Last Rant. I promise.

Part IV : Yes I do miss it

The driver who will take us back to Surabaya asked us to quote him a fee, which normally would cost 500000rp/per van irrespective of the number of passengers.
I’m not good in this. I don’t know how much a task is worth, a labor of energy, and other corresponding aspects in using a service from other people (I’ll make a terribly softie boss lol) I ran around in sentences but yea maybe cut it by half pretty pleaseeee?? They LOLed but accepted it.
We get in the jeep, just the two of us, and it climbed up to a massive open ended flat piece of land on a high altitude. It looks like a savannah in the middle of the mountains. Since we arrive at around 4pm, there were literally no other tourists around. I had to gave excuses to everyone who tried to offer us horse rides, and souvenirs and whatnots. They were hogging the freaking jeep door…I said I won’t come out of the jeep cause I need to change to my sweater. That held them off for a while.
The rain just stopped, and rainbow appeared at the horizon. The whole place is just for us. The desolation is a beautiful feeling, it makes you want to bare it all and just move to your rythm. Then it dawns on me that we only have 1 hour of the sun to reach the top (the trail and the stairs). I still haven’t finish revelling to the fact that there are no one around. But we sped our pace, occasionally had to refuse rides offers…although my still sore legs are asking for a rest.
We only have little money, enough for the ride back down to Probolinggo. We were officially broke XD
So halfway up, it is getting dark, just enough for us to walk 2km back to where our jeep is. We got tons of photos and one with the horse riders. It was fun to haggle for prices mindessly XD

By 6pm we were in the van again. I started to feel the pain of not giving myself a proper rest, trying to catch both mountains at the very same day, plus all the dizzying rides….it really drains me. But I had laid eyes on so many beautiful sights, crossed paths with good people, and doing things I have never done. Mission accomplished.
The drive was an hour of trying to sleep off the pain all over my body. Luckily we always carry some meds with us.
We also get exchanged money with the drivers, like, on the spot. With a competitive exchange rates šŸ˜Ž As I said, don’t worry. They’ll work something out.
Apparently there is a 24hr bus going to and from Probolinggo and Surabaya. Tix priced at 3000rp/person. It is a really comfortable standard bus, with a/c. Finally I get to really close my eyes.
In Surabaya at around 10pm, it was raining again, albeit heavier, and flooded some roads.
We grabbed a taxi heading to the pre booked hotel, only to be denied at the reception counter šŸ˜•
I wasn’t shocked, nor expected it, I think I just don’t have the energy to react anymore. I just went out the door and find something to eat with our little money that’s left. I exchanged the money previously just to cover the taxi ride and food. Not another accommodation…if they’d let me swipe a card then it should be ok…but since it’s raining heavily and to pay for the next taxi looking around just doesn’t sound good to me.
We just stopped talking for a while and let ourselves to beĀ absorbed to the surroundings, being out stranded late at night. Our flight back is at 6.25am.
It’s pretty obvious that we’re gonna have to stay at the airport till check in time. We ate Ayam Bakar for dinner and paid 25000rp, and left with some money for one taxi ride.

Upon arrival at the airport, I dashed in to find the shower room and surau area to sleep at. To my frustration there were only toilets and I forgot that in Indonesia a lot of its surau and mosques have combined male-female area. God…I slumped into the seat and just can’t think of a good way to end this exhilarating trip. I just watched people come and go for a good 10mins or so just cooling myself down. OK then, just deal with it. We found an isolated baby’s changing room and stayed there for about 6 hours until dawn. Of course, some staff found us and told us to leave but nah the whole body pain and lethargy grantedĀ me a rather good sleep on the floor. I have better sleep on travels than at my own home.

At around 6am we were checking in to the departure lounge. Nothing’s better than filling the time you suddenly have by rewinding the last 3 days of your life not being at work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job (OMG) but the thought of just leaving everything behind has never stop bugging me.

I will deal with that thought later…right before I sleep, every night.



Still ranting…

Part III : I think I’m gonna miss this

My mood is getting lighter as we were getting back to the inn…until I reminded myself about the real situation…our train tickets to Probolinggo are due to depart at 9am.
There is no way on Earth we are getting back AND have the time to at least have a shower or eat something after the trek. If you ask me my body isn’t ready at all
the train ride will take 4hours.
In mere minutes I get to wash my face with my cleanser- I missed 2 days of cleansing it. you have no idea how bad it feels.
Just brushing my teeth and cleansing my face is the new minimum of staying clean on a trip like this
I’m nearly finished packing when the hotel staff calls me for breakfast, to which I refused because I simply don’t have the time.
She insists that it’s okay and we will be able to catch the train. It’s about 9am already…and it should depart from another train station that is situated around 20mins by car from the hotel. I feel pretty freaking hopeless and increasingly annoyed at how calm the staff are about it
The guys coincidentally heard us and asked me about it since they are also planning to go to the same destination
The staff will drive us to the nearest train station so they decided to join in
but the other guy is still having his breakfast and the both of us haven’t eat anything yet
The next moment we were all struggling to finish some food while standing around and the scene made the staff so amused
They were like dont worry the train can wait, we’re like noooooooooo asdfghjkl
I also can’t find where our room’s keys ugh
I only managed to push one spoonful of rice down my throat, one of the staff decided to pack the food for me…I was so thankful for her
We paid everything in a hurry and bid goodbye to these wonderful people
When we arrived at Karangasem train station it was 10mins past 9am.
I realized what we’re so afraid of really doesn’t happened.
You can board the train from a different station than the one stated on the ticket, and it never arrived on time too.
Pak Gandar, the owner, get the 2 guys their tickets instantly, like cutting qeues and stuff. He’s very reliable and resourceful šŸ˜€
I fumbled with the room keys in my hands and gave it to him and didn’t get to properly say thank you for everything…
We only waited for like 3mins inside and the train came. Perfect timing.

I used the 4hours of sitting in the train getting as much needed rest
The seat is surprisingly very comfortable and I get to drink my fave Jasmine tea in a bottle (if this is even a criteria to complete the situation haha)
Drifting in and out of sleep until i couldnt fight the urge to eat anymore
so we arrived at Probolinggo train station around the time stated on the ticket. That must be some kind of wizardry lol
When we got off we thought we should wait for the 2 guys. it’s better to travel with them than just the two of us because they’ll do all the hailing and talking and we’re just chillin’. lol
I could’ve find my own way through the extensive reading and researching I’ve done…but heck if someone is willing to take that place I’ll be gladly handing them the reins
There is a couple who is looking for the transport to the bus station too so they make 6 of us, and we get 5000rp/person. Nice.
It’s really hot by then…feeling sticky and dripping with sweat. Being dehydrated/in a dry environment would annoy me too but I just despise being drenched
My clothes are all inapproriate for how the day went…I used all lighter tops already. Well we thought we’d be in Cemoro Lawang by this day.
Halfway there we were stopped at the side of the road with locals who claimed he have good offers for Mt Bromo tour. I’ve read about these locals who wanna leech on your money. And to my relief our new friends refused quite harshly, that the guy quit trying us.
We were told to wait for the green vans that’ll not travel until it’s full. yep. It’s exactly like how I’ve read before on various travellers’ blogs/guides.
Luckily there are clean shower room, toilets and surau at the strip of shops where we sat. 2000rp per use.
I find myself painfully restraining from taking a shower, when the water is so cool and the bathroom looks so inviting lol
We are so pressed for time that we are constantly discussing what is the plan to get to Mt Bromo AND back to Surabaya at the very same day?
I don’t wanna entertain negative thoughts at this time. I reaaally wanna go no matter what.
We chat with the a local guy who runs a homestay at Cemoro Lawang and he said he can help us out in getting us a ride up to Mt Bromo, a van to get back to Surabaya, and cheaper entrance tickets to the National Park, provided we carry ourselves as locals from Jakarta. since we all looked similar anyway and with a fake imitation Indonesian accent…I think we can nail this. haha if we all look the same I’ll totally get the others in.

Idk how to explain but i have a different way of looking to the Indonesian people here at their native place than at my country.
I wish we’d all value our shared roots, being respectful of our differences and being the good neighbour.
I’ve met good people in all of my travels in Indonesia and they never fail to be so hospitable, helpful and extremely resourceful.
That’s why I have less worry travelling in this country cause even if things don’t go my way and plans all fucked up, we can always strike a deal with someone random and it’ll be in good faith. Money is traded in a wayĀ where in each direction someone will get the benefit. So, if it can solve your current hurdle why wont you do it right? I love how you can untangle yourself from a web of problems on a backpacking trip with the power of being open to trust complete strangers and find yourself somehow depending on each other. And we have the advantage of understanding and able to converse in their language.
In this new group, the couple whom the girl is pretty and I guessed she’s a Filipino, but this time I guessed it wrong. She’s also a Malaysian
We had a hyped conversation in the ride, like we’re catching up with old friends or something, but really the topics with Malaysian strangers you met on your travels would be – food, travel stories, food, and again food. because why not???!
She randomly gave us a packet of Old Town black coffee each. a perfect gift for me that i doubt she heard me say my thanks. Or did she? Oh well
The drive up to Cemoro Lawang took an hour or more, winding turns and hard climbs the damaged roads…i couldnt catch a nap.

It’s cold and wet with drizzling rain. It rains every day I was in Surabaya.

I had the same shirt I wore since morning of not showering, and feeling like man….even showering in the rain will do…but because of the cold it doesnt bug me anymore.
So we paid our guy 200000rp for entrance fee to National Park, which everyone else in the group was charged at 317000rp. Our secret k?
And handed 150000rp/person for the jeep ride to Mt Bromo. Usual price is 300000rp/person in a group of 2. We get everything halveddddd
Further up, the other tourists in the group left pair by pair, leaving us, the Malaysian girl and her partner, and the 2 singaporean guys who were with us since Banyuwangi.
They reached their respective accomodations, and I still havent decided by then what is a proper time to say thank you for their accidental company that is convenient for us and warmed us that we found good people to tag along.
I didn’t get to express my thanksĀ again.

Rants cont. Trip to Ijen Crater-Mt Bromo

Part II : OK fuck it and keep going

We settled in anyway, the inn is empty as we were the only customers. I feel great because we don’t have to share bathroom
but after IĀ woke up on and off sleep, a group of Indonesian guys checked in. But they don’t really stay outside so I still walk around freely
After a great breakfast we went out to the falls (Air Terjun Kembar) near the village and had a really coooool morning shower
I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever went to a waterfall and actually swim in it
amazing feeling. I can’t believe just last night everything was so fucked and being washed in those shallow cool mountainous waters I feel unlike myself
I can forget about everything for as long as I’m in the waters.
After that we went to the beach, wanted to stroll around but that’s not what happened later lol we finished eating our stomach out for the whole 2 hours and a half
It was so gratifying!!
The whole day was spent doing nothing basically..just talking with the owners and sleeping whenever my head hits the sack
Tonight we will go to Ijen so I’m kinda nervous..we were trying to get some sleep before the trip at 12am but the room is so hot and feel closed off
I can’t sleep…what worries me more is that I’m having a diarrhea, at this ideal time lol!! It’s unsettling to say the least. I’m fucking scared like my life depended on it.
Iheard guy’s voices outside..I knew there are more travellers arrived, so we will have a larger group to go together, lesser priced (350000rp/person)
An Italian coupleĀ and 2 Singaporean guy friends.
I take too many toilet trips until I’m relieved for a while…taking a tab of Lomotil. I pray and pray lol
I’m really scared
Trekking, and diarrhea. No. Can’t be happening together.
I guessed that the 2 guys are Singaporeans, idk but I know that accent is the chinese people that I knew, but it’s not Malaysian for some reason, I’m a good guesser
The trip started, the drive up the entrance..the roads were narrow and narrower, so cold and pitch dark…it’s kind of like from a scary found footage movie
I made a random joke if our jeep were to stall…and it did. Like 5 mins later. fuuuuuuuuuuu
Starting that everything that happened to me in this entire trip whether is favorable or not it’s all funny to me. Too funny to be true šŸ™„
We stood by while the guides gathered to check out what can be done to repair the jeep but it didn’t go well
I started to munch on my sugars, feeling cold but honestly I love the stillnessĀ of the forest, coupled with the clear starry sky, the moon shines like a blinding spotlight
You know how mysteriously bright the moon feels but in a muted kind of way, if you can touch it it’d feel like velvet
A different van has spaces enough for all 6 of us so they had us transported in this van, we are squeezed in really bad though
Locals would usually chat us up since we looked like we can perfectly understand them compared to the foreign looking tourists
Anyway we reached the entrypoint, it reminds me of the campers base in the Vertical Limit movie 8) I’m being dramatic here but really it felt professional enough
The diarrhea again. fuck. I praaaaaaaaay plz god plz help me
I don’t wanna struggle in pain while making my way up…
We stayed in our group, the Singaporean guys were really helpful in like always tryna make us stay in a group and not stray to different groups with their own guides
I can’t really believe that I trek the trail at the dark of night. I’ve never done itttt
We got separated shortly after starting the trek because obviously we are slower paced
the guide, Pak Sam stayed with us and a lone traveller from China
We found out that he used to be a Penambang too – the sulfur mine workers who arguably have the worst job in the world.
But people do what they had to for some money…and feeding their family. We are of course very familiar to this trait among Indonesian people because we had so many of them coming for a taste of a better life in our country
Although we’re not doing soĀ well ourselves
After an hour (I think.. I lost track of time) my legs is still ok, I’m not straining anywhere along my body but we were left alone, Pak Sam stayed behind for the Chinese lady
We met lots of local trekkers taking a nap randomly beside the trail, or camping under a tree
After twists and turns you quickly lose everyone around you that just now buzzes with life, and suddenly just you and the pitch black darkness, feeling the most strained in your heart beating at an excess beats trying to preserve your life while the air becomes thinner and colder
But in a lot of my ‘endeavours’ doing things that I have never done, IĀ underestimated myself. The diarrhea also is gone by now. hahaha see, it’s all in THE MIND.
I tell myself that I’ve lost one day wasted, and I paid for an extra night for this, to catch Blue Fire phenomenon.
To arrive at the only checkpoint before finishing the trail to the mouth of the crater, my legs are still ok. Although at each later steep turns I feel like crying why aren’t we arrive already
Again, when I say I feel like crying I never did cry. So yeah the top is breezy with sulfur and cold mountain air.
You trying to make sense of how majestic this place is, under the moonlight, the plateau give us a grand view of what lies below….it is otherworldly.
I truly feel like the scene in LOTR Fellowship of the Ring when Frodo unknowingly discovered the Nazgul’s lair. Seriously. It’s really pretty though…
We were reunited with our group again. and I honestly thought people watch the Blue Fire from here, but nah…we have to continue going down to the crater 700m below.
Into the mouths of hell, I thought in my head…
I freaked out insideĀ when we make our way to the starting point of the journey down. When you see the rocky paths, fill with rubbles, and no clear trail.
This is getting real. oh mannn
I think I just throw myself into the moment and let’s go for itttt kind of way
We couldnt find our guide, and every travellers just went by in their own paces, so, the four of usĀ find ourselves left trying to find the next correct path. The Singaporeans are really awesome that they stayed together
In there two is always better than one lol
I’m kinda dumbfounded when we didnt know where to go. I mean come on man this isnt your freaking backyard
Further down we met Pak Sam randomly sprouting from the stones or something cause he was there with the Chinese lady
Following him down we all sat at the ‘viewing point’ where it’s safe to watch the Blue Fire without having to wear the gas mask.
He told us about the phenomena in an educational way, I have fun in that little outdoor classroom
So we stayed until sunrise, just watching, struggling with the cold and taking lots of crappy photos with mobile phones wishing the next will turn out to be better
Anything to bring home from this nature’s wonder
The sounds…is like having your gas burner at home (the heavy cylinder like shaped tin containing gas that is portable) and have it burn at full, and watching it as a miniature human. haha
That silent gurgling sound
The sun light up the crater slowly that you see the expanse of it…how big it is if you have good vantage point to see the lake splayed beyond the sulphur mines.
I took photos but it does not produce images like how my eyes sees it. How the sulphuric yellow complements the shade of aquamarine lake, enclosed in the hard and careless rocky walls.

We see Penambangs doing their job like usual, carrying the heavy 90kg+ weight on their shoulders…it’s hard to watch
I gave them some extra money when buying their sulphur figurines. I hope he will have a good meal that day.
I started to travel out of the rocky gorge, took me like 35mins, losing my breath lots of times ughh it’s really straining. Imagine being those workers šŸ˜¦
When we reached the top I think I breathed so loud some of the locals looked at me worried
The top is wide enough to camp and walkable. The view from anywhere on that plateau is amazing.
You can see as far as the sea and islands near, like Bali.

I wish I can stay longer but we are pressed for time.
We reunited with the Singaporean guys. Idk if they specifically waited but it was a thoughtful action cause we couldnt find Pak Sam until later
So we went down following them from behind tryna match their pace, which is sad because I can’t. haha
Lots of them looks fine going up and down Ijen and im frustrated with myself
Halfway down my toesĀ are in pain, and my knees started to really feeling the weight of my body
I just bite on chocs to get some energy and drink some water
I tried to remember how I finished 15km trek at Merapoh, Pahang last October, and manage to tell myself to continue even in pain and obvious cuts at my heels
The pain is fueling me to never stop
Me and my friend arrived at the base and look for the 2 guys. After a while the Italian friends joined us at the jeep
We had to sit at the back of the jeep. This is another thing too funny to be true =.=’
My head kept on banging the ceiling throughout
We laughed it off
and I love moments that I laughed everything off, it’s what I do normally, I’m already an expert
But to genuinely laugh it off, is nice.

2016 : #1 Trip to Ijen Crater-Mt Bromo

Part I – My body isn’t ready

My crazy meter is going up
I feel so good like time has pass not in an orderly fashion like the way it has been this entire year (it’s just March)
This is the first trip I’ve done entirely without a travel’s new to me..and it’s obvious, im unable to deny for ever
that i love this type of trip the most…it is refreshing. it’s like i need it to be whole. I need it to be in touch with myself..
and remind myself of the things that i love about me and the world around me…it make me loves everything haha if this even makes sense
Anyway im gonna tell the story of my 4 day trip here before i forgot
Learned and did a few new things

To start..on the first day, I don’t feel ready to embark on this trip because it’s not on a package I’m kinda nervous. We booked the ticket end of February, on a whim, because we needed to get out from work so bad.
Working for 3 straight months without holidays can turn me to someone so starkly boring
We chart a van to go to Banyuwangi, the province where Ijen Crater is located, 7-8 hours away
We get the info from the girl manning the information counter, so we figured it must be reliable right?
but fuck no.
This driver drive us around the same busy, complex web of inner city roads, with the way the Indonesian traffic is…my stomach feels funny.

But since I was so tired from all the travelling I slept on and off and woke up to the same city. Now I can even remember the streets and landmarks.
Then a few local menĀ get into the van, I was frankly shocked by this but of course we didnt ask..we just make puzzled faces hoping he’d notice
which, is a sad move
When it was near dusk, he stopped us at a surau for Maghrib prayer. but after the prayer I feel more angry loool
It’s quite rare for me to really say that I’m angry in an angry way..know what i mean?
Usually I will just suck it up and stay unnoticed from outside.
But I just couldn’t contain my anger. I was tired, unable to sleep, needed a shower, hungry, and dizzy after long endless rides.
He had it coming
He’s like so shock lol what do you expect!!
So after that he kinda scared of my reaction
It’s raining heavily outside…I’m in flames lol when someone asked me something I just cant carry myself to be nice.
Damn…when I think about it now I feel it’s so worth it to get angry sometimes you know.
He took a detour to a kampung road, which is fucking bumpy and damage the tire or something so we had to pull over to a mechanic in the middle of the fucking night.
I’m still annoyed and just plainly can’t take anymore fucks so I’m just like yeah ok!!!!!
I’m angered also by my friend who can be so cool like no you can’t be nice to them now.
We continued, after stopping for a meal and toilet trips, I was asleep and hurt my body doing itĀ cause the other guy passenger takes so much space that we were squeezed. We were the only two girls in it. Of course I’m worried in the first place
but I rethink and think, in the times I couldn’t sleep I devoted myself to think and use my ‘mind power’ to reduce my stomach ache and the urge to throw up due to the travelling
at one point, at 3am, we were exchanged to a different van, he said it will bring us to our destination.
Since I won’t care anymore I just nodded silently and continue our journey with the next guy. He’s a nice middle aged man who seemed really mindful of his passengers.
When it was my turn he tried to find it really hard because he didn’t know where it is, but he managed to bring us. We have to chip in 100000rp more.
I honestly don’t mind for all the trouble he had because of that..and we checked in at 5am T_T
Total time travelling via van : 17 hours. FUCK.
I was so angryyy because our whole plan is fucked. We wanna go straight up to Ijen on the day of arrival to Surabaya but we couldn’t since we arrive 5 hours late!!
All because of the driver wanna start driving to Banyuwangi no earlier than 7pm. And had no common sense of telling or discuss with us.
p/s: some guy piss in the van and store it in a plastic bag and left it around my friend’s bag. needless to say, my friend was so furious beyond words…….lessons……………………..