Keep it rough, this is how I enjoy life! I survived to 31 hours of Indonesian bus so I can certainly go a bit further now :-) Sumatra as started not really well like the rip off I experienced with the bus or the sad, polluted city of Solok. But quickly, everything came in place and as always Indonesian people are great! Contrary of what I’ve heard several times, Sumatra seems to be safe. I’m not going in big cities, that certainly explain one part and why I feel safe here. Nope, really it’s a bit rough here but I like it :-)
Well, I have spent the last 12 hours in a bus travelling from Kutoarjo to Merak. I did not really noticed which road we took. I did not really care about it because there was nothing to see at night. I’ve been half asleep the whole way expecting to be recharged and fresh when I would arrive to Merak. I was the last guy in the bus at the end and the driver had a moment of hesitation when he saw that I was still in the bus. Actually I was confused too. Did I miss the stop? I know it was the last stop so it should be ok. We clarified the situation and soon I had my feet on the ground and my bike to assemble again. The staff was looking at me and even helped me. They were very nice. Later on, I’ve been looking for a place where to get some breakfast. I knew the ferry here run 24/24 so time is not so important. I met a guy who was working not far away and spoke a bit of English. I had my breakfast and we chat maybe during an hour. He told me he has a friend who work in the ferry station and could help me. Well, OK, thank you. Finally I followed him and his friend who were driving a scooter. We passed across different entrances, I did not see any queue. When we arrived front of the “bridge” that goes to the ferry the guy told me “you can go”. “But where do I pay?” “This is OK”.
Today is a full day. First I’ve visited one if the most famous Buddhist temple in Asia called Borobudur. The temple is still used for pilgrimage; once a year, Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction (Wikipedia sources). Then I’ve cycled to Kutoarjo and expected to catch a train to Merak. But the train was full so I took a bus during 12 hours to Merak from where I will catch a ferry to go to Sumatra. Luckily, I’ve done all of that just on time.
Today the plan is to cycle along the Waduk Gadjah Mungkur lake (on its western side) and then turn west again to reach the area of the Prambanan temple that I will visit tomorrow. I stopped for a short break this morning and had some of the Sate Ayam that the people I met yesterday gave me. I realised very quickly that I was next to a school. The students were waving their hands at me, shouting “hey mister” from this other side of the road. One teacher or surveyor managed to keep them inside the school but they were coming closer and closer to the road. I was nearly grabbed in to take pictures with the students. The english teacher asked the questions and explained to the students what I was doing, where I was going. This was a kind of real time english lesson for them.
My target is to reach Borobudur which is a famous temple in the Yogyakarta region and the first point of interest when I started doing some research online back in Australia. so after I had to turn around Ngliman mount I can now head mainly west to that point. The landscape is not too flat, not too hilly, perfect to enjoy some good downhill and fast flat roads :-) The view varies as well and I’ve been crossing some rivers too. Indonesian people are still very kind and I’ve been invited again to spend the night with one of them. They don’t want me to use my hammock apparently :-)