Joyful in Jogja Part 2 – History & Nature

Let me just say up front that Jogja wasn’t the culinary delight for me that Bali was.  This is no fault of Jogja’s – as I mentioned before, I just didn’t put a lot of effort into finding great eateries before I got there.  Let me also say that the pictures I took aren’t half as brilliant as our pictures from Bali because my camera is nowhere near as good as A’s (I’m seriously considering an upgrade) and neither is my phone camera (again, an upgrade is coming).

I spent my first full day in Jogja, which was the last Sunday in May, doing absolutely nothing.  I didn’t even leave my hotel room.  I just reveled in walking around barefooted on a totally clean floor, taking an actual shower with actual hot water, sitting on a toilet without feeling it in my knees, and rolling around in a comfy queen sized bed with fluffy pillows.  I washed and twisted my hair, did some stuff online, and generally spent the day being a total vegetable.  I went to bed ridiculously early because I had an early start the next morning.

Day 2 in Jogja began at 3 am because I was heading to Borobudur, a 9th century Buddhist temple, to watch the sun rise.  Tugi and I were driving away from my hotel by 3:40 am and we got to Borobudur at about 4:30 am, where I paid the fee and was given a flashlight and a map.  Off I went, following well-placed signs and other bobbing flashlights, climbing up the stupas of Borobudur in the darkness.  I climbed up to the 8th stupa (there are 9) and since I was ahead of most of the huffing and puffing tourists climbing behind me, I found a great spot facing the east.  I settled down to wait.  After about an hour, the sun started to make an appearance.  And I unexpectedly experienced the highlight of my time in Jogja.  I watched the sun rise behind Mount Merapi, an active volcano which was smoldering and smoking as I looked on.  Slowly, the day crept up on us and I saw the mist in the valley below slowly disappear.  It was breathtakingly beautiful and all I could do was soak it in and thank God that He had given me the awesome privilege of witnessing this beautiful sunrise in this beautiful place.

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Mount Merapi on the right…you can see the smoke coming from it

Once the sun was properly up, I wandered around the temple for a while, then I checked out the museum, had a cup of coffee and some refreshment (fried banana and a sweet treat) and Tugi and I were off again.  For the rest of that morning, we visited Pawon Temple then Mendut Temple.  Then we headed off to Rancang Kencono cave.  This cave has a tree growing out of its entrance and it’s not super impressive but it was pretty cool because I felt like I was in an action movie as I roamed around inside, going as deep into the cave as I could.  To get into the last chamber, I had to practically crawl through a hole and that’s when I held my breath waiting for Indiana Jones to appear (unfortunately, he didn’t).

From the cave, we went on to Sri Gethuk waterfalls, where I spent almost 2 hours soaking in the sight, sound and spray of the falling water.  I didn’t get in as I did at Tegenungan waterfall in Bali, since this 1 is less of a tourist attraction and is mostly locals swimming fully dressed.  I was the only foreigner there and I’m not down with swimming fully clothed but I sat with my feet dangling into the water or clambering over the rocks for most of the time.  After the waterfall, Tugi and I stopped for some delicious sate.

We were supposed to wrap up the day by watching the sunset at Parangtritis beach but it was so overcast that it didn’t even make sense to go.  So, after a stop at a batik store, we called it a day and headed back into the city.

Tugi dropped me off at my hotel at about 7:30 pm.  I showered (heavenly!) and fell into bed, quietly joyful because of all I had seen and done that day.

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