Bromo revisited

It’s okay, I spouted with a swagger in my step, I walked there before! Same old type of cheap accommodation with the comfortingly super damp bedding. 

Awake! 2.30 or there abouts, up and at it! Stumbling out into the brisk air we were met by a cachophany of noise. Tailing off onto the distance was a column of roaring jeeps. It’s okay, we’ll walk, not like these pampered softies!!!

Through the town and down a steep slippery slope on our way to the Sea of Sand. Lights and sounds pounded past. But we’ll walk!! Down onto the sea of sand and off we went. Mist enveloped us, but no problem for we had my iPhone torch/lamp. Onwards McDuff.

And then from the rear, column after column of jeeps screamed past us. Entertaining it was, look I’m here said my iPhone torch wanly. And on we went. Again and again like The US army in Desert Storm, metal and light flew past us. 

Eventually a horeseman guided us to the base of Bromo, but we hadn’t been too far out. It says here:-) People and beasts appeared wraith like from the gloom but our goal was in our sights. So sad to see rubbish at the base of the final leg up to the crater rim. Guess that’s progress. The light, the view and the atmosphere was amazing. And then a walk back in the daylight and a stop off for food at the Lava Hotel. Ordered tomato soup. Love tomato soup:-) a bowl, two tomatoes cut up and some boiling water. Wouldn’t it be boring if everything was the same! 

To many jeeps and fumes but nothing can destroy the majesty of Mount Bromo. Not even dodgy tomato soup!

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Spice Islands

Eastwards Ho! Equipment purchased, 10 flights booked and off we toddled to Indonesia. We stayed overnight in Warsaw before our flight to Istanbul in a super little hostel in the new old town of Warsaw. Bunk-beds with all the ensuing claims to sleep up or downstairs. The Cannon was perfect for us.

Flight number one. We flew Turkish Airlines to Istanbul where we had a seven hour lay over. I determined to reduce DVT by walking every part of it, and I can attest to the fact that it is big! Very big!! Then we had an 11 hour flight to Jakarta. The flight was great and the service excellent. Never have so few lavatories been serviced so often, by so few, for so many.

Jakarta. Tired and hung down like overdecorated Christmas trees we trundled into full view of the cab touts. Shouts of Hey Mister, Hey Boss and simply hey assailed our ears. We had originally planned to take  a bus from the airport to the station at Gambir. I had travelled down to Bandung many years ago by train and enjoyed the experience. Sadly our visit coincided with Ramadan and so there was not even room for a slimmed down cockroach. This meant we had to book a hotel, the illustrious Dreamtel Jakarta. Thus a taxi, and the first of many haggles. But to haggle one needs an idea of the going rate. We paid 300,000 IDR for a taxi across town. The lovely people at Dreamtel told us later that it should have been 200,000IDR maximum. Guard up! The hotel was clean with a funky glass elevator that Will Wonka would approve of. The room was good, a double shared with the children. Aghhh…The view was a little less pleasing. A brick wall, although painted off white, about 30cm from our window. Breakfast was very good and the guys behind the counter helpful and a couple spoke good English. Heads up with the Bluedird taxis with meters and asking suitable questions about tolls being included in prices and off we went from Jakarta the next day by plane. The flight was about 3 hours late. About 10 staff behind the counter could giggle flirt with each other beautifully, but giving information was not their forte. We flew up to Sumatra, landed, which was eventful and bumpy, waited 20 minutes and set off for Yogykarta. The flight attendant pointed out a few general facts and asked us to pray to God for a safe flight. That was reassuring for one and all. Yogykarta. Little did we know but we were close to the airport. The taxi driver again charged over the odds. The place we stayed was clean and again we shared with the kids. Breakfast was a greasy mess and the coffee so sweet one shot of it would have given a whale diabetes. We valiantly strolled down the side of the dual carriageway in search of munchies. Amazing to watch whole families, babies included, all perched on weaving mopeds and scooters. Grabbing a taxi, with the meter agreed as arbiter of cost, we set off down town. We spent the evening on Maliobor Street. Locals looked at us as though they hadn’t seen foriegners before!

Pokemon Go! (away)

During the week my wife told me to accompany young man as he wanted to go and hunt Pokemons. Dusk was in the offing, so off I scuttled. We walked, great for young man as behind a desk and computer he didn’t sit.

Then he stopped, serious and all business like. Apparently a Pokemon was on the radar! The tension built, it was after all, my first Pokemon hunt. He showed me on screen the nifty little beast he would ensnare. One, two, three clicks and the critter was caught.

Off we toddled again, being assured we were going to a happy huntin’ ground for Pokemons. Strange vision. We sat in park as dusk embraced us rapidly. Small knots of teens sat around. But no shouting, no teasing, no raucous games. They sat in the darkness staring at their luminescent screens. Enthralled. My wife rang, the game was up, ordered back home, he trudged sullenly. Apparently night is the best time to hunt for these wee beasties!

Strange hobby, but they all seemed so happy with faces illuminated in the gloom. Pokemon Go (away).

 

I just got home to find four Police Officers in my house looking

…I just got home to find four Police Officers in my house looking for something, acting like lunatics!!!!! Even searching through my garage. They checked through the air-conditioner and inside my bed, tearing the mattress apart!!

When I asked if they had a search warrant, they answered completely hysterically:

“Where did you hide it?? We know it’s here somewhere!!”

Then I watched one of the Police officers look at his mobile phone and shouted.

” Stop it! We are in the wrong house!!!! The Pokémon is next door!!!”

Roadtrip Tech Checklist

How Does this Work?

DSCN0242

Laptop with charger – check

Ipads, 2 for the use of – check

Kindle –  for me to read and use when laptop is tied up – check

Mobile phones 4 with chargers, reminded mine is an iphone;-)  check

Hair dryer -? – check

Curling tongs – the ladies tell me they are important!

Remington (bought the company blah, blah) beard trimmer, various other uses, too! check

TV’s for children in car, plus adaptors (reminder, take films) – check

Headphones for TV’s vital – check. In cabin not in boot of car – double check

Garmin GPS –  to be stuck like an excited snail on the dashboard – check

Tablet – hope wonky start button still works -check

Digital Camera – what you mean it needs batteries? – check

Pen Drive – in case I can’t – check

Mixer for smoothies – check

Fiszka/skateboard – basic technology but important if I am to fall over it on holiday  instead of at home. Check

Calculator for currency – check

That’s enough to be going on with – check