Jason and Dawn - Around the world 2011 travel blog

View from the train windows

Inside the train


Checked out of our hotel in Surabaya at exactly 12 noon. Walked over to the terminal and waited 3 hours for our train to go to Yogyakarta. A local Indonesian street band (made up of older men) setup their instruments in the main train station foyer and started jamming away. I must say they were really good. Half of their songs to our surprise were English, songs by Eric Clapton & Kenny Rogers. One of the band members spotted me in the crowd of awaiting train passengers and waved a hello and sported a big smile. Jason provided them with a donation prior to our train's arrival (no locals were appreciating their vocal talents) to which they kindly showed their appreciation and waved a good-bye to us from just behind the trains platform.

Upon boarding the train we soon discovered that we had to push our way on or we would be left behind by a constant stream of locals cutting in and ignoring any orderly fashion whatsoever. Finally we get on and we soon find out that the locals won't even wait for you to take your back-packs off and safely store them above your seats. I was literally shoved over a seat, with my pack still on so they could get past me to get to their seats - all the while Jason tried to get his pack off and up not even 3 feet away from me. Wow, this must be preparing us for China and Thailand because we hear it's very packed and busy at these destinations as well (difficult to understand what the rush could possibly be to get to your seat when everybody has reserved seating! Honestly, the train is going to arrive at the same time no matter what! :)

We traded seats with a family of four as the father was sitting across from us while his wife and two small children sat directly across the isle from our seats. The entire family seemed quite pleased with this transition. The train ride in total was 5.5 hours long. Every main terminal we stopped at the vendors would get on and try to sell their "goods" to the train riders. Playing it safe we did not purchase anything, we watched in curiosity as some of the locals made purchases. On board there was "train food" you could make as well, such dishes as soups, rice, noodles, tea and coffee.... decided not to go there ;)

We passed by many rice fields and small towns on the way to Yogyakarta. Ran into some rain the closer we got to our destination. We could see the sun setting and captured some nice photos.

We arrived in Yogyakarta around 8:30pm. Made our way off the train and headed for the main street where tons of hotels and home stays line every street. We met a couple from France (Nick & Delphine) as we were making our way out of the train station, they asked if they could tag along and we happily accepted. Nice to have the company of fellow travelers.

Soon we were assisted by one of the local "businessmen" and whisked off down a "Gang" which is an alleyway, where Jason and Nick went to look at a few rooms in a number of hotels/home stays in the area to compare prices and value. All four of us settled on 'Utar' a local home stay for a room with a fan, free internet, queen bed, desk, sink, toilet and shower for $100,000 rupees a night. It's clean and breakfast is included. We loaded our packs in, freshened up and went to eat supper at a restaurant located not too far from our hotel called 'Mi Casa Su Casa' .

We joined Nick and Delphine for supper. We ordered a large Bali Hai draft beer (our favorite in Indonesia) for $25,000 rupees, I ordered the Ayam Bakar (bbq chicken) with vegetables & rice and Jason had a plate of peppered steak with vegetables and French fries. It was all delicious and came to a total cost of $95,000 rupees. ($11.50 Canadian) Made our way back to our room and called it a night!



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