Back in the USA!

Whoops! I forgot to tell you that we’re back in the District of Columbia! Sasha said that everyone probably thinks that we’re dead in some shopping mall in Jakarta :/

We’re not! Cheers!

But really, it was a great trip and we can’t believe we had the opportunity to travel for three months. 

Here’s some things I missed about the USA that I didn’t realize until we got back.

1. Sidewalks. Don’t take them for granted.

2. Cooking, even just heating up oatmeal in the microwave. It feels good to not have to rely on restaurants. 

3. Trash cans. Don’t take these for granted either.

4. Wine (alright I realized I missed this before we got back, let’s be serious.)

Thanks for reading and we’ll catch you on the next big life trip! I’m looking at you, Scandanavia… Or am I looking at Madagascar? Maybe a good old American road trip… Or all three!

The Mall Rats of Jakarta

Introducing the new mall rats of Jakarta, George and Rachel. 

Jakarta is a huge city with a whole lot of nothing but shopping malls. It’s nuts. So we’ve been hanging out at the Lotte Mall for the last two days and will continue to live at the mall for the next three. Look at the cool mall entrance!


Also, check out this crazy glowing statue of two women arguing over a durian in front of the mall!


If you’re not familiar with the durian, you are not missing much. It’s the smelliest fruit on the planet. Most of the hotels we have stayed at have signs specifically saying “NO DURIAN” and we met some guy who ate a whole durian for a few happy hour beers and everything, including the beers, tasted like BO. So I’m not sure why these ladies are fighting over it. 

Also, the traffic is crazy. Here’s a motorbike parking lot that we pass on the way to the mall.

Here’s another fun fact for you, the Muslim Call to Prayer is blasted through loudspeakers all around the city four times a day. The first starting at 4am, that one lasts for an hour. Our hotel faces two speaker towers. At least the rest of the hotel is nice?


P.S. The private jet was very quick and smooth! Thanks Susi Air.

Pangandaran- Beach Vibes

We found a beautiful, not blown out with tourists, black sand beach town! It only took a 4 hour train ride from Yogyakarta, a bicycle Tuk Tuk and then a two hour insane bus ride to get here. The bus driver was on the phone basically the whole time, I almost punched him in the face but I didn’t want to be that american. 

Yesterday we walked to the main beach, hoping to find an umbrella to chill under. Weird thing when the beach town isn’t blown out… There’s no umbrellas, there’s no beach chairs,there’s no way to get away from the Java sun. These locals could make a lot of money if they invested in umbrellas! Maybe that should be our next calling… We are… The Umbrella People. So we walked, then we snuck into a hotel and swam in their pool :/ I was told to “act like I was supposed to be there” and it worked!


Then we went to the fish market for dinner. Actually we went for lunch and dinner because it was so tiiiiiiight! For lunch, we had a whole fish and squid for $5. That’s loco! So for dinner we splurged and got crabs and jumbo shrimp for $10. Can we take you home, fish market?


Today we decided to rent a motorbike and head to Batu Karas, this small beach like an hour away. It was wonderful, the ride to the beach was beautiful, the man chain smoking cigarettes at our lunch spot was not so wonderful, but we’ll take it. 

George tried to surf again, it did not go well.

Here’s the Green River we passed by on the way to the beach. It’s green! Surprise!

 Annnnd some pretty fields, to remember our last trip to the countryside:(

 

Tomorrow we’re taking a very small plane to Jakarta, our last city this trip 😦 I think we may be the only passengers… So you could say we are renting our own private jet. Ballers! 

Yogyakarta- Temples and Temples

We made it to the island of Java! Our first stop was to the city of Yogyakarta, which is known as the cultural center of Java. Eh. We weren’t that impressed with the city itself, I definitely would not recommend spending a lot of time exploring the city. We went to the Sultan’s House, not great. Though we did see a golden goose, but IIII want it nowwww. 

What takes this city to another level is the Borobudur and Prambanan temples. We had a driver for the day (we’re turning into celebs, nbd) and he took us to both. 

Borobudur is a Buddhist temple, which has these crazy bells all over the place. It’s similar to the temples in Burma, but not anywhere else we visited this trip. Very cool, very hot. 

That’s a volcano in the background!


Prambanan is a Hindu temple, and George realllllly liked it. It’s the biggest Hindu Compound in SE Asia. Note that India is not in SE Asia.


Each of the towers had a statue of a god inside. In other temples, there’s multiple entries or small windows for light. These had none… Sort of spooky. 


That completes Yogyakarta! Today we’re heading to Pangandaran to hit the beach one last time and visit the green canyon… Very excited.

Our hotel is $10 a night there, so I’m not too sold on the wifi. Catch you in a few!

The Bali Beach Hop

Wow, these southern beaches are exactly what we needed! Especially since we both caught colds and needed to rest a bit. Everyone in Asia is coughing all over the place without covering their mouths. It’s not cool, I’m going to make a “cover your f-ing mouth” PSA.

We started in Nusa Dua, which is known for its  five star hotels covering the beach. We did not stay at these pish posh hotels. So we got sneaky… We walked along the beach all la de da, saw a couple chairs that were free, and sat down like we were staying at the $500 a night resort. I was like “ohhhhh we’re going to get caught, we don’t have a purple towel.” G was like “chill out, they’re not going to say a thing.” And they didn’t! 



Very nice view, thanks Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa! We also walked through the St. Regis “private beach” (I was told to chill out again) and it’s crazy how rich some people are. Do you really need to spend money on your own beach house? Give me some! 

The next day we motorbiked to Blue Point, this awesome surfers beach. We had to walk down a bunch of stairs to get to a cave where it opens up to the ocean.


All those dots are surfers!


We took a beach break to see the Uluwatu Temple which sits on a cliff. We are kind of templed out at the moment, so we just went for the view. Apparently that’s what the excitement’s all about anyway.


Then we bike over to this unmarked road that is supposed to take us to a secret beach and park the bike. We look down the cliff and realize we need more than an hour to explore this one… Especially with the cliff hike.


So we saved it for today, like three days after I took the photo. We needed a few pool and tissue days for the colds.


The secret beach is called Nyang Nyang and it is the shit! Look at this! There’s like one person on the beach!


And some shipwrecks :/ beach ghosts?


Low tide exposed a ton of coral. I walked out a bit… Until I saw something sticking out from a rock… It was some sort of ocean spider and I freaked out. George found one later and we took a pic. I googled ocean spider and just got photos of giant sea monsters so I have no idea what it actually is. But I’m not touching it. 


And that concludes our Bali adventure! We fly to the island of Java tomorrow.

Last but not least… Happy Father’s Day to the coolest dad in the world! I hope you’re doing some of this tomorrow. Be prepared to do it again in a couple weeks. 

Lovina Beach is Not Paradise

Man! The Internet really got us good this time. All of this talk about beautiful black sand swimmable beaches that are not blown out with tourists… 

It was covered in trash, the locals harassed us every step we took. There was a very small area between fishing boats to swim, but it was right next to the shops so you couldn’t get away from the hustle. Very disappointing.

So instead, we rented a motorbike and got the f off the beach. It ended up to be one our favorite days actually, yay!

First we went to the buddist temple Brahma Vihara Arama that was pretty much deserted. It was beautiful. 



Then we motorbiked through the mountains to get to the sea goddesses temple Pura Ulun Danu Beratan on Lake Beratan. This was the view from our lunch pitstop. 


The temple itself was a little blown out, but still really nice and the temperature was much more comfortable because of the elevation.


Then we biked down the winding roads to our hotel to get ready for our trek BACK down to the south where apparently the beautiful beaches live. Time will tell!

While we were on the road, we saw some sort of parade, not sure what it was for but it looked fun!


And here’s a video of the winding roads.


GOTCHA! Aahahahaha

Mount Batur- The Active Volcano Hike

That’s right! We hiked to the rim of an active volcano! Because we’re loco! 

The last time Mount Batur erupted was in 2000, so we did kind of play with fire… Or lava…

Here’s the volcano from our hotel. Yes, this is our view.


This is us with our view. Cray.

We woke up at 2:45am to hike the volcano, in the dark, so we could watch the sunrise. It was a wonderful experience (except for the part where the guide tried to rip us off, but George whipped him into shape) and I’m really happy we made the trek up here.

The terrain went from forest, to rocks, to volcanic ash. The ash was crazy, it was like hiking up a sand dune… Going down was like surfing, probably not the safest to slide down a volcano but it was fun!

Here’s some shots from the top.

Also, I was wearing socks with my Teva’s…How embarrassing 🙄


And here’s the mouth of the volcano… It doesn’t look that scary but we did see some steam rising through the rocks. 

And a nice daylight panorama with everyone hiking back down.

After the hike, we took a taxi to the hot springs (more like warm springs) and pool hopped for the afternoon. It’s crazy what a little warm water can do for the body, we weren’t sore at all the next day.

Yesterday we arrived in Lovina, hoping to lay on a gorgeous black sand beach for a few days. Alas the Internet tricked us and we found a dirty beach with lots of pushy locals 😦 But we prevailed! And found amazing things to do today thanks to the motorbike. More on that soon, I’m sleepy.