Leaving Pangandaran, we head to the next destination on our journey across Indonesia.
Yogyakarta is described by Explore.com as the hidden gem of Indonesia, so I’m really looking forward to seeing it.
We get taxis from the train station to our hotel. Quickly checked in and then headed out for some sight seeing.
The opulent Sultans palace.
I really enjoyed it there, there were loads of interesting things to see and the present Sultan still lives there.
Next the Taman Sari bathing complex with loads of areas like this one.
After a couple of hours, we head back to the hotel and get a couple of hours rest (were all exhausted).
Delighted I find a steak house in the town for dinner.
The next day, were off out to see Candi Borobudur, the largest Buddhist structure on earth.
Our local guide follows route of the ancient pilgrims, through the mandala shaped structure from the early realms towards nirvana.
We’re given a chance to relax in a place of enlightenment.
We’d arrived at 7am, so about 10:30am we headed back to the hotel.
Time for a soak in the pool.
Later, we visit the Prambanan temple complex.
The area suffered during the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake. It had caused all kinds of damage, and hundreds of researchers had worked to put many of artefacts back together.
But a lot of work still remained to be done and our guide showed us piles of hundreds of stones that were being catalogued.
Machine learning computers were trying lots of permutations to see how the blocks could fit back together.
Some of the amazing frescos. This one is a scene from the famous Ramayana.
Inside one of the temples, this Ganesh statue.
Wandering around, you can see the size of the site.
That evening, Nikki attended performance of the Ramayana (I’d already seen it, so I went out for a few drinks in Yogyakarta).
After the performance, Nikki was able to take this photo of the sun setting over Prambanan.
But later that afternoon, we pedal out of the city on a 6k bicycle tour visiting local villages.
One of our group didn’t fancy cycling himself, so he had a sit down cyclo and got to see the place at leisure.
A small “factory” where Tofu is made.
A typical paddy field you can see the houses in the background where the people who tend it live.
A break on the trail to enjoy the beautiful countryside.
Bricks made of clay. Placed into moulds then dried in the sun.
Back to our hotel and our final evening in Yogyakarta. Being quite international, we were able to find an Italian Restaurant for dinner that served Moretti beer.
In the morning we’re back on the train.
Leaving the train and travelling by minibus, we see some of the countryside that will make up our next stay.
The Seloliman nature reserve is located on sacred slopes of Penanggungan volcano.
It is run by the Seloliman Environmental education centre and it’s volunteers.
We’re shown to our chalets and our bathroom although private, is actually outdoors !.
One of the centre volunteers shows us around the garden.
All the food consumed at the centre is grown here along with various herbs and local medicine.
Income is generated for the reserve by tourists (like me) staying in nice accommodation and eating and drinking at their restaurant.
For the volunteers, its simple dormitory accommodation and were shown around one.
I thought these stairs (in a house built by volunteers) were particularly clever in their design.
Wandering out of the camp, we go into the village to find out about local life.
Tours of the village are done each day from the Nature Research at 9:30am.
… And the local Ice cream “van” isn’t daft. He knows the route so is able to tout for business (and seemed to do quite well out of it).
A woman in the local village makes her own coffee.
She runs a small business with her daughter (who is 70, she is 90 and still going strong).
Were offered a cup. It tastes like mud.
But she’s a simple woman, and very kind, so purely to reward her enterprise, I buy some coffee to take away (and give to someone I don’t like).
The main trade in the area is rice production, so we begin wandering through the rice terrace’s.
Local people are working hard to harvest the rice. We don’t want to interrupt them, so were on our way.
All the electricity in the area is provided by this Mini hydroelectricity plant.
The rice terraces are that rare thing, completely practical and beautiful at the same time.
We head back to the Nature reserve and this picture is my lasting memory of that place, which I’ll never forget.
We have lunch and then a short lesson on Javanese herbal medicine.
Were shown how the herbs are crushed and prepared. At the end, this concoction will help with cold and flu symptoms.
I’ve no idea if it works, but when I took a sip of it, it certainly tasted like medicine!”.