Friday, July 29, 2011

Indonesia part 1

Indonesia part 1

After all the drama from Jakarta and the adventures of public transport Jenna and I meet the tour group. It surprises me a little because it's all women, including the tour leader, which I haven't had before. There was suppose to be a couple from Holland, but they went MIA and were never heard from. The break down of people were 2 Canadians, 3 Germans, 4 Dutch, 2 English, 1 Thai (our guide), and Jenna and I. Our first full day was mostly spent on a train heading to Yogajakarta. At first it was strange to be on a tour again after 7 weeks solo. I know I whined and complained at first about being alone, but now I've kinda gotten use to it.  During the train ride I found myself still thinking what  am I going to do later today, tomorrow, 3 days from now? How will I get there? What will it cost? You know, the usual stuff. At least that's what's usual to me now. This train of thought is an almost constant background noise to me now, continually swirling through my conscious at any given moment.
Anyways, back to Indonesia! Spent an enjoyable day getting pedaled around town in a rickshaw to see the various sites of Yogajakarta. This included visits to a batik maker and shadow puppet maker; both were very impressive and are known in Java. The batik is made by hand using a small wooden pipe with wax poured in it and a large stencil for the main pattern. The women who make them use tiny amounts of wax to make the designs on sarongs and fabric, adding color and intricate design. The shadow puppets where also equally as interesting. These are traditionally made of dried buffalo skin, which made them much more durable then I thought they would be. At first glance it looked like paper and I questioned the durability of it. The craftsmen use small tools to cut tiny pieces out and create texture in the puppets. They are then painted and mounted onto sticks and used in traditional story telling.
The next day we went for the big sites, 2 UNESCO named and world known temples. The first, Borobudur, is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Basically it meant a lot of statues of Buddah. I'm starting to wonder how many pictures of Buddah I'm going to take during this adventure, because the guy got around, let me tell you. He's everywhere! Each temple has dozens of Buddah statues of varying size and pose and material. This temple is slightly different in that you don't go in it. We had a guide who told us the significance of the rings around the temple and the positioning of the temple and some other stuff. But, to be honest? It was hot, I only understood about every 5th word, and after 15 minutes kinda tuned him out for the most part. I kept trying to listen, but the sweat rolling down my back distracted me. The second, Prambanan, is a large Hindu temple where we watched the sun dip behind the temples. This one reminded me a lot of the temples in Ayuthaya, which I went to when I first got to Thailand.
Next up volcano climbing!

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