Saturday, 13 July 2013


The 3 of us continued on to Yogjakarta - Gogja for short. The train left at 8am, and it was my idea to just show up at the train station. No more seats for 8am ... oooops!! Oh well, but at least I had time to catch up on my sleep till the next 4pm train. Not a very good idea to spend pointless days on a 1 month visa. The ride was 9 hours long. Thank god I had an Indonesian woman sitting next to me feeding me everything even though she didn't speak a word of English and for some reason didn't accept anything I offered her. And thank god for the deck of cards that we had with us, and we played a long long game consisting of 32 separate games, where at the end I won!! :)) Well, kind of... it was my turn to deal the last game, and I dealt wrong, even though I realized it before everyone picked up their cards, and according to the rules of the game, you're punished for every little misstep, which I think is wrong! The train staff and service were amazing. They constantly went with a menu, drinks, garbage bags, cleaning halls, cleaning toilets. It would've been a beautiful scenery as well, except that it was raining like crazy.
Arrived at 1am. Went to a big hostel built like a university campus, it fits over 300 people and is fully booked every day. Next day we hired a scooter for a 2 day trip to a temple and a volcano. The agency brought one brand new scooter with 16kms on it, and the other one completely broken down with and a missing right mirror - "No problem" they tell me, "the cops won't mind"!. Maybe the cops don't mind, but I certainly do! We went hell knows where and spent hell knows how much time to find another scooter, and left only at 1pm.
The road there was beautiful, as in the rest of Indonesia. Endless green with palm trees and rice fields. Forget about the rice fields of Thailand/Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam. If you want to see them properly, come to Indonesia! The same could be said about Volcanoes/diving/scenery/culture/oceans ... Indonesia has the best of the best collection of everything!
The entrance to the temple was $4 for locals, $18 for foreigners. Kostya didn't go. Me and Julia fully dressed against the rain waited for it to stop first, tied a sarong around us, took a guide and off went to explore the temple. The temple was beautiful, Indian ... man I missed Indian temples, here India wins hands down, but hey, they have Indian temples in Indonesia as well :) The guide was fun and extravagant. Pretty much he told us about the stories which are engraved in the temple walls. There was also some sort of an elaborate ceremony within the temple grounds with added to the mystical atmosphere. Hundred people all dressed in white with a bunch of bells and whistles chanting and spraying water on themselves and the usual sacrifice of cooked chickens to the gods. I have no idea what they were doing.
On we drove to the volcano.
3:30am wake up for the hike. It's raining outside, and everyone took it as an excuse to continue sleeping. That's until half an hour later when Kostya got up and went to check things out. We ended up jumping from the bed and running to the breakfast room to eat and have our briefing. This rain goes on every morning and usually stops when it's time to go for a hike. Mirapi volcano is 12 years in a row the world's most dangerous volcano. And since our guide is the expert and a member of some volcano society, we'll get to go to a restricted red zone which requires a special permit! We have to climb up rocks holding the tree roots and our grins are up to our ears :)
We watched a sun rise and saw the volcano towering nearby with the smoke circulating around it. The volcano erupted 5 times in the last 13 years causing massive destruction. There are 7 stations monitoring it and 4 levels of signals and evacuation procedures. The last time, the army came in to evacuate people who didn't want to leave their houses. People didn't listen, and army was rough and aggressive, people hid in their houses, the army destroyed the houses and shoved the people in the trucks. Simply said, it wasn't a peaceful procedure. The problem was that beforehand, the lava went only 6 kms from the volcano, but this time the lava went 20 kms from the volcano. Around 300 people died. Our guide was in the town, but far away from the volcano. His wife was in the other city watching the news. With broken communication lines she was worried so much that she ended up in the hospital for 5 days in the intensive care unit. Here you go, what can happen due to stress alone.
By 8am the clouds rolled in ... no more volcano. All the people who came for a day trip from Gogja missed it all.
Throughout all the trip Kostya is being pretty rude to Julia. He doesn't like that she's in some sort of a life changing cult. He lost a friend in it who pretended to be some sort of a Reed product to kill ants and doing an ant eliminating dance .... it didn't work too well ... and now he can't tolerate anyone who went through it. As far as I've heard from Julia, the classes seem like fun, informative that make you learn, understand things, understand yourself better. But Kostya thinks it's more of a brainwashing alteration. I don't know ... seems like all religions are brainwashing, and everybody should do what suits them best. Julia told me about one exercise: after you spend a few days with your group, you have to go through each person and say their name without prior warning to remember their names. If you don't remember their names, you look them in the eyes and say "I don't care enough about you to remember your name"! Kind of tough, many tears, a lot of guilt, but she said that after that she didn't forget not one name after any introduction. The classes teach you to better work in a group, to think of others as well as yourself, open up, become stronger and make some tough life altering decisions. As a side effect, it seems that everyone who goes through the course ends up breaking up with their partners. Google says that over 400,000 people attended that training, there were 30 lawsuits, including death. The participants' memories are changed, they say one thing, but in subconscious mind another thing remains. It's bad for people who are weak are broken down since their mental stability is usually damaged. The point is ... there are many angles to the truth.

1 comment:

  1. Yana

    The one picture of the "mushrooms" (I think) is a great picture.
    The temples are very interesting.
    and the volcano is nothing to fool with..
    Did you have any rumblings from it?