Java Countryside

It’s pretty in Java.  Huge volcanic mountains, big green hills, lush forests growing wild between everyone’s little village or terraced rice field.  Pretty.

Today we woke early.  Dark early.  It’s Sunday and apparently that is the day for a special ceremony at the local mosque.  Not only do they do the morning call to prayer but it is followed by a 2 hour long lesson and music service that is distributed to the town via loud speaker.  Zoe really liked the music. It was interesting to listen too, and attempt to Skype with family during.
Otherwise our morning was uneventful – did some school lessons, took a walk around the neighborhood and to the market, and got lunch across the street in a ladies house/cafe. Delicious fried noodle and rice. 
This afternoon we took another local area jaunt with Jack – this time in a car though. It was about an hour to this cool small hill-perched village of Selo.  We then walked through town and along an amazing trail through a huge terraced mountain of rice, pepper and corn fields. We walked through pockets of jungle and up along little creeks to the Selo temple.  It’s a small ancient Hindu temple high in the mountain.  
Mostly for us the walk the fun.  The kids loved it!  They got sticks,  they touched those plants that close when you poke them, they went barefoot like the local kids, they played in mud and washed off in the creek.  It was wonderful.  Our guide was surprised at how fast they went and how they enjoyed themselves.  We occasionally had to avoid scooters hauling bricks up to mend the trail, or a man with his water buffalo. 
On the way back into town we stopped and relaxed with the local folks – mostly the men and boys – who were racing their pigeons.  They had pairs of pigeons and would take two males up the trail to release and then hold up their female.  The pigeons would beeline it to their woman!  It was quite the social activity. My kiddos loved watching the birds race and also got  their own chance to hold some.  This is entertainment in a small village in Indonesia! 
I was such a nice day out!! Plus on the way back we got to see mount Merapi.  It’s not currently erupting you will be happy to know, but usually covered in clouds.  Avi was beside himself with questions for Jack who was here coming back from this exact trip when it erupted in 2010.  That was the most recent bad one, with the ash cloud coming west to Borobudur where we are.  He said it was beautiful and very scary, and due for another eruption soon. 
This evening it’s relax time, and we may walk around the corner for food if the kids get hungry. The sun sets so early here: I usually like to be inside after dusk when traveling alone, but geez it’s 6pm and getting dark already.  We will go to the market.
Update:  chicken satay is amazing fresh off the street and the Indonesian peanut sauce is so good!  The kids and I scarfed down 15 sticks plus rice and a chocolate roti (it’s like a stuffed cake).  Total cost for dinner: $1.50

Good morning Java!
Time for some school lessons

walking around the neighborhood, past the mosque that wakes us each morning
feeding local kitties!
Our trail and our guide Jack

The view!  we are heading up toward that big hill

more scenery


Avi wanted to increase the difficulty of our trek

Zoe had fun collecting flowers and seeds

the view got better and better the higher we went

most of the trail was bricked

at our goal

they are replicating the statue
the little ancient hindu temple at the top.

the fam!

Back down we go.

back to the little village


pigeon racing anyone…that boy in RED up near the fields will release the two males.
Zoe fit in well.  Look how young that kid is smoking.

Avi was a bit more nervous about the birds.  Then, when the guys laughed at him once for jumping back from a nip he really got feelings hurt and cried to mommy.  He isn’t competitive like those boys.

getting a roti!




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