Thursday, April 7, 2011


I’ve now had a few days to reflect on my time in the country of 17,508 islands and the conclusion I’ve come to is I’m glad I went but from now on I will keep my enthusiasm about a place in check until I have at least made my way out of the airport!

There is absolutely no doubt that Indonesia is a beautiful country. The landscape is absolutely breathtaking. There were actually times I found myself searching the green terraced hills for dinosaurs and other extinct creatures as we wound our way across Bali.

After Bali we headed to Java, an island we didn’t expect to like all that much but ended up enjoying quite a bit. We spent time in Solo, Yogyakarta and Jakarta. All three had their perks and I would definitely recommend them. We spent the most time in Yogyakarta and visited Borobudur a magnificent Buddhist temple. Sadly while there I fell quite ill and after spending one night violently ridding myself of any sustenance Ally and I boarded a train for Jakarta. Now it wouldn’t have been an overly pleasant trip had I done it healthy but doing it sick made it that much more difficult! Getting sick away from home reminds us that we are not unstoppable! We are very much stoppable!

Our time in Jakarta was lazy partly due to me not being able to kick whatever bug had entered my body and our collective exhaustion from the past couple weeks. We didn’t get up to that much other than visiting the post office and the old Dutch quarter which was a great area full of character and a fabulous old café, Café Batavia. Walking into the café is like walking through a door and being transported back to the 1930’s. Stunning! Jakarta didn’t scare me or make me want to run back to Yogyakarta and we had heard that it likely would. To each their own I suppose. If people are telling you to bypass Jakarta shrug your shoulders and go anyway at least for a couple days.

Snake Curry in Yogyakarta (Cobra and Python)
What I really wanted to get out of Indonesia was a strong dose of culture but I came away knowing as much about Indonesian culture as I had arrived with.  I’m not sure we ever met a real Indonesian, someone who wasn’t trying to sell us an experience, transport or merchandise. That is perhaps my biggest regret. I walked away from that gorgeous country with the impression that Indonesians live to sell and scam and make the lives of travellers one of frustration and stress. I know that is not the real Indonesia but I would hesitate to try and find it again.

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