Although I haven't mentioned it in any of our previous blogs, for the last week or two we have been considering another big change to our original travel plan. Since we arrived in Bali we have seen hundreds of different tour packages offering to take you, not just around Bali, but all over Indonesia to some of the many islands. We've seen tours which go to Lombok (which we had considered visiting a while ago, but have since decided not to), Flores, Java, Komodo Dragon Island... the list is just endless. However, one tour in particular has caught my eye since we first arrived here; a trip to see a Buddhist monument called Borobudur on the island of Java. I've been collecting a few brochures and hoping that I might be able to talk Tom around to the idea of it, although I knew that it probably wasn't going to happen because it was a really expensive trip: £300 for both of us for just one day
. The monument is on the island of Java, near a city called Jogjakarta, and is one of the world's biggest and most famous Buddhist temples and monuments and the more I read about it in our guidebooks the more I really wanted to visit it. The tour which I had seen included a return flight from Bali over to Jogjakarta, started at 4:30am and finished at 10pm the same day... so I knew that a trip over there wouldn't be an easy or simple feat. I ended up showing Tom all the brochures I had been hording and waited to see what he thought... and fair enough, he said it was too expensive. Later that evening though while I was typing up the blog, Tom got all the guidebooks out and devised a plan to get us both over to Borobudur for a fraction of the price (I don't say it enough, but he really is my hero). Tom figured out that, considering the one thing we have is tons of time, we could take a week out of our planned schedule and take an over-night bus to Jogjakarta, stay in a guesthouse for a few days, make our own way to Borobudur temple and guide ourselves around it with the aid of a couple of guidebooks and some info off the internet. So for the last week or so we have been trying to organise our trip to Java... however, as we keep on finding out, nothing is ever simple around here. We've been back and forth and have spent countless hours on the internet to no avail, but today we finally got things organised. We are now the proud owners of 2 coach tickets from Bali to Jogjakarta (an 18 hour bus journey!) and we are due to leave on the 1st February! Yippee! We plan to only spend 3 days over there, but hopefully that should be enough to see Borobudur and the surrounding area... and as long as we are back in Bali for our flight on the 9th Feb everything will be hunky-dory. Tom, you are brilliant!
So after our very busy morning I decided to treat myself to my very first massage of the trip, went to one of the beauty salons which line the streets of Bali and had an amazing hour-long massage for about £3
! Feeling very gooey inside, Tom and I went for some food before we headed out to see a Balinese dance performance at one of the local temples. We don't know anything about Balinese dancing but our guidebook recommended a dance troupe called Gunung Sari, so we got two tickets to see them and had an incredible night. The orchestra and location were amazing and during the performance dozens of local kids turned up to watch. The dancers were sensational and their costumes took your breath away; unfortunately though all of our photos came out blurry because they were dancing so fast, but we managed to get some great video of them instead. The last performance of the night was a barong dance which we had seen a few nights ago at the ceremony and while we really enjoyed watching the dance this evening, we couldn't stop smiling to ourselves at the thought that we had seen it performed for real during an authentic ceremony. We had a brilliant night and finished the evening off by heading back to our favourite warung (our second visit of the day) for a late-night snack of ginger tea, fried rice and potato cake! Yummy yummy yummy!