Tuesday, February 15, 2011



Today would be an easy downhill ride to Borobudur, a distance of roughly 50 kms. We were certainly not in a hurry. After the late return last night, everyone was happily snuggled in bed, 3 to a room.  I woke up to a very cold day. The tap water was freezing cold. To add to the cold, the shower heating system was gas-fired and I had problem turning it and controlling the intensity.

Merapi oh Merapi

At the break of dawn, I stepped out of the room to gaze at Merapi. What a sight. I decided to walk to the village centre about 2 kms downhill. Donned my wind-cheater and armed with my video, I slowly made my way. Half-way, I stopped at a house, the owner obviously preparing for a wedding. It was an opportunity to film (yet again) a wedding preparation. I had been very lucky in my Indonesian travel, having witnessed several weddings - Minangkabau in Padang, Bugis and Torajan weddings of Sulawesi and one other Javanese wedding on my first solo ride to Jogjakarta.

The host as usual, was very friendly. He invited me in and allowed me to video the preparation. My only regret was not bringing my camera along. He invited me for breakfast which I politely refused and moved on to the village centre. (The video I captured is stored in an external hard-disk which I suspect is now corrupted).

Another lucky moment but yet another regret for not having my camera. It was what Malaysians will call a "pasar tani" day. The market was busy with the arrivals of village folks presumably from outside Selo to sell their harvests.

I captured roughly 30 mins of video footages and I have nothing to show! By the time I got back to our Bungalow Tersenyum, the group was about ready to start the ride. First stop had to be the same market place I explored earlier. It had to be breakfast first.

The smiles tell you that the BJCC Tuarers are a very happy lot. They were all anticipating the Satay Kambing Muda. From the huge banner, the dish appeared to be main menu at this warung. As the first customers, the husband and wife team were just too happy to serve us. And there were extra helping too. The size of the banner therefore equalled the appetite of BJCC Tuarers.

Kambing Muda - breakfast menu

For today's ride down to Borobudur, my down-hiller co-cyclist Hatim would take over my Surly. I would be riding the kub-chai. On this downhill portion, Hatim was like duck to water.

Hatim - my co-cyclist
It was not entirely downhill all the way. There were some small waves of uphill, enough to pump the heart rate to the maxim. But these were just short bursts and we were fast approaching the destination for today. 

The first landmark of Borobudur appeared in sight 

Just before Borobudur

and we stopped for some shots and souvenirs. But none of us bought any masks. I would be surprised if one of us did!

Have your pick

Souvenirs for the loved ones left behind!
Today's stop would be HOTEL MANOHARA, a 5-star hotel located within the Borobudur Complex. As guests of the hotel, we would be allowed to enter the Borobudur complex for the sunrise without having to pay extra. That would be the following morning and would also be a short walk. That's the price you pay for the comfort and convenience. Occasionally, we would like to spoil ourselves too.

Sham & Effendi - a pose @ Hotel Manohara

The vast expanse of the landscape in the gardens of Manohara . Borobudur is in the background