Myles Harrington

A Million To Leave

In Indonesia on August 16, 2010 at 11:31 am

As it was our last few days in Indonesia we thought it would be best to do something cultural. Loads of people had told us about an incredible sight that was one of the best things to do in Asia so it would be wrong of us not to go there as we were so close. Gunung Bromo is an active volcano and it was bloody difficult to get to. We shunned the idea of paying more than double to get an AC minibus from Jogja and did it on our own on two public buses via Surabaya. It took 14 hours when it could have taken six. We should have learned by now it’s not worth saving a couple of quid for the extra hassle. Once we got to Probolinggo, the stopping off spot for Bromo both of us had the onset of diarrhea. As you can imagine, it was delightful.

The beautiful land boob of Bromo

You’re meant to go to the mountain ridge at sunrise to get the picture perfect postcard shot of the mountain smoking with the morning mist but we were feeling far too drained so we took the trip at a much more comfortable midday. Even once we made it to the top we couldn’t bear to be there so we went straight back down again. At least we made the effort and can say that we’ve seen it.
Next stop was party the party town of Kuta beach on Bali. I think there are probably more foreigners on that beach than in the whole of the rest of Indonesia. Even McDonalds has given up with speaking Indonesian there shunning the native “Buka 24 jam” to proclaim “Open 24 hours” you’re probably more likely to hear Dutch or even Hungarian than Indonesian being spoken along Poppies Gang 1.
I didn’t take any photos in Bali, mainly because there wasn’t much to take photos of. Pissed Brits and surfers don’t make for anything to visually stunning. We did have a relatively good time there though. We got so drunk at the Sky Garden Lounge Bar we both lost our sandals, I’m so ashamed. Please let me explain however that it only happened because the offer of as much Heineken you can drink between 9pm and midnight for £3.50 was too good to refuse. I only had three small beers in that room though because upstairs between 10 and 11pm they gave away free cocktails and tapas. Six stong cocktails in an hour while on antibiotics for my stomach issues was not a good combination.
When we came to leave Bali was when we got stung the most. At the airport we were forced to spend nearly a million rupiah for them to let us leave (£71). Firstly I stupidly didn’t pre-pay for our bags to be checked in, so that was 180,000 Rp to Air Asia. Denpasar airport has a departure tax of 150,000 Rp each, why they don’t just add that to Air Asia’s taxes and charges add-on when you book the flight I don’t know. Because if you’re flying you’re obviously departing. When we got to the immigration man he informed us that we’d overstayed our welcome by one day, well, 9 hours in fact so we had to pay a fine of 200,000 each. Running back past security, check in and immigration to the ATM when our flight was leaving in 15 minutes was not good fun. But at least we made it, if a little poorer.
5k remaining: £2362.10

Thanks to Kerry Grove for the Sky Garden tip off

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