Island of Java - Mt Bromo to Bali PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Monday, 20 April 2009 19:52
Article Index
Island of Java
Yogyakarta to Ngawi
Nwami to Mt Bromo
Mt Bromo
Mt Bromo to Bali
All Pages

Day 70: Friday 30th November, - Mt Bromo to Bali
I didn't sleep very well last night, for me the evenings are ending too early. Last night we were in bed for 10.30pm and I spent another hour catching up with my blog. I seemed to drift restlessly in and out of conscientiousness. Not like the night before when I had the most weird dream. Where it came from is beyond my understand of the brain. If anyone out there can work it out let me know. Anyway, somehow Mac and myself had discovered that by compressing palm leaves we could convert them into an organic type of substance which was a perfect substitute for plastic. Once compressed it could be shaped and polished. Very quickly in dream fashion we had a factory unit in operation down the hillside from here producing the raw material to make toothbrushes, knife and fork handles etc and anything else that can been made of plastic. We were paying the workers a minimum wage of £1 an hour and all seemed well. However, I suddenly awoke with the feeling that all was not what it should be and as I tried to recreate the conditions to return to my stupor all I could think was that we'd changed a happy rural idyll into a factory controlled system, changed the happy nature of the locals and Mac and myself were a bad influence ruining this paradise for ever. If only the dream had shown me the process of how to do it. I'd be rich and happy or would I be?

Once the luggage and us were loaded on our separate buses the downward journey began. I did manage to say goodbye to the Smiley Angels team at breakfast. The scenery downhill was stunning with well kept houses and gardens with the most beautiful deep red flowers hanging from bushes. Some of the fields were full of rows of lettuce, big dark green cabbages and potatoes. This didn't interest Leighton who felt the driver was not going fast enough and tried to get him to speed up saying 'we came up faster'. I am pleased to say the driver who obviously didn't know the road as well as someone from
Ireland nonetheless stuck to his preferred speed. Had he asked the driver in a polite manner it would have been just a lack of commonsense but by grunting and demanding him to 'get going, faster he was just being ignorant and irresponsible. Had the driver responded by putting his foot down I would have totally lost my wrag with him. This was a very dangerous road of sharp bends, other users (bikes, cars and buses) and children by the wayside and he would be putting everyone's lives at risk just to meet an unachievable timetable. It makes me angry and I'm beginning to wonder what they will try next to get us to Sydney on time. On Monday we land in Darwin at 8.00am in the morning and head for Kakodu Nature Reserve. We have a couple of days there before heading into the outback. We are arriving in the middle of the wet season (October to March) when visitors are advised not to visit. This is another of their must see places that looks like going sadly wrong for us.

Had lunch in a very pleasant restaurant by the sea. Zoe, Leighton, Caroline and Mas all went for a swim while we waited for lunch. Anne and myself had meat ball soup while the others stuck with good old chicken and rice. The food, however, was very good. It seems the nine hour journey from Mt Bromo to the ferry port has gone down to five. The journey from our lunch stop went from thirty minutes to two.

The ferry port was very interesting. The ferry looked like one of the run down overcrowded tugs seen on the news after a disaster. As we climbed to the upper deck young lads jumped from the top into the sea as passengers threw coins for them to dive down for. The top deck was situated through the pilot house and once the outside had filled passeners overflowed standing with the crew. The ferry sailed out into the Straits of Java with young lads still hanging onto the side shouting for money. Behind us hiding in the haze and clouds stood a tall forbidding volcano.

The Straits of Java leading to
Bali was no distance at all but the ferry made hard work of it almost drifting along with the tide. The crew deserve special mention. The two in the pilot house sat with their feet on the controls, one actually steering with his bare foot and before we reached Bali the boat seemed to be being steered by an Indonesian passenger who took his opportunity when the actual pilot got up to move. The upper deck consisted of young people all carrying cameras digital and traditional and who turned out to be students on a photography course at the local university. They were very eager to talk to us and before too long the conversation sank down to football. What a sad reflection on the world that all its' inhabitants can find in common to talk about is twenty two men kicking a bloody bag of air about.

Once on
Bali we had to put our watches back another hour which took us from 5.30 to 6.30 and into darkness. The journey across the island took longer than anticipated and I have to say the driver was travelling faster and more reckless than any time before. Hope Leighton han't been at Anton and the driver to put his foot down. Whilst travelling Colin received a phone call from Jimmy who was about to fly into Bali along with Andy and Lauren. He also rang to wish Sue happy birthday. Today is also St Andrew's Day and the Scots were hoping to celebrate but the way things are going it may be too late when we arrive.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2009 17:20