Port of Semarang in Java, Indonesia
Semarang houses on the edge of town
Semarang on Java, Indonesia
Officers in Semarang on Java, Indonesia
A slew of men in uniforms scoured the area and even led a bomb sniffing dog around the bus (before we got on). You can imagine that I was feeling somewhat intrigued from all of this, but oddly enough, it didn't scare me like you would think it would. Although, these are the kinds of things that I would have never told my poor (recently departed) mother about my trips, who spent most of her time in sheer panic when I traveled.
Officers in Semarang on Java, Indonesia
Officers in Java, Indonesia
What was explained to us, and I am sure is partially true, is that due to the long windy roads, traffic and small towns we'd be passing through, that it was necessary to have police escorts to be able to cut down on travel time. However, that doesn't explain the dogs and constant police presence at every single town we went through. In order to keep you from worrying too much (in case you plan on going there), we never had one single incident on our journey. As I explained, the police were great and fun to talk to.
Leaving Semarang on Java, Indonesia
Homes on Java Indonesia
It was explained that the expensive homes were on the adjacent hills and were occupied by the doctors, lawyers and government people (sounds very familiar). Now, before I go any further with my posts on Java, I want to explain that I had a great time. I was absolutely fascinated with Java and everything I saw. I just like to write honestly and post what I see, as it is. So, bear with me.
As you've probably gathered from my other posts, I love to people watch. So, driving through these small towns and villages was a great way to photograph the lives and faces of the local people. Although this bus trip was hours long, it seemed that every town we went through was aware that we were coming through. Many people were outside and watching as we went by.
I suppose the police escorts weren't too subtle, but it was great to watch the smiles and waves. I saw a group of ladies sitting in the back of this pickup truck. I'm not sure what they were doing, but what a great contrast. The fun part is always trying to imagine what's going on in people's lives. There is a large Muslim presence on the island, most of the women cover their heads. There is still a Buddhist population and it's generally easy to tell the difference with the locals in the way they dress.
Granted, not everyone was smiling as we passed, but it was interesting, non the less. I love the look on this guy's face (below). This happened a few times, but you can't really blame people. I don't like my photo taken either.
There were so many fruit and vegetable stands that we passed. The most obvious fruit was the "Bread Fruit". This is a huge fruit which has a very light taste to it. I ate this a number of times on my trip. In fact, I ate multitudes of exotic fruits that I had never heard of or seen before. The sad thing about this, is that I found a couple that I loved, and can't get in the states.
Bread Fruit in Java, Indonesia
Many of the roads through Java were small roads which wound up and down hills and mountains, along with thick patches of forest. We saw quite a few farms and lush, beautiful pastures. It began pouring rain at one point and made it a bit more difficult to see.
Java, has a haunting feel to it in the rain. Not in a bad way, but an eerie look to the older buildings and huts. There were so many that I couldn't possibly photograph them all. I felt sorry for the other people on the bus who had to listen to my camera clicking over and over again.
We eventually stopped at a coffee plantation in the hills. They took us in and gave us fresh fruit and fresh local coffee. The aroma there was amazing. I'm not a big coffee drinker, but the combination of coffee, tropical forest and rain in the air was intoxicating. It seemed that everywhere you go in Java, there is a unique smell to that area. Sometimes it's just the burning of fields or tropical plants.
There was a great old Banyan tree that was growing at the plantation. It's root system was beautiful and this photograph doesn't do it justice. It was much larger than it appears here.
Coffee Plantation on Java, Indonesia
There were some local ladies in a "Traditional" dress who were greeting and speaking to everyone. they were also very nice and had no problem with having their photo taken. If you're into handmade crafts, there were also plenty of those here to buy, and at good prices.
There were interesting statues on the grounds, and locals selling packages of dried snacks and nick-nacks. The large pieces of dried breadfruit and beets were tasty. Since we were up in the hills, there was not much to photograph of the plantation. Mainly it was just a group of us and the cops enjoying our coffee and snacks.
Java, Indonesia Police escorts, giving me the "Thumbs Up".
After we filled up with coffee...and used the restroom from excess coffee drinking...we finally piled back in the bus and left. I will continue on Java Indonesia in a day or two.