Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mount merapi and the dust mud/Borador temple

There are a few new pictures on the Picasa site- I will try and load some on here soon, when we get decent internet again! For now heres what we did today!!!

Today about a dozen of us headed back towards Yogyakarta to try and get a better view of the volcano. Unfortunately, the clouds were very thick and we had to abandon the viewing as we couldn’t see anything. Instead we visited a nice temple in Yogyakarta itself and saw the Kings carriages, before driving out to Borobador temple. On the way there, we drove through a few towns and villages that were simply covered in ash from the recent eruptions. It really is a disaster zone, with people trying to scrape the dust, which hardens like concrete, off the roads and pavements. There were diggers and jcb';s helping and piles of volcanic ash everywhere. The trees also looked strange as the weight of the ash, meant the branches of all the palms were hanging limp and some had broken off, It was an eerie experience, but good to see that everyone seemed to be getting their lives back to normal, with shops open and people going about their everyday business – albeit through the dust and wearing masks.

We reached the Temple, which was supposed to be closed to clean up after the volcanic ash had landed on it, but we were the first group to be allowed inside the park, after it had been closed for the last 12 days.

Our guide showed us around and it was spectacular. Unfortunately we couldn’t go up onto the temple itself as it is still being cleaned, but the rain that fell whilst we were there should help a lot with the effort. We spent a good hour there and enjoyed all of it – even though the rain had turned the dust into a mud-bath. After a free coffee, we headed back onto the bus through the throngs of hawkers and the two hour trip back to Solo and our hotel, was spent mostly sleeping on the bus. It was half empty as only 12 of us had gone for the day trip, so we all managed to recline and get some proper sleep!

In the evening, me Liv and Jennifer Parsonage went out to get some dinner and had a rickshaw ride to a local market, where we finally got the sate we were looking for last night. It was a mix of meat, liver and heart and was pretty good and really really cheap!!

Then it was a quick shop in a local supermarket for tomorrows long journey, before heading back to the hotel where we met up with everyone in the Hotel bar to head next door to the Novotel, where we are going to try some cocktails!! Should be fun!!

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