Sunday, 17 June 2007

Indonesia, days 8-10: The beach! And leaving...

Anyone who knows me at all knows that when the weather gets hot, there's one thing I long for: to get in the water! Throughout the time in Indonesia I was asking for places to swim, but apparently there aren't decent ones except for Bali which was far away. There was one beach that I had been told to be possibly the most gorgeous one there is, and a place where no foreigner had set foot before. But there were also supposed to be huge tidal waves and it may be too dangerous to swim. Well, by day 8 it was time to find out for myself. We dropped into a temple in Yogyakarta first and from there found a car and driver and two ladies who came along. To this day I remain unclear as to why they came along as they didn't even come to the beach, but... not my problem. On the way we dropped by a fruit market and bought three big boxes of oranges and plenty of water bottles to give away at the village. Or well, to reduce the price, I hid away and the locals did the shopping. It took 2-3 hours to get to the village on small mountain roads with beautiful scenery, passing rice fields and fruit trees all the way.

There are no phones in the village and mobile phone networks don't cover it either, so there was no way to check if the local kids would be around then. It also happened to be a day for weddings, we passed several wedding receptions on the way, and as the first houses in the village were empty it seemed as though everyone might be at one of those. However, eventually we found a kid and he helped gather around the rest of them, and some parents too, to the temple. At the temple we served fruits and nuts and crisps to everybody and sat around and sang songs... I was put to sing a couple of Indonesian songs and the kids sang English songs to me. Some of them were excellent singers! Actually their artistic talent wasn't limited to singing put some had made gorgeous oil paintings also. I was given one as a gift, a beautiful scenery and a waterfall, complete with a cute little duck.

After the singing session, it was time to hit the beach! It's a bit away from the village, we gathered up as many kids as could fit in the car and drove a tiny little road, the rocks sounding like doing dangerous damage to the bottom of the car. Eventually we hit a point where you couldn't drive any further and hiked for the last half an hour through some gorgeous scenes... although the best were only seen when we finally saw the sea!

The beach was gorgeous, but the tidal waves really were huge and it was rocky, so it soon became clear that to swim there that day would be practically a suicide. We walked in the water and I got myself completely wet, so it felt a little better. The kids collected sea shells. I hear during high tide this beach would be absolutely perfect as then the water reaches the sand, making it easier to swim without such fear of hitting the rocks. Either way, it was a gorgeous location, and it was quite special to be the first foreigner out there.

The way back wasn't clear and we had a bunch of kids along so it was time to head back before it got dark. The kids were dropped back into the village and then we headed back to Yogyakarta and to the great vegetarian restaurant Milas, described in more detail for the previous day. The food was as good as ever.

All good things must come to an end, and so it went also for the Indonesia trip. Day 9 was just a day for preparing to leave: took a bus back to Semarang, bought a plane ticket to Jakarta, waited for my friend to negotiate with her aunt about how to do this and eventually doing it a little differently anyway... We took the car the aunt insisted on back to Ampel but stayed there overnight rather than returning immediately to Semarang. This time was needed to pack and get the pictures on a CD and so on. Then it was an early morning drive to Semarang, flight over to Jakarta (where the damn bastards stole my sunscreen as it was in the hand package and that's not allowed!) and then back over to the northern hemisphere again... not very far though, just to Singapore. The pics below are still in Yogyakarta, and another vegetarian restaurant there, Lusidus. We persuaded the staff there to mark vegan dishes in their menu with my green marker, so if you go there and see the markings, you know who to blame. :-)


Kala-rakastaja said...

Haha, I'll pick dishes from the rest of the menu then!

dreamy said...

hahaha... I hope they won't throw away that menu and print a new one! If only veg*ns can just go to any restaurant and start marking the menu! That will be great! The food looks delicious! Were they? It reminds me of Indian crackers.

Travegan said...

The foods were great, especially in Milas, it's absolutely worth visiting! Would be good to have vegan markings in menus... would definitely be useful in India with all the veg places!