•Volcanos, temples and more•

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Upon arrival in Malang (Indonesia), we strolled through the city centre and booked a trip to the Mount Bromo, THE volcano in that region which we had already seen quickly from the plane. The alarm clock rang at 1 am and half an hour later we sat in a van which was speeding through the night uphill. Around 4 am we reached the observation deck (Mount Pananjakan) where heaps of other tourists were already waiting, squeezing their shivering bodies around the bonfires of the locals to fight the cold. The view of the volcano Semeru (highest volcano of Java), the smoky Mount Bromo and the perfectly shaped Mount Batok at sunrise was breathtaking and definitely compensated for the early wake-up and the freezing temperatures.

Afterwards the jeep with the broken shock absorbers took us down a potholed track to the crater of the Mount Bromo. The 500 meters from the parking lot to the crater rib became a nightmare of whirled-up dust and respiratory distress ‘cos the locals on their horses where riding around the place like wild on their hunt for lazy people (giving them a lift) which was raising even more dust!

 

The sun was burning down on us as if it was its last day and the dust really gave us a hard time. At the top of the crater rib, we quickly took a picture and went down again – getting really paranoid as there were so many people up there and no safety rotes or whatsoever. We don’t wanna know how many people took the wrong exit here! This trip is definitely nothing for the faint-hearted!

 

Unexpectedly the way back to Malang turned out to be another highlight (except the broken bumpers). The scenery was authentic and beautiful as can be: lush green hills, small towns and all sorts of fruits and vegetables being grown at the steep slopes of that region. And we even got to see a nice waterfall (Rainbow waterfall).

 

After countless hours on the bumpy jeep we hopped on the train which eventually would bring us from Malang to the cultural center of Java, Yogyakarta (200 kilometers, 8 hours). Yeah… that’s hardcore travelling! But we don’t want to complain – we just had some holidays on Bali! ;-). The train tickets we bought at the little convenient store in Malang – very “convenient”! In Yogya we visited the Hindu temple of Prambanan and the Buddhist temple of Borobudur – both majestic sights and very impressive. Every now and then an Asian tourist(group!) would come up to us and ask us to make a picture with them. A quite strange feeling, we tell you! The city itself is full of colonial (Dutch) building and has a lively street-art scene and a relaxing “university-town-flair”. On June 20 we finally waved Indonesia good-bye and flew to the metropolis of Singapore!

 

And what are the “green” news?

Java is suffering from the same environmental problems like Bali – with the only difference that the world’s most populous island has a trash colleting system and recycling plants. This engages some people to make a living from collecting empty bottles, cans, paper etc. and selling them to recycling depots. Unfortunately the tiny candy wrapper, crisps and drinking straw packing is useless to them and therefore left behind. In this case we feel that it is the responsibility of the food and beverage industry to find solutions in order to produce less packaging and stop wrapping ever little cookie separately.

 

 

But there are good news as well: in Yogya more and more restaurants try to avoid trash the best they can and focus on reusable packaging instead of the polystyrene boxes and the plastic-coated paper wrappers. In the old days they used banana leaves and this is the goal for the future again: be natural! On top of this we noticed recycling bins and info boards which give some environmental tips. Another thing we’d like to mention, is that people on Java and Bali spoke a pretty good English which enables them to understand and adapt the environmental ideas from the west. All of these things entertain hopes for a brighter tomorrow with less trash lying around and more environmental awareness.

 

Here you can have a look at the pictures from Java.

 

1 Comment

Kathi und Henrik
Aug 19, 2012 at 20:10

Ihr übertrefft euch immer wieder bei euren Fotos!!! :) Wir werden das ganz schön vermissen! Genießt die Zeit weiterhin – der Alltag beginnt früh genug! (Wir sprechen aus Erfahrung :)) Einen ganz dicken Drücker aus dem Schwabenländle, Kathi und Henrik


 

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