After the trip through South America, I wanted to return to the lands of East Asia, a few years ago I was in Thailand and I fell in love with its people. But this time I didn't just want to see their culture, I wanted very much to explore their nature and I felt like travelling with a group.
So I contacted an agency in Castellón that combines the adventure trip with fellow travellers and a coordinator, who may not have stepped on that country, so we all go in a group and we all help each other. The agency is called “3000 Km”, a different way of travelling. It was a comfortable trip, in a way for me, I didn't have to think about flights, prices, destinations, just to let me go. Which I like to do many times, although on the other hand you do not have the freedom to move at your own pace, but to what is more or less stipulated on the trip. This creates complications in the group, in oneself and in times, discussions, group separations ... But this is also what makes it interesting, doesn't it?
We didn't know each other at all in the group, they only contacted us a few weeks before through emails, together with the coordinator and the other travellers. We were finally 9 people, 8 women and one man, so you can imagine ... hahaha.
I was the only one from Castellón and from Valencia another girl. So we talked to each other to organize a “bla bla car” from Valencia to Madrid. We were beginning to put faces to the names, all this caused some excitement of how our "guide" was going to be, how our traveling companions would be ... But like any expectation, it also sometimes creates a disappointment, because many times what is in our head does not always happen as we expected, but it was still a fun trip, full of setbacks, search for places to sleep, discussions ... we go as a big family who is being known during the trip. For me it was practicing everything I had lived in the Gestalt Therapy group but traveling. An adventure!
Java is the main island of Indonesia where the capital Jakarta is located. It is the most populated island in the world and is of volcanic origin. It has a lot of temples that although sometimes it is boring (at least for me) to be listening to the guide explaining, etc ... It is still worth going to visit them. One thing that I don't usually like to do, although I can't sometimes avoid doing it, is to inform myself a lot about where I'm going. First because I create too many expectations and second because I prefer to be surprised and that the country itself surprises me.
So I read a little more about the organization of the trip, where we were going to go and with that illusion I had left. I looked a little more. And I was truly amazed with many things about Indonesia.
As for the temples we visited on the island of Java, they were:
Borobudur: It is a Buddhist temple, within the island of Java, where one of the things that surprised me was that the religion there is Muslim, although they also live with other religions such as the Buddhist. This temple is an example of that. It is immense and from above, it can be seen as a great Buddhist stupa.
As a lover of spirituality and with great interest I follow some of the keys to happiness that the Buddhist religion teaches us, this temple was of great interest to me, not only in terms of what is seen on the outside, but also in all the symbology that is there. Apart from the view and the landscape that can be seen from the temple.
Prambanam: A Hindu temple considered the largest in the world. The truth is that it is impressive. And especially how after so many years it can still be so well. The main temple of Prambanam is dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu God of destruction and rebirth.
Religions and their beliefs seem so fascinating to me, as in the past all what the human beings believed was their truth and with that they created great monuments and precious artistic works. And where would all those beliefs come from? Would they be dictated by something beyond unknown to us now?
As for other temples that we visited in Java, in the cultural capital of Yogyakarta were "The Great Kraton" and "The Sultan's Palace." After a little cultural life, arrived what I most wanted, that was to go into nature and see the volcanoes of Gunung Bromo and the Kawah Ijen.
To get to this other part of the island, we had to take a bus and be on the road for about 6 hours. So "road and blanket" and with the illusion of visiting and entering the natural and wild world!
To go to visit this volcano we had to get up very early, like at 3 in the morning or so, we were already outside the hostel waiting for a Jeep that came to pick us up to the top of a mountain and see from there the sunrise and the volcano . I love going in a Jeep, it reminds me when I was little and we were going with my father's all-terrain vehicle through the dunes of Morocco or doing mountain routes. So I still enjoy this experience as a little girl. And there we were a few of our trip in a Jeep and others in another. Squeezed like canned sardines and jumping into every pothole the Jeep took, super fun!
When we got to the top of the mountain it was full of cars and buses, super touristing… But the truth is that after what I saw, I didn't care about tourists. We began to take place to see the sunrise among all the amount of tourists from all over the world who were crammed there to see the show. Full of Asians especially and the occasional European ... “disturbing”!
Sunlight began to peek over the horizon and clear up, photos and more photos from Asians with their phones trying to do the best one ... Sometimes we are very crazy with this matter of photos. And when the sun began to paint the landscape orange, then I said to myself, "now is the time to turn and see the volcano." I could not believe what I was seeing. I never looked at photos or if I saw them nothing to do with reality. For me it was one of the most impressive and beautiful views I've seen.
A force of Nature had made that lunar landscape before our eyes really beautiful, with sunlight painting the orange volcano, the noise of the caldera that reminded us that it is active and that anything can happen, but there we were, thousands of people watching that show. And here we were jumping to go and tried to run away from the crowd to be able to see it better and take a picture without so many heads ... It was a super fun moment and with some fight with some stupid Italians who didn't leave us a bit to see ... hahaha.
I could not help putting this panoramic view of the volcano as the main photo of this trip, because for me it was what impressed me most about this trip.
We had been traveling for many days and we had practically not rested well for a single day. Getting up very early and changing hotels practically every day, plus bus routes. So when arriving at this volcano all that fatigue made a dent and finally we could not see it. Apart from that it was a rainy day and we could see practically nothing.
Still, five of us wanted to try, we put on the raincoats and set out to climb towards the volcano. It was raining but at the same time the temperature was good, we had dressed too warm and I started to feel hot. We also wore masks that I had got in the hospital so as not to get intoxicated with the smells of sulfur coming from the volcano. The discomfort, the fatigue of all those days, the rain and the people who were starting to go down and telling us that we could not climb very well and that some guides were starting to forbid the climb ... I said, feeling it a lot, I get off.
The others continued and my competing ego resented it a bit ... hehehe. But in the end they also had to go down. So it is a volcano and a place that has remained to be seen.
After visiting the volcano (which we couldn't see in the end), we were going to take a ferry that would take us to the famous island of Bali. My critical mind once thought, well it will be the typical thing, but at the same time I was very excited to visit it because there is a movie and book that I like very much and that describes this island very well, "Eat, love and pray". And another book that I also recommend is, "Laugh in the wind" by Sandra Barneda, where much of the story also occurs in Bali. This book is the one I took to read during the trip and it was the best, because this writer accompanied me with her Bali look and I could be seeing what she said in the book as I was there.
Bali and its rice fields with children playing kites, temples, friendly and smiling people ... (nothing to do with those on the island of Java). Bali is an island where the religion that people practice most is Hinduism although it also has some Buddhist temple. The streets smell of incense, women in the morning prepare offerings for the gods of the underworld and the superworld to protect them. Their offerings are made with natural flowers, they put inside some candies and an incense stick. Bali is delicate, sweet, kind, artistic, pleasant ... it was a joy for my senses to visit this island. Inside me I felt that voice that said ... "one day I would love to live here."
We were visiting Ubud, a small town, something touristy with its beautiful clothing stores where I bought some odd things that I still have with much love, they are of my best clothes and very cheap. We did some massage of those cheap and with those hands of the Balinese, those aromas of essential oils ... A pleasure.
We went to visit the temples of:
• Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, on Lake Beratan.
• Pura Besakih Temple, on the slope of Mount Agung.
• The sacred fountains of Tirta Empul, very close to Ubud.
• The Temple of the Apes, in Ubud. Nusa Lambongan and Nusa Ceningan With the group we decided to visit some small islands that they recommended in the Lonely Planet guide, they said they were less crowded with tourists and that they could go on an excursion to see “striped blankets” fish and more ...
Coming to visit these islands was a success, we rented some motorcycles and we went a few to visit the two islands, to discover them. The second day we were like at home, we already knew where to go to visit this or that or just get lost on the roads full of tropical forest and feel the wind in our face ... You can feel more freedom in those moments.
To end the trip, the 3000Km agency proposed us to spend a few days off in some small islands very close to Lombok, to finish our trip in Lombok.
We found that proposal well and although we made some changes in the end because of some problems that arose with the group, we finally decided to choose between the 3 islands of Gili, that of Gili Air.
Gili Air is the closest island to Lombok and has the reputation of being the quietest of the three but not boring. There are several bars, terraces where you can see the sunsets chill out ... And a very curious thing is that there is no motor vehicle on this island. So either you take a bicycle with the risk of being stuck between so much beach sand or you walk or take a car on horseback.
From this island there was also the possibility of taking a tour to go snorkeling and go see the sea turtles. Thing that we did and enjoyed a lot.
After finishing that day and a half that we spent in Gili Air with another ship we crossed to the island of Lombok.
The truth is that when we arrived in Lombok we were quite disappointed by the hostel we had chosen. Some of the group did not welcome it with pleasure and also the group was somewhat separate. So some of us decided to go to another part of the island and take a hostel on our own and we got back together at the end of the trip.
It was a good option because the hotel was super well located very close to a beach that is ideal for surfing if you are a beginner (Selon Belanak Beach) and as I am, there I went. We rented a motorcycle from the hotel and on the road ...
I remember those moments of riding a motorcycle as something very funny. I surfed for a while with a monitor, I fell I don't know how many times, and when I finished, we were on the beach for a while, and suddenly a shepherd appeared with his buffalos between us. It was like a, "What ??". It is not very common to see this type of images on a beach, but this is Indonesia, wild and with contrasts.