5 days without any internet, laptop,iPad,phone,any technical stuff. We had nothing else but talking to each other... let me tell you first how the idea of this trip came.
The story is:
Before we came here, I put a post on Facebook,in a group called Meeple if anyone knows anyone in Indonesia who could take us around without only seeing the tourist attractions. There was a girl who gave a contact to a local guy who does tours time to time. His name is Ricky. I've contacted himand we had a few emails back and forward until we agreed when we are in Jakarta,we get contact with him. As soon as we landed in Jakarta, we went to meet him in his coffee shop. We had a chat about what sort of trip we could do and it turned out, 2 Dutch girls would join us as well for the second part of the trip. So he text me the next day and said, we can leave tomorrow early morning and then we go to Krakatau volcano by boat,climb it and then stay overnight to a nearby island (that one has changed as we actually stayed by the foot of Krakatau). Next day we would wonder around,see places and then on Thursday afternoon we would get to a place called Carita and that's where we meet the girls. Then Ricky would go back to Jakarta and the 4 of us plus a guide would visit a tribe who are still very away from civilisation and then we'd go to a national park to do some ttrekking. So we would be back by Sunday evening and then we can fly to Bali on Monday.
That is the story of how we planned the trip. Now I'm going to write it down day by day how did it actually happen. ☺️
We woke up like stupid o'clock (5am) to beat the morning traffic. Well...on that very morning was a match which was a champions league and Barcelona played against Juventus. My sister's fiancé is a Juve supporter while I am of course, Barcelona. I decided to FaceTime him and watch it together. That sounds great except the match was at 2am Indonesian time.... so I went to sleep at 10pm,woke up at 2am,watched the first half went to sleep during the break (Barca lost...) and then woke up at 5am. I felt like s... you know how. We drove hours,very precisely about 4 hours to Carita where we met Leo who was Ricky's help and also the captain of the ship and the second in command. That's 6 of us if someone is as fantastic with math as I am
After we got all our gears,we sailed away. The boat trip to Krakatau supposed to be 1.5-2 hours but it took 2.5 hours and I think it was one of the worst motorboat trip I've ever had. The sea wasn't our friend, it was very rough and there was a point when I was looking to throw up somewhere but there were people all around and you know how wind works...wasn't fancy to get my breakfast on anyone's face. So I just laid down and tried not to think about the fact that my head almost di-attached from my neck every time the boat jumped. As soon as we got very close to the first island, the sea went very nice and calm,like mirror. We landed the boat and got on onto the nice,volcanic sandy beach. I got off all my clothes,put some sun cream on and went on the sun straight away. Rich went into the beautiful water and Ricky and Leo went to hunt fish with a spear gun for dinner. After a while I went to do some snorkelling while Rich found some new island friends, mini comodo dragons. When I say mini,it means,they were smaller than comodo dragons but they were still huge. I was enjoying snorkelling when I heard Rich shouting. I went out and saw them. It was a shock at first but it was amazing to see these fantastic animals in their own environment. Not long after one more came,it was 3 of them walking around like kings. Did you know they can swim?? Well, I didn't..so my hope to get away in case they attack me...gone Our captain and his friend made us lunch and i mean proper cooked food on a stove on the boat. We got fried chicken,rice,some green salad and fruits. We felt like kings...until the dragons could smell what we were eating and started to walk towards us. Rich got his bad dragon stick and tried to get them away. Our captain jumped out from the boat and came to help us like heros do. So we could eat in peace,
After lunch we both decided to have a bit of snorkelling. You have to know,Rich never liked this activity as he didn't feel comfy in the mask. But now he decided he will try cos I kept nagging him what he is missing out. We spent hours under water, the captain lead us to beautiful corals and fish and just the whole experience was great. Rich definitely has benefit from it. After all the fun Ricky said, we can go now to the volcano and watch sunset. It was actually Leo who took us up after we arrived to the island which has Krakatau on. It was a fairly easy,40mins walk up but of course we couldn't go all the way up as it is a very active volcano. It had smoke coming out and you could smell the sulphur. The view was stunning from it. We could see all around, all the islands, even mother Krakatau.
Krakatau' story is the following; "The name is also used for the surrounding island group comprising the remnants of a much larger island of three volcanic peaks which was obliterated in a cataclysmic 1883 eruption, unleashing huge tsunamis (killing more than 36,000 people) and destroying over two-thirds of the island. The explosion is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard up to 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from its point of origin. The shock waves from the explosion were recorded on barographs worldwide for days afterward.
In 1927 a new island, Anak Krakatau, or "Child of Krakatoa", emerged from the caldera formed in 1883 and is the current location of eruptive activity." (Wikipedia)
After the volcano experience we walked back,made fire while the boys started to make dinner and by the time it was dark,we had some nice greasy fish on the fire, we had rice, salad, potato. It was extra yammie. After dinner we had hours of funny talks. We just laid on the ground next to each other,Ricky,Rich and I and we just talked so much frap. He told us a story then we told a story and then him again and it went for hours and hours. We stayed there in tents overnight.
The next day we had breakfast, we got omelet and rice with chicken. Honestly, it's amazing what you can make on a simple stove ☺️. After brekkie, we all packed,put everything back on the boat and we went for snorkelling. Ricky told them where to go and we went for hours in like 4-5 different spots. We stopped by the foot of Krakatau,under water where the bubbles coming out from the volcano which made he water extra warm there,we saw amazing fish, then we went to see an octopus, we swam under forests and in between fallen trees under water. I saw a sea turtle which was the biggest experience and many big and very colourful fish and beautiful corals. We did nothing else just snorkelled,back to the boat,went to a new spot,snorkelled again. We arrived back to Carita about 5pm. This time the sea was nice with us,it only took about 1.5 hours (I can't really tell cos I fell asleep as soon as we left). In Carita we stayed in Leo's sister's apartment, where we waited for the 2 girls. Leo and Ricky made us pasta with veggie which was the best pasta I ate it was so simple yet so good. We had some good old Captain Morgan+coke and I watched some tv while Rich was reading and Ricky was constantly on his phone doing business. As Rich and I was dead, Rich went to sleep before me and I went an hour after,we didn't wait for the girls, we just couldn't. They arrived around 11pm, I heard them but I was half asleep.
Again,we woke up early. The girls are very nice, 2 young ones,Shauna is 21 and Alexa is 22. They are doing an internship in Jakarta for 3-4 months. They both speak fairly good Bahasa which is the language they use in Indonesia. We had our sad goodbyes from Ricky and and off we went to see the Baduy tribe the 4 of us and our driver/guide, Bono (yes,you read it right,that's his name). It took us about 4-4.5 hours to get there and of course we got there at the hottest time,at around 12pm and we had to walk up to the village. It was boiling hot...we got a new guide who arranged us to be able to sleep at one of the famaily's house and we left Bono behind. I am trying to remember the new guide's name but can't recall. Anyways, we started to walk with all our stuff -as we weren't sure what to expect-. The road went through small villages and the jungle. The Baduy tribe has several small villages one after the other and we stayed at village number 4. It's fairly deep in the jungle,we had to walk about an hour or so until we got there. They really don't have anything apart from their wooden houses. However, I expected a bit less. They were mostly wearing normal 'western' clothes, some of them only had sarong on but apart from that they are very much away from western civilisation. They have the inner Baduy tribe which is the real natural one, they are actually naked and they are a proper tribe as you would imagine, that is also the reason why we couldn't enter that area. No white people are allowed only if the leader of the tribe,the chief agrees to it. They can't leave the tribe, only can come out occasionally to the other villages to get food,etc and they can only marry within the inner tribe which suggests some sort of incest within the people. "The Baduy are divided into two sub-groups; the Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy), and the Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy). No foreigners were allowed to meet the Inner Baduy, though the Outer Baduy do foster some limited contacts with the outside world. The origin of the word Baduy may come from the term "Bedouin", although other sources claim the source is a name of a local river." (Wikipedia) They are only about 300 people inside while the village we stayed at had 60 houses and about 5-7 people/house. And they do live that many... the house we stayed at belongs to a very friendly family of 5 if I'm right. Mum,dad,1 little girl,grandma and great grandma (who is 90). The house itself is very simple, made of wood and bamboo. No beds,we slept on the floor and they sleep on matrasses. No toilet, actually there was only 1 toilet/'shower' -a bucket with water- for the whole village as they are normally washing themselves and their clothes,dishes in the river. Later in the afternoon we went for a little wonder and saw all the women washing themselves in the river; naked. It was very strange to see how they don't care who sees them when they are washing as we've been told to wear shirts and long trousers which covers our shoulders and knees,yet they are getting naked so easily. Later on the rain started so we stayed at the veranda and just talked with the family -Alessa mainly in their language as they don't speak English- and with each other. For dinner we got rice, chicken and fried egg. We could try the wonderful ice bucket challenge which was freezing but pretty refreshing. As they don't have electricity,of course we all went to bed VERY early,it was about 9pm. Also,we were very tired. But before we did that, we tasted their special rice wine (which I didn't really like). We bought 2 mini bottles for 100,000IDR. Apparently they use it for coughing,well,it did taste like they would... We had some fun before we fell asleep with the fact that chicken slept under the house which made it feel we all had a chicken next to us... it was hilarious. We slept next to each other on the floor, like soldiers do. The floor was pretty hard, so I couldn't sleep too well but all the others were ok next morning at 6am when we had to wake up.
The plan was that Bono picks us up at 7am from where he dropped us off,but we only got there at 10am... our guide wasn't really bothered by the fact we are 3 hours late. We got breakfast which was rice (AGAIN), noodles and some fried egg. We chilled for 2 hours,had to take hundreds of photos with local tourists who came to visit the village,also with the Baduy people and about 9am we set out stuff and started to walk back. Again,it took about 40mins-an hour to get back. We did apologise from Bono but for him it was the most natural thing that we were 3 hours late. He said,at least he could sleep in the car...positive attitude,I'm telling you. We should learn that. So next time I'm late from anyone, please see the positive side of it,ok? ☺️ The plan was,that we get to the national park and we do a little walk. But we got to the NP 6 hours later. The roads were so bad, I can't even call it a road. It was dirt road for the 80% of the trip and as it was raining before, we did have a hard time to get up to the mountain as that's where the park is. The actual village we went to has ONLY 20 houses,so they have about 100 people in there. It's amazing! And the place was one of the most beautiful little village I've ever been in. One side of the village is lush jungle while the other side is thousand of hectares of green tea plantation. Fantastic! We stayed at a home stay (the only home stay), we actually had proper beds this time, but still ice bucket challenge . I'm kinda getting used to it, I go home and I will only need a bucket of water,job done . We wondered around for a little while and we met the sweetest,nicest people on earth. They were all friendly,coming to us,shaking our hands,smiling and as we were walking around, a woman even invited into her house. We got some bananas and water but the gesture and just how they are,blew my mind away. They told us about education that the kids are in school 6 days a week for 5 hours/day, they study till they are about 16 and they can decide if they want to go to university. As everything is hours away from the village, they go to the town only 2x a month and the school is about an hour away (but that's only a school no food or shopping). They are all Muslims and how they handled us, I was extremely surprised, especially cos we were all in shorts and tops,nothing was covered. Yet, they were as polite and respectful as they could be. I fell in love with that place,called Citahalab. In the evening we've got the best food I tasted in Indonesia so far, rice (of course), potato cakes, egg, chicken. We drunk the left over Captain Morgan and went to sleep to get ready the next day which was trekking.
We almost got used to it to getting up so early,I was awake by 7am, got ready and waited around with Alexa as everyone else was still sleeping. As soon as brekkie came, we woke everyone up and we had our usual rice, noodles and eggs. By the time we finished breakfast our guide Udo arrived as well. He is such a lovely person,always smiling and nothing was too much for him. He speaks a bit of English so he could tell us that he is a ranger and helps the police in the jungle,so he knows it pretty well. We started our 4km trip walking up to the jungle. I think it was the muddiest jungle trip I've ever done -and I have done a fare share-,it was very slippery,of course I fell twice. As we walked along he explained what we see. He showed us the cinnamon tree and cut a piece of its hunch so we could smell and lick it, he also showed pineapple in the ground, coffee beans, bleeding trees, cardamom in the nature and we also see gibbons. First time in my life,far away but I saw them jumping between trees ☺️ We also walked to a waterfall which wasn't too high but very nice. The jungle walk took about 2-3 hours and he said, there are about 100 leopards live in that jungle. They only come out during the night and it's very hard to spot them let alone meet them. They also run away when they see people. On the way back we walked by the side of the tea plantations, for about an hour. It was a very pleasant walk. We were absolutely mudded in,so we all had a little shower,had some more rice for lunch (had enough of rice,I'm telling you) and we had to say goodbye once more from everyone there and we headed back to Jakarta.
I'm not going to bore you with the trip back,it took hours as well, roads weren't any better. The only highlight was when we stopped for a little wee and we all felt (girls), we want some fruits. So we walked to the other side to get some and we chose melon. Water and normal yellow melon. Of course,what else, why not the most dirty fruit you can eat in the car. So we asked the gentleman to cut it for us. As Alissa was busy with talking to his wife, he asked me to go behind the counter and explain him how I want to cut it. As I eat LOTS of melon, I showed him how to cut it into pieces so we can eat it out easily from a bag. He wasn't exactly good with it so for the next melon I took over and slowly there were plenty of people by the counter laughing and making jokes about him giving me the job to do it. It was so funny, a white girl standing behind the counter,cutting their melon. Everyone who drove by stared at what is going on here. It was funny and they were very nice. I got an apple for free for my help ☺️. We got to the airport at around 9pm and said goodbye for the second time that day.
Our flight to Bali was at 5.40am today morning and I was so tired by 12, I could barely see. I tried to sleep about 2 hours on the bench at the airport but it wasn't pleasant.
We got to Bali,Denpasar at about 9am as it's an hour ahead of Jakarta. We had to find out how we get to Ubud where I booked the accommodation. The south part of Bali is apparently not for us, it's way too party and touristy for us so I decided not even bothering to go there. The taxi -as that's the only way here- cost us a fortune, 300,000IDR and it took about 1-1.5 hours. Our accommodation has been booked via airbnb and it is beautiful. It has the topical Bali garden,our room is great, both beds have mosquito net, very nice hosts,can't ask for more.
Even we haven't slept much,after I took a shower,we went to discover Ubud. We walked a lot as surprise-surprise we got lost again. I mean,how the hell someone gets lost in Ubud? It's not like you are in London or Paris...but we managed it. Anyways, it was a great walk,Ubud is beautiful, lots of nice temples, lots of statues, mainly monkeys and the elephant Ganesh which is the God of Earth for them. Just we felt like we can not physically move any more as we haven't slept about 34 hours by then. Tomorrow we are going to see the traditional dance with our host and he will also take us some other places, then in the afternoon we are going to visit the monkey forest. Yes, it is a forest with lots of monkeys walking around.
Before I go to sleep,some prices from this 5 days.
The package price for the driver,Bono was 3.5 million IDR for the 4 of us (so 1,750,000IDR for us in case again someone isn't as good). It included the driver's food and the car. The accommodation in the Baduy with food was 300,000IDR for 2 of us and the accommodation+Foods in the NP was 400,000IDR for 2 of us. What we didn't know that we had to pay 300,000IDR for 2 of us to enter the waterfall area which was a big rip off but we were already there,so couldn't say much. We also bought some snacks on the way plus water.
The Krakatau trip was 4million IDR for the boat for 2 of us for 2 days (2million/day), we had to pay for the food they provided,which cost about 350,000 plus we did a bit of shopping which was an other 300,000 IDR. All together we spent about 8million for the 5 days which is roughly £480/ 2 of us. Not the cheapest but we definitely had the NOT touristy experience and there are things you can't buy for money, like memories so it was worth every penny.