|Yogyakarta and Mt Merapi|
We took a taxi to Venezia Garden Homestay located outside the city center (5km away) but still close to area where there is restaurant, cafe, bank, massage and tour agency. There were food stall at every corner of Yogya, and the countless Bakso stand. You will never have problem with finding food.
|Vanezia Garden Homestay|
|Sunrise from Setumbu Hill|
On the 2nd day, we woke up at 330am! Yah we were supposed to be on holiday! :-( Headed out for a half day trip. We arrived at Setumbu hill, still dark tho. We stumble our way up the hill following a group of people in front. From here we have a great view of Mt Merapi, Mt Merbabu and Borobudur temple. The sky turn from dark blue to pink, the valley was covered with mist and Borobudur silhouette on the right. Just simply beautiful!
After the sunrise we needed a power coffee, the only coffee we got was the Kopi Api. Well, that will do for now. There is a special technique to drink coffee in Indonesia, you have to stir in your sugar or milk when the coffee arrive and then let it settle for 10 minutes. That will help you not to swallow any coffee dusk from your cup. :-) From Setumbu hill to Borobudur is just 15 mins drive. When we reach Borobudur, the place was swamp with students. They trail from the temple all the way to the entrance. That is shit! It wasn't what I was expecting. A word of advice to all is not to come on weekend or public holiday! Or else you will turn out disappointed like me. ( We went around the temple level by level and try to find a quiet place to take some photos, slowly we became the attraction as well. The students start to approach us for photos with them. It is weird but this made me realised how some people were annoyed by us when we take photo of them on the street. sigh...pay back time!
Borobudur temple is square shape with four entry points, and a circular centre point. It looks like a pyramid. There were carved stone reliefs and buddha statues at every level and every wall. Each and every relief tells a story. At the top, the large central stupa at the highest point surrounded by bell-shaped stupas and statues of the Buddha inside the bell.
We ended our trip around 2 pm, the rain started just as we arrive to the homestay. That helps to cool the temperature down. We still got one of our room, they didn't chase us out and let us have a shower. We got picked up by a pre arranged driver at 5:30pm, that night we headed to Jomblang chalet. The journey took around 2 hours. It was dark when we arrived. The last 1km into the estate or jungle was very bad road, the chalet 4WD came to pick us up at the main road. We arrived in the middle of nowhere, there were 5 chalets, no restaurant or cafe. A group of locals who has have finished their cave adventure stayed overnight in the common area. We were the only tourist there. Our chalet were simple and clean, there is no hot water or air condition. but being in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature with the sound of crickets and frogs, who cares about hot water and aircondition. :-) Our dinner were served at the veranda, simple indonesian rice with chicken, curry, beans and tofu. They brought us a BBQ pit too, we thought they will bring us some fish later on but only after we finished we realised that we were suppose to BBQ the chicken ourselves. Haha! There was nothing else to do, so we call it a night.
|The way down|
The sinkhole was 75m deep, over times it has been overgrown with trees. In order to keep the place intact only 25 people are allowed to enter per day. Once we had everyone in the sinkhole, we then proceed to a huge tunnel, the ground was muddy and slippery. We have to be very careful while walking up and down the slope and in the cave. sometime we just skid and glide on the muddy ground. The tunnel is about 200m long towards Grubug Cave, they power up the light with a generator when we get to a point of no light. We follow the partially pave path to reach the end of the tunnel. We could hear to sound of river and see the light at the end of the tunnel. The sunlight penetrate thru a small opening at the top of the cave. Around 11 to 12 noon is when one can get the best light. I was dazzled by the beauty of it all. The was a huge stalagmite in the middle of the cave, we were allow to climb up without our rubber boots for the photographic moment. The water drops from the top of the cave released all the tension I had. I felt taken away by the surrounding. It was such a great moment.
We took the same way back out. We were haul out of the sinkhole manually by a group of people. It was such a great experience. I would recommend any adventure seeker to go to this place. Our lunch was ready when we came out of the cave, we were able to shower and clean up before we packed up and leave to the airport.
|The light in Grubug Cave|
Venezia Garden Homestay – S$42 per room/night with aircon, attached toilet with hot water and wifi.
Jomblang chalet - 500,000rph per room/night with fan, attached toilet
Silkair from SG to Yogya - S$249.50
Tiger Air from Yogya to SG - 1,075,990rph
Taxi from airport to Venezia Garden Homestay - 70,000rph per car
Andong to town - 20,000 rph per tricycle
Massage - 135,000rph
Sunrise from Setumbu Hill (entrance ticket), Borobudur entrance ticket, Prambanam entrance ticket, 2 way transport and driver - 555,000rph per person
Jomblang caving, 2 way transport and driver, 1 night accommodation, dinner, breakfast and lunch - 812,500 rph per person