The closer we came to September 13th the more restless I got. For months we’d (luvie and me) been dreading the day we had to say goodbye for an inhumane five weeks. The horror ;-)! Anyway, I wanted the moment to be over. Let’s just get going, alright, and get the drama over with. Yes, tears were inevitable. That day and many days that followed. Mom patiently dried them, while giving me her motherly hugs. However, the joy of traveling and lots of sunshine would soon soothe my inner melodramatic queen of missing-my-boyfriend.
So here we are. Nearly two weeks have passed and we’ve just finished our trip across Java. It’s been an adventure to say the least. With an overbooked flight, a new flight, restitution for any inconveniences (yay!), lost luggage that would finally find us five days later, major headaches for days on my behalf and fever on my mom’s behalf, uncomfortable night trains, we’ve started our journey slightly different than expected. No permanent damage done, though… After all, all you can do is relax, take it easy. Stress won’t help.
Basically we’ve visited three major areas on Java: Jakarta, Pangandaran and the Yogyakarta area. For as far as Jakarta is concerned: the national museum and the national monument were quite interesting and we loved shopping at the mall, since we didn’t have any clothes those first few days, but other than that it was nothing but a smelly, big city with too much traffic.
Pangandaran: The Green Valley and the Green Canyon
Pangandaran, however, was all we could wish for (apart from the pushy Indonesian lady who seemed to have the hots for me. Lol.). The lovely Mango guesthouse made us feel incredibly welcome and we met some awesome people during our stay that joined us for the most yummie fish barbecues at Mango’s. Not having my clothes and swim suits surely bothered us, but it didn’t stop us from visiting the Green Valley and Green Canyon on our motorbike, accompanied by the best tour guide we could wish for, Toto.
With just the two of us and a lovely Canadian lady to account for Toto basically gave us a private tour that would allow us to explore the lovely setting of the Green Valley to the max. The crystal clear water invited us in with each splash of the waterfall and even though the bottom of the river was pretty unpredictable in terms of depth, there were plenty of options to jump off the rocks and get that adrenaline rush while flying through the air.
The Green Valley in all its glory
I suddenly remembered that day when I was eleven years old, standing on top of the diving board looking down at seven meters of nothing between me and the swimming pool. Scared as hell I decided to jump. I jumped, alright, and I got down easily, but as the right side of my body touched the water I felt like sharp knives were entering my leg and waist. I tried not to think too much of that moment after I climbed up the lianas, stepped onto the rock and looked down seven meters into a mall triangle that represented the part of the water deep enough to jump in.
‘Focus on the direction you want to go, don’t focus on where you don’t want to go,’ I remembered my instructor tell me during a skid course. So I focused on the relatively small triangle and jumped. No turning back now. Before I knew it I felt my feet touch the water as I entered the dark hole effortlessly and emerged to the surface again. Climbing the rope ladder to get to the eleven-meter jump was a lot more intense than the actual jump from the tree. So this is why I work out?! I thought to myself. (Got no proof, sorry!).
A long awaited dream…
And mom? She and her vertigo did the five-meter jump effortlessly and she crawled, swam and climbed as well as anyone else. The sun and the wind dried our clothes as we proceeded to the Green Canyon on our motorbikes again. The day turned out to be one of the highlights of Java so far. After receiving our luggage we soon decided to get going again to see my mom’s long awaited Borobudur, near Yogyakarta. The biggest Buddhist temple in the World has been showing its grandeur to many tourists for years and it’s been on my mom’s bucket list since she was eighteen. Impressive for those who haven’t seen many temples so far, but after being to Angkor Wat and having visited countless temples I – quoting Roadhouse – ‘expected him to be bigger’. Nonetheless, a beautiful piece of architecture with stunning details.
Old Indonesian man smoking on the hill near Borobudur
Yogyakarta was our last stop. The city has been good to us: a small, artistic city where education and creativity prevails. Mostly we enjoyed the artwork at our guesthouse Setia Kawan and local batik markets, the organic cuisine at Hani’s and Via Via, and lots of pampering (read: mani-pedi, two hour massages and a hair wash that turned into an upper body massage slash hairstyling). No more long train rides or hours in the car for us. We decided to skip Malang and fly to Bali directly. The plan? Ubud first, then we’ll see. Three weeks left of traveling together. And even though I’m counting the days to run into my luvie’s arms again as he’s joining me the last month of my travels, I’m majorly enjoying this time with mom as well.
The lovely sunset shining through the trees near the Borobudur
Ps: My lovely readers, Remember that word, Santai (= relax, take it easy in Bahasa) every time you’re annoyed in traffic or trying to hurry. Stress is no good. 😉
Santai – relax, take it easy. Sunshine – I carry it with me at all times now!
In case you’re wondeirng: My photos were taken with my one and only fashion camera, the Olympus Pen Lite 7 *love*