/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/01_Budi_Banyuwangi.jpg From Tanah Lot, I began haphazardly boarding every bus going west... After 6 hours and 5 vans, I was about to get a room for the night, but met Budi (an English teacher) who quickly convinced me to continue traveling through the night with him to Banyuwangi on the island of Java. 37 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/02_Kolak.jpg Budi (pronounced "Booty"), had me over to his place a number of times, showed me around town, met friends, etc. -- was just such a great host! He even introduced me to "Kolak" (a bright pink coconut milk fruit-salad-soup-breakfast-desert) amongst many other great things. 34 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/03_JC_Kids.jpg Budi arranged for me to be a part of the Independence Day bicycle parade through Banyuwangi! Dressed in traditional Javanese costume -- I was the biggest spectacle to hit this town in years! 58 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/04_Parade.jpg As I rode along (with about 1000 children), the entire town was out on the streets gawking. Old men gave me the "thumbs up", wives and daughters blushed and whispered behind their hands when I passed. At one point I heard "... Mr. Jon ..." on the loudspeaker. As a joke, I triumphantly raised my fist in the air and a roar of applause came forth from the crowd! 59 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/05_Parade_Barong.jpg A mythical Lion-Dragon, these guys were scarring people left and right with their sudden leaps and dances. I thought "why is everyone afraid of this stupid costumed man?". Apparently these guys often go into a trance and do things like eat glass through bloody lips. Guess that's why people run. 44 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/06_Parade_Police.jpg Gotta love the Indonesian cops! The 70's sunglasses, look as cold as steel, regulation mustache and CHiPs gloves. 36 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/07_Teachers.jpg Bunch of married, middle-aged teachers from Budi's school taking their turn at flirting with the foreigner. 41 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/08_Pawai_Lampion.jpg Another of the many parades for the Independence day. This was the "Lamp" parade that went through the night. 35 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/09_George_Bush_Hate.jpg A new line of clothing here in Indonesia... I was surprised that most people I talked to had a more positive view of the US Military than I did! Think they saw it from a Hollywood "strength is glamorous" kinda vantage point. 45 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/10_Gunung_Kawah_Ijen.jpg Finally left Banyuwangi, and got a ride on Budi's motorcycle to Pos Paltuding where I hoped to climb the < a href="http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Ijen" target="_blank" title="Wikipedia : Ijen Volcano">Ijen Volcano. Budi was not very experienced, tipped his motorbike on a wet patch and had to turn back. I continued on foot the next 12 miles. Luckily, after a couple hours, got a lift with a guy named Ulrich who I had met earlier that morning back in Banyuwangi! 44 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/11_Sulfur.jpg So I got to Pos Paltuding, the "outpost" at the base of the Ijen volcano. Shared a bed in a crumbling, freezing cold shack with an Italian explorer who had madness in his eyes and kept mumbling about "The Blue Flame". At 2:45AM, Ulrich, I and the crazed Italian started the trek up the volcano. This is a photo of one of the locals who carry up to 200LBS (80 KG) of raw Sulfur out of the volcano and down the mountain by the light of flaming torches. 32 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/12_Blue_Flame.jpg We arrived at the craters edge and descended through clouds of smoke into the center where we found the legendary "Blue Flame". It was amazing to watch, I was so close I thought it might melt my camera as I hid behind a rock. 41 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/13_Stream_Blue_Flame.jpg I believe it may have been a stream of liquid sulfur(?) dripping out of the mountain, but who knows. 43 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/14_Sulfur_Pit.jpg As the sun started to come up, I could see where the workers were collecting bright yellow sulfur. They were hacking loudly from the gas clouds, but true to their Indonesian blood -- as soon as they escaped the sulfur fumes, they took out a huge clove-spiced "Kretek" cigarette and lit up. 23 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/15_Sulfur_Pit.jpg You can see Ulrich down next to the pits. 31 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/16_Ijen.jpg View from the crater's edge. Ijen. 41 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/17_Ijen.jpg View from the crater's edge. Ijen. 31 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/18_Ijen.jpg 22 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/19_Ijen.jpg One of the workers making their way up. Locals had all kinds of legends about the "superhuman strength" these guys possessed, even saying they have steel implants in their shoulders to help balance the load. 25 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/20_Ijen.jpg 41 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/21_Ijen.jpg A walk around the rim. 52 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/22_Nasi_Pecel_Bondowoso.jpg From Ijen, I made my way west to Bondowoso. In this photo, I order "Nasi Pecel" -- rice (nasi), with a mix of steamed green veggies, chillies and a peanut based sauce. These women seem to love it as much as I do. 37 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/23_Supriyanto_Bondowoso.jpg Met this super nice kid named Supriyanto posing as a nerd. He showed me around and helped me to locate an amazing desert called Tape (Tah-Peh) made from fermented cassava root. Bought me a whole basket of the delicious stuff! 42 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/24_Bromo_Sunrise.jpg From Bondowoso, I continued west through Probolinggo and on to Gunung Bromo. 20 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/25_Bromo_Sunrise.jpg Once again, I was up at 3:00 am hiking out of Cemoro Lawang (alone this time) and up Gunung Penanjakan for a view of the three magnificent volcanoes. 38 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/26_Gunung_Bromo.jpg Gunung Semaru (in the distance), would erupt and throw a huge cloud of ash into the sky every 20 minutes. 57 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/27_Cemoro_Lawang.jpg View of Cemoro Lawang, the village closest to the volcanoes. Morning sun and mist drifting through the valley. 30 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/29_Pencuri.jpg The thief or "Pencuri", who, aside from selling snacks on the bus, decided to try and get something out of my bag. Didn't succeed because I woke up as he was flicking open the zipper on my backpack. 62 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/30_Bensin_Murah.jpg Indonesian gas gas station -- Surabaya. 60 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/31_JC.jpg Had a good walk around the city of Surabaya, saw some really beautiful alleyways -- full of life, people cooking together, laughing, playing. Was a little worried about the "bad reputation" this city had, but went all over in late night public vans and met cool people everywhere. 53 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/32_Cobra_Power.jpg Before my train left Surabaya, I had a walk around the station. Found this "Cobra Satay" shack, complete with photos and news articles expounding the magical powers of eating BBQ cobra! This is the owner with a knife in his throat. 33 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/33_Cobra_Power.jpg This is the same man, older and wiser (the knife didn't leave scars) -- Cobra Power! 49 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/34_Random_Furniture_Dude.jpg Seems to be a popular pastime in Indonesia -- hanging out in random discarded furniture with your friends. Found happy, "furniture dudes" all over, especially Java. 53 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/35_Rocker.jpg I noticed that there is a strong, underground hesher scene in Bali and Java. Met old farmers that would secretly confide in me "I like to ROCK!", you can still buy Iron Maiden T-shirts in every marketplace and many men will admit their favorite band is The Scorpions. 58 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/36_Random_Furniture_Dude.jpg 51 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/37_Train.jpg The 4 hour train to Solo (took 12 hours). Stopped often. We would get out for the fresh air, no need to worry about it leaving you. 50 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/38_Train_Friends.jpg Some students on the train. Always a good time to swap Bahasa Indonesia for conversational English. 37 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/39_Yogyakarta.jpg By the time I got to Solo I was tired, but I decided to just continue on to Yogyakarta (AKA Yogya, Jogya, JoJakarta, etc). Met some cool local boys who helped me find a huge vegetarian breakfast, then gave me a ride on their motorbikes to the bus station. By 6:00 Am, I was in Jogya watching techno-dance aerobics. 56 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/40_Tia_Arie.jpg Two "Beautiful girls" (their words, not mine :) who I met at a book store. Tia (left) introduced me to Arie and the three of us had fun riding around Yogya and had dinner at Arie's house. Arie's father had learned English vocabulary from an Eminem rap and kept telling me to "Please stand up" and then smile -- it was pretty hilarious. By this point I could get by in Bahasa Indonesia and told him to "throw his hands in the air". 56 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/41_Dragonfly_Boxer.jpg Really had a great time in Yogya, it was the first place I have been in South-East Asia that really seemed to have a thriving street-art culture. Met screen printers and saw lots of cool work. 46 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/42_Attitude.jpg I was as confused as you are now. 43 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/43_Becak.jpg Pronounced "Becha"... local rickshaw in which you are the human traffic plow! 59 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/44_Jogya.jpg Founds some really nice backstreets across this river. Felt like a small village, not a cosmopolitan city. 67 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/45_Random_Furniture_Dude.jpg Sony advertisement. 44 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/46_Smile.jpg Just a guy. 53 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/47_Graffiti.jpg More graffiti under the train tracks. 54 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/48_Bus_Muscians.jpg They would wait until a bus stopped at a red light, then board, rock out for 2 minutes, grab the donations and jump off. 59 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/49_Mendut_Temple.jpg Took an overnight trip to Borobudur. At dusk, I walked to one of the old Buddhist temples and got to see the multi-use structure. 60 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/50_Borobudur.jpg The main Borobudur temple. 43 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/51_Borobudur.jpg Sunrise... 30 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/52_Borobudur.jpg 46 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/53_Gunung_Merapi.jpg Did an overnight trip up to Gunung Merapi which had a full-scale eruption in June. Getting there before sunrise, we were able to see molten lava flowing down the slopes at high speeds. 30 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/54_Volcano_Research.jpg Volcano center at the base in Kaliurang. 28 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/55_Bird.jpg A really cool, talking / singing bird. Gave me these intense looks like "I know what your thinking"... I should have let him go free. 36 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/56_Nasi_Sayur.jpg The staple of my diet was Padang Style vegetables and rice. Tahu (tofu), Tempe, Sayur Nangka (Jackfruit), Buncis (green bean), Terung (eggplant), Kankung (morning glory) and a big scoop of Sambal (ground chili). Washed down with Teh manis (sweet tea). 51 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/57_Jakarta_Museum.jpg A scull from West Papua I believe. Just saw this while at the national museum in Jakarta. 43 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/58_Jakarta_Train.jpg Jakarta's local trains -- what excitement! Live bands (see the stand up base?), people selling everything you could imagine, monkeys riding mini bicycles! 65 KB  
/pics/2006/2006-08-28_Java/59_Say_No.jpg Kids -- Say NO to drugs and YES to candy! From Jakarta, I continued north-east to Sumatra. 66 KB