, we were exhausted. We were meant to be staying with a French girl called Veronique who we met in the Gilis but our driver threw a tantrum and wouldn't bring us to her house, so we had to get a hotel that night, which turned out to be grand.
The next day we met Veronique, dropped off our stuff and went to rent scooters. It was my first time renting a moped. We arrived at the shop and rented a bike each and as we are getting ready to go I inform Vero that I've never driven a bike before. She says she's worried, but I assure her it will be fine. Literally five seconds later, whilst we're still outside the shop I crash into the back of her bike and end up breaking one of the lights on my bike...oops!! Of course, the owner sees everything and obviously is now skeptical of my driving skills. In order to fix the bike we end up having to go to a Honda dealership to get a price, find out they don't have the part, go back to the bike shop to wait for his mom (the real owner) and then pay for the broken light. After all this, I don't feel confident in driving anymore so I give the bike back.
Kevin and Vero find this whole process hilarious of course and constantly make jokes and laugh hysterically at me. It was quite funny though! However I have since learned and am a confident driver haha
Friday we went to Borobudar with Vero, Steve and Nuno (two really cool Indonesian guys) . It took about an hour to get there and we got in for free. Some friends from the Gilis had given us a map which worked perfectly.
We climbed the fence and proceeded around the temple. It was really nice and we got asked for photos from loads of random people. When we were leaving it started to rain heavily. I wanted to wait a few minutes for it to pass but Vero said we should keep going as it rains all day once it starts. She said it would be a “funny story” It was funny because we ended up running back to the bikes, got soaked, and as soon as we reached them...the rain stopped. “Funny!”
After Borobudar we went to see a waterfall in Merapi National Park which ordinarily is white and beautiful but for us it was brown and muddy because of the rain. It was still a nice sight though and the surrounding valley was cool as we could see all the way up the slopes of Merapi.
Saturday saw us do the Hindu temples of Prambanan. Again we used our maps and tried to get into the site for free. We were unsuccessful on our first attempt as we were spotted by security guards and escorted out. We waited for a while and then tried again at a different spot. This time we were successful! The temples were very different in style to Borobudar, and in my opinion, nicer. The weather was great that day and got photos taken with random people again. When we went back to Yogya we went to a Batik party. I bought a sarong especially for it, which was entertaining. It was two people's birthday and for fun they had hired four Indonesian drag queens to come dance for the birthday boys. It was funny for about a minute and then some tourists started being rude.
We were meant to leave on Sunday but we were enjoying being there too much to leave. For lunch we went to a restaurant with “specialties”. We ate cobra, river turtle and frog legs. All quite tasty except for the Durian shake I ordered, which was disgusting. That evening we went to a place where the have street cafes, where there are rugs on the footpath where you can sit and drink coffee. You can even order coffee with a lump of coal in it, which was definitely different.
Afterwards we did an Indonesian tradition I had been looking forward to. Near the Sultan's Palace there are two big trees where people try and walk between them. You start about 70-80metres away and the point is to make a wish as you do it. All sounds quite easy but you have to do it blindfolded! It's night-time there and there are lots of people around walking, eating, playing games and other blindfolded people too. It's dis-orientating. You have someone to guide you so you don't walk on to the road or anything but I still managed to walk over some people having a picnic and failed my first attempt. It's very easy to go astray when you have people like Vero bumping into you for fun haha.
She succeeded somehow to pass on her first attempt, I got it on my second.
Yogya was a great experience and the next day we headed off on the train for Jakarta.