|Next stop Surabaya for Borobudor. Easier said than done, however. We agree to the services of Weidy to take us to the temple of Borobudur. This is a 3 hour drive from Semarang and due to the narrow roads and ideally involves a police escort. We aren't using the expensive ship tour buses, we pay a third of the cost on the bootleg tour and occasionally draft off the police escort at the end of the parade anyway. It is a bit tortuous in the tight Van, but the girlies persevere, viewing terraced rice fields and traffic...then we prevail and finally arrive at the temple. Supposedly, this temple was build around 800 AD by the same people who exported the technology to angor Wat in Cambodia around 1100 ad. It isn't as spectacular as the sprawling expanse of angor Wat but it has been precisely rebuilt after an earthquake and volcano disassembled and covered it. It was re- discovered by Raffles, courtesy of the locals. Unesco did a great job putting the jigsaw pieces together which show Buddha in his various poses, albeit non reclining in this iteration. It is something that he gets this temple here since he has never been to Indonesia. The stupas, or the temples on every level are adorning the temple and resemble bells. Each contain a mini Buddha as shown by the cardinal open bells, if there is any doubt. I was a little ripped off that here there are no day of the week Buddhas like, say, Myanmar. Come on, you owe me!
The views of the green valleys all around are quite lovely. The police are abounding and telling people not to sit on the top level known as nirvana. The sign says no scratching so anyone considering carving initials should think twice. The Muslim women wear their colorful abayas and then put a big colorful floppy straw hat on top of them.
Which is fanciful!
On the way back before the traffic fray, we stop for Kopi lewak of Bucket List fame. Fun enough, they had some civet cats we could see and even pet. These fellows are keen on coffee beans and supposedly eat them without too much coaxing. Their poo is collected, beans extracted and the coffee beans are roasted in the usual manner thereafter. How many acres for one kilo of beans? I don't much care for black coffee, but this stuff you can drink black quite readily. Very nice. And no hint of poo whatsoever. The civets are really cute, sort of lemurish eyes with digging feet like badgers.
We are glad we gave someone else money for this tour other than the cruise ship. Glad we got to see the temple for comparison purposes. Time to go back and use the laundry package, a bargain for four of us for unlimited laundry and pressing, I could use this at home!