Budi_Banyuwangi.jpgFrom 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  
Kolak.jpgBudi (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  
JC_Kids.jpgBudi 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  
Parade.jpgAs 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  
Parade_Barong.jpgA 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  
Parade_Police.jpgGotta love the Indonesian cops! The 70's sunglasses, look as cold as steel, regulation mustache and CHiPs gloves. 36 KB  
Teachers.jpgBunch of married, middle-aged teachers from Budi's school taking their turn at flirting with the foreigner. 41 KB  
Pawai_Lampion.jpgAnother of the many parades for the Independence day. This was the "Lamp" parade that went through the night. 35 KB  
George_Bush_Hate.jpgA 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  
Gunung_Kawah_Ijen.jpgFinally 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  
Sulfur.jpgSo 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  
Blue_Flame.jpgWe 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  
Stream_Blue_Flame.jpgI believe it may have been a stream of liquid sulfur(?) dripping out of the mountain, but who knows. 43 KB  
Sulfur_Pit.jpgAs 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  
Sulfur_Pit.jpgYou can see Ulrich down next to the pits. 31 KB  
Ijen.jpgView from the crater's edge. Ijen. 41 KB  
Ijen.jpgView from the crater's edge. Ijen. 31 KB  
Ijen.jpg 22 KB  
Ijen.jpgOne 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  
Ijen.jpg 41 KB  
Ijen.jpgA walk around the rim. 52 KB  
Nasi_Pecel_Bondowoso.jpgFrom 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  
Supriyanto_Bondowoso.jpgMet 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  
Bromo_Sunrise.jpgFrom Bondowoso, I continued west through Probolinggo and on to Gunung Bromo. 20 KB  
Bromo_Sunrise.jpgOnce 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  
Gunung_Bromo.jpgGunung Semaru (in the distance), would erupt and throw a huge cloud of ash into the sky every 20 minutes. 57 KB  
Cemoro_Lawang.jpgView of Cemoro Lawang, the village closest to the volcanoes. Morning sun and mist drifting through the valley. 30 KB  
Pencuri.jpgThe 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  
Bensin_Murah.jpgIndonesian gas gas station -- Surabaya. 60 KB  
JC.jpgHad 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  
Cobra_Power.jpgBefore 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  
Cobra_Power.jpgThis is the same man, older and wiser (the knife didn't leave scars) -- Cobra Power! 49 KB  
Random_Furniture_Dude.jpgSeems 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  
Rocker.jpgI 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  
Random_Furniture_Dude.jpg 51 KB  
Train.jpgThe 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  
Train_Friends.jpgSome students on the train. Always a good time to swap Bahasa Indonesia for conversational English. 37 KB  
Yogyakarta.jpgBy 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  
Tia_Arie.jpgTwo "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  
Dragonfly_Boxer.jpgReally 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  
Attitude.jpgI was as confused as you are now. 43 KB  
Becak.jpgPronounced "Becha"... local rickshaw in which you are the human traffic plow! 59 KB  
Jogya.jpgFounds some really nice backstreets across this river. Felt like a small village, not a cosmopolitan city. 67 KB  
Random_Furniture_Dude.jpgSony advertisement. 44 KB  
Smile.jpgJust a guy. 53 KB  
Graffiti.jpgMore graffiti under the train tracks. 54 KB  
Bus_Muscians.jpgThey 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  
Mendut_Temple.jpgTook 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  
Borobudur.jpgThe main Borobudur temple. 43 KB  
Borobudur.jpgSunrise... 30 KB  
Borobudur.jpg 46 KB  
Gunung_Merapi.jpgDid 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  
Volcano_Research.jpgVolcano center at the base in Kaliurang. 28 KB  
Bird.jpgA 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  
Nasi_Sayur.jpgThe 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  
Jakarta_Museum.jpgA scull from West Papua I believe. Just saw this while at the national museum in Jakarta. 43 KB  
Jakarta_Train.jpgJakarta's local trains -- what excitement! Live bands (see the stand up base?), people selling everything you could imagine, monkeys riding mini bicycles! 65 KB  
Say_No.jpgKids -- Say NO to drugs and YES to candy! From Jakarta, I continued north-east to Sumatra. 66 KB