I got talking to a guy in the bike shop on the 31st of December.
His name is Ricky. And while we were waiting for my bicycle to get fixed we had lunch. He asked me to join him and a few friends to go to Sempu Island, since he was planning a trip there the next morning. When I found out my bike needed some more time before she’s ready to hit the road again I decided to take him up on his offer.
First we had to get his mountain bike home, that’s a bit of a hassle with two people. I sat on the bar while Ricky maneuvered us through busy traffic. Trying to convince me it would only take 5 minutes. It was truly uncomfortable, but funny. As proved the many laughing and pointing people along the way… Lucky we fell over only once.
To my question if he transported people like this before he said: “yeah sure, all the time… when I was 14…” (He’s 30 now).
Around 20 minutes later we arrived at his house in the pouring rain.
Next morning, the 1st of January he came to pick me up at 6.a.m. Due to a little miscommunication I only discovered him waiting in the car in front of the house at 6.30 when I stumbled out of bed… Happy New Year!
We didn’t get going for a few hours and when we did we took a wrong turn and drove in the wrong direction for about an hour. The guy’s seemed to find this extremely hilarious, because not only did they visit the same island just the previous week, they also are map-makers. That is their job. They all know each other from college. This was the first day I met them and it turned out I was going to spent a fair bit of time with those guys; Ricky, Thomas, Andy, Yal, Hassan and Tito.
The Island was gorgeous. If only you looked through the 3million other people who had the same idea on new years and leaving behind a serious amount of rubbish.
After a strenuous hike over a trail of pure mud and slippery clay, that made it difficult to walk, we got rewarded with the sight of a beautiful lagoon where we jumped off an overhanging tree in the green waters to swim to a stunning little beach where we hang around taking photos.
Photography is a big hobby of these boys. So it happened we had 5 great cameras but no models… well, that’s what I heard them complaining about… and if they meant girls running across the beach in bikini in slow motion then they were right. There was a lack of that.
We spent the day swimming, climbing up sharp rocks, nearly getting knocked off by the water smashing through a hole from the sea into the lagoon, and laying on the beach. And there the plan formed to take another trip the next day.
So in the morning I got picked up again and we drove up into the mountains.
To Bromo. A volcano in a crater. The crater is said to be dug out by an ogre in love with half a coconut shell… (Not in love with the shell, but he dug with it…)
When you, unexpectedly, come up the road and are met with the view you can’t think anything else but WOW!! It’s the most beautiful view I’ve seen in Indonesia so far. The empty crater surrounded by mountains and a green valley. We drove further up to the highest view-point where it was rather cold. Lucky we had beer and coffee to keep warm. We were the only ones up there to witness the spectacular sunset.
I hadn’t planned to abuse Ruud’s hospitality like this. He is an excellent host. He keeps telling me I can stay as long as I like and doesn’t seem bothered a bit having me around. It is extremely nice and comfortable being here. And I have a good excuse to stay just a little bit longer…
At first the problem was that my bike was broken.
Now that problem is fixed but I am broken.
I’ve been cruising around the area on Ruud’s Enfield. But one day last week I discovered up close that the traffic here isn’t as organized as for example in India… When two young boys on a motorbike smashed, without warning, into my leg. Lucky I wasn’t going very fast but I did fall over and surprised myself by just picking up the bike. I was a bit sore, but lucky the Enfield didn’t even have a scratch. My phone didn’t get away so easily. It sat in my pocket and broke. The two boys (about 14 yrs old, no helmets and going way to fast) seemed fine since they disappeared very quickly…
But apart from my knee scratched I think I did something to my muscle. It’s still very sore. So it seems like a good enough excuse to stay a little longer… Australia is still too hot at the moment anyway. And here it just rains and rains…