So, after the islands we landed in Lombok and from there I made my way to Java. I know I did very little in Bali but I felt my time was up. I spent an extra night at the same Mirah hostel and the following morning I was supposed to go to Canggu. It was raining so I just got on a bus direct to Java.
I arrived at the bus station and got once again attacked by people who wanted to sell me tickets. I literally had to show them that I already had one in order for them to back off.
The bus left at 5.00pm and was supposed to arrive some 12 hours later in Malang. It was pretty comfortable but they were playing this Indonesian music that really sounded a constant whining to my untrained ears. I bet for locals our pop music has the same effect. The music was really getting on my nerves so I just got out my iPod and put on my headphones.
There were blankets on the seats because the AC was pretty strong (I actually got a cold). They also provided us some snacks and a bottle of water. But all the announcements were in Indonesian (which is understandable as I was – once again – the only white face on board) and so I lost everything that was said during the trip.
To get to the harbor it took us almost 5 hours and once there we got on the ferry with bus and everything. By that time it was almost 10pm.
Once on the ferry everyone got out of the bus and upstairs to get some food. Apparently here, every stop is a good excuse to get food. I was on the deck recharging my tablet when everyone was getting down the stairs to the bus level. I didn’t understand as we didn’t even left shore yet.
But worried to be left behind I followed the locals (of course I was the only white on board of the ferry also) and got on my bus wondering if there was something wrong with the ferry and we had to get off.
But when the bus left the ferry I realized the we were not on the same shore that before. The islands – Bali and Java – are so close that I didn’t even see the ferry leaving the shore!!!
On the Java side we stopped at a “service station” where the driver gave us the voucher to get free food. It was buffet style so I could choose and got rice (what else!) vegetables and tempeh. And for drink a delicious tea.
With my belly full I got back on the bus and fell asleep expecting to be able to have a solid 6 hours sleep. But of course I was wrong. Again.
After a little more than 3 hours we were woken up because we arrived in Malang. It was confusing to me as the trajectory of the bus was Denpasar – Malang but not everyone got out. So here I am, stranded in Malang in the middle of the night (actually early morning) half asleep.
I decide to send a message to my CS host knowing that probably he won’t see it before morning. After waiting for 15 minutes for an answer I decided to call a cab – GO JEK to be precise – and go to the hostel that I booked just in case.
The place is called “Mador Malang Dorm Hostel” and it’s one of the cleanest hostel I’ve ever been. The rooms are small and without window but the “beehive style” bed are super comfortable and clean. I was supposed to stay here just one night but my CSer host although very good person proved to be very unreliable so I decided it was easier to just stay here. In the morning there is breakfast (with ginger tea!!!) and the owner is the sweetest girl I’ve met!!
On the morning after my arrival, I met with another CSurfer and together we went to the hot springs. The place is about an hour by motorbike from Malang, on the outskirts of Batu (also called little Switzerland!!!) and the view along the way is amazing. Rice terraces and fields of carrots, onions, cabbage and apple trees, the main product here.
The springs are on the outside, not much of an installation is done but that’s the good thing about it. The pool is not much but you’re floating in warm water surrounded by the jungle. Awesome!!!
After that we drove back to the city and stopped at the only open food stall in town (it’s Ramadan and everything is closed during daytime) and had Gado Gado.
Later that afternoon I met with my “host” that took me to this very fancy restaurant called “Javanine”(Jalan Pahlawan Trip A5, Klojen, Oro-oro Dowo, Klojen, Kota Malang, Jawa Timur 65119) where we met with a couple of friends of his. I had noodles and a broccoli salad. Delicious and not expensive especially because the Australian friend took care of the bill!!!
So today I walked around the city a bit (and I banged my head as here you always have to check where you put your steps and also check if there is anything hanging from the walls of the sidewalk… which I didn’t do…)
I had lunch at this place recommended by the Australian friend called “The library Cafe” (Jl. Baluran No.2, Oro-oro Dowo, Klojen, Kota Malang, Jawa Timur 65119) and dared to order pasta. It was a bit overcooked but delicious and since it was cheap I also got an orange salad. There I met the Australian friend having lunch, so I took my chance and invited him this time!
Tomorrow I have a train at 8.20am to Yogyakarta, that us, in the opinion of many, fabulous!