I experienced Yogya and Java in a really intense and impulsive way. I took a 23 hour night bus from Bali – a bus full of men who couldn’t speak English and one white girl travelling by herself, we battled our way through heavy rainstorms & flooded streets, took a dodgy ferry and stopped at shady places for midnight snacks. If it wasn’t for the two lovely Indonesian brothers who wanted to find out all about living in Europe, I probably would have never stayed on this bus. We arrived in Yogya early in the morning – it was loud, pulsing, crowded and a bit mental.
The fact that it was Chinese New Year only made my days in Yogya even more intense. People, music, incense & shouting coming from everywhere.
Another reason for my crazy Yogya days were the two amazing Indonesian girls that I was living with. Initially I was a bit sceptical of couchsurfing by myself in a country and culture so far from everything I know. But along my travels I met a girl who told me about the two sweet English students in Yogya who love to meet new people. So I contacted them and had such a fantastic time at theirs! The girls were so excited to show me around, take me on motorbike trips, introduce me to some more exotic local food, teach me some Indonesian and bring me to the best bar in town. I loved sleeping on their floor, using their showers and chatting to their neighbours. After almost 4 weeks in Indonesia, my time with the girls showed me yet another side of this beautiful country & its people.
My time in Indonesia was slowly coming to an end but there was this one more thing I still really wanted to tick off my list. Climb a volcano. Last time I tried the weather gods weren’t on my side. Unfortunately, it was the same this time. It was a night trekking tour which means you leave at midnight, hike up 1900 meters, watch the breathtaking sunrise and return for the biggest breakfast of your life. The altitude difference is quite a lot (especially if you do it in one big chunk), but I was in the company of two amazing English guys and we were pumped to do this! The boys owned their own radio show back at their UK university and gave me a little private concert of remixes & medleys all the way up. Don’t ask me how they had the energy or fitness to sing the entire night while hiking. I was just happy I didn’t have to talk. It was foggy, dark & wet and just generally quite shit. You could literally see five meters and for every step you took on the volcanic sand you fell two steps back. I also fell into a hole when I went to pee. It was really fun nonetheless, the boys and me had a blast. You know when you’re tired and everything’s kinda shit, and then suddenly everything seems hilarious?! Yep, we were all in that mood – I just felt a bit sorry for our tour guide.
On our way back down we had stunning views of the hilly landscapes as the sky cleared. On top of everything that went wrong on the way up, the ground was also completely wet from the thick clouds. After no sleep and hiking the whole night, I spent most of my way down on my butt. We were tired & unconcentrated, laughed at everything and slipped with every other step. But hey, that’s also one way of getting closer to breakfast! Looking back on Mount Merapi. We got back at around 8am, had banana pancakes and took a little nap before heading back to Yogyakarta. The hike was really fun but as soon as I have the next chance to see the sunrise from a volcano, I’ll give it another go. I’ve heard so many nice stories about it. Third time lucky, ey?