Saturday, April 19, 2014

Borobudur to Merapi

A highlight of our trip to Java. From Yogakarta you journey about an hour to the largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur, followed by a trip to the active volcano Merapi. We had a good tip to go before day break, to beat the rush of tourist buses and see the temple by sunrise. By the looks of the huge tourist infrastructure around the temple that was still sleeping when we arrived, it was well worth the early rise. We rode through the quiet dark streets of Yoga seeing several markets with veggies and fresh chicken ready for the cookin. 
deep green vistas of rice fields and rivers on the way 

a misty sunrise visit

Borobudur is not just one of my favorite restaurants in is a 9th century Buddhist temple that was once left to decay under volcanic ash and jungle, it has since been restored. It is an amazing stone structure with five concentric square levels of stone reliefs and buddhas with an amazing amount of stupas on top. I wish I could remember just an inkling from my buddhist art history class! 

Morning sounds included the many straw brooms against the stone paths, roosters, and cicadas. 

Sarongs were required...really. 

Next on to Mt. Merapi, a very active volcano. We had a private driver--thinking it may make it easier for us to find a trail to walk on for a few miles on our own, but really the drivers from Yogya drop you off right where you need to either hire a jeep or dirt bike to travel any futher. Ben and I decided to just walk it, stumbling upon shrines for the people who died in the 2010 eruption, and past women harvesting huge bushels of grass, I don't know how they could walk, let alone ride a motorbike with the bushels.  The grass is used to make herbal soaps and oils to help with arthritis among other ailments

Still have lots of photos to catch up on, but we're departing Ubud today by car to head to points unknown north. Perhaps to Mt. Batur...we'll see where the road takes us. 

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