Saturday, February 28, 2009

When we have no sunrise, we make do....

Before I go on describing the wonderful relics of the ancient world in Java, I wanna say : I’M TIRED!! I’ve forgotten how bloody exhausting it is for us doctors working in a big state hospital as I left general hospitals for 2 years, safely ensconced in the comfort of DC. I was so sleep deprived post-call today that I dropped into a semi-comatose state almost immediately after I hit the sack. This sleepyhead woke up 5hours later in mid-evening feeling a bit groggy but definitely more functional. I need to get used to sleeping only half or 1 hour again. Serious…

Oh, back to my fun vacation. Day 2 and 3 was mostly spent at Borobudur which is around 50km away from Jogjakarta. We can either take a public bus or hire cars to take us this entire village…as usual, we choose the least hassle method of all, which is renting a big Innova with a nice driver called Made (we called him Uncle Muddy!)

Uncle Muddy is pretty cool and helped us a lot. He picked wonderful restaurants for us, including one at a pretty little art gallery near perambanan. I think you guys shud check it out if u r there…they served a very, very mean dish of chumi-chumi (a.k.a teriyaki cuttlefish) It was awesome…I know LCS is in love with that dish.

Anyhow, went to Boro almost at late evening amidst the ongoing drizzle. Everything is extra-verdant and green after a downpour, thus we checked into Manohara Hotel in a very good mood.

In fact, I highly recommend Manohara if you have a bit of moolah and you intend to watch sunrise from Boro. Manohara is only 5 minutes away from the foot of the temple complex and the lay-out and décor was superb. I love open-concept design with a lot of natural ventilation, tropical plants & flowers and wooden architecture.

We spent the night planning the rest of the trip. In case you don’t know, the fun in backpacking is the detailed planning during the trip itself, thus adding an element of surprise and last-minute excitement. We intend to go explore Borobudur, Mendut before climbing up to the highest village in Java (villages of Dieng Plateau).

However, sunrise at Boro was…disappointing. I guess we were there during the rainy weather and so we couldn’t see the exact sun rising. The moment the warmth from the sun hit the cold air from the ground, we had a thick mist enveloping the whole complex. In a way, it was very mystical and peaceful, not to mention cooling and refreshing.

We bumped into a group of Buddhist climbing up with a monk on our way to breakfast. After a big buffet breakfast dined al-fresco, we continued our jaunt around the temple, busy snapping pictures away.

I guess it’s worth visiting Borobudur if you haven’t done Angkor Wat as I’ve no plans to visit Cambodia for the moment. I just hope that you all will have better luck in catching the supposedly brilliant sunrise at Boro. We didn’t…..

Despite not catching sunrise, I guess the brilliant blue sky really contrasted very well with the volcanic stones and it offered a completely different mood from the misty morning. The biggest advantage to staying next to Boro is that we avoided the big crowds almost all the time. Awesome!

Next stop, an actual sunrise atop the mountains of Java and the ultra-mysterious, prehistorical temples of Dieng Plateau.

P.S. : See....this is the best that we could get from the sunrise. After this photo, it was all mist!

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