Ah Bogor It's Bandung!
Bandung Travel Blog› entry 17 of 54 › view all entries
While on the train to Bogor from Jakarta, we finally discussed our plans for the next few weeks properly and as such we decided to skip the next couple of stops in favour for going straight to Bandung.
This entailed following the Lonely Planet's direction that suggested it was a 2km walk to the bus station. Over 5km later and a few hundred smiling, waving & giggling children and one unfortunate detour later we had finally made it. The people we met along the way in Bogor were so lovely. I think my first thoughts of there being few tourists was reaffirmed by the locals, they seemed amazed by the sight of myself & Matthew walking through the streets.
The buses in Indonesia are truly something to write home about. It's part of the culture that appears deeply engrainded in the locals.
As the bus drives along, one guy hangs out the door shouting to any person who just happens to be stood still. At every opportunity, singers, percusionists, guitarists violinists, ukelele-ists and anyone else who wants to muder a song, can jump aboard play a bit of a song before looking for money to pay for the aural pleasure of hearing his gift from the heavens to music. The surprising thing is, no matter how badly they play, they always seem to get some coins. Interestingily enough they also rarely pestered me, it was more so the locals.
The local musicians are not the only bus hoppers. The musicians are accompanied by the myriad of men jumping on board to sell exactly the same food as the last man. They all gave myself and Matthew various prices that were ridiculousy over priced yet it was not until a friendly local pointed out did we realise that they all cost the same, RP2,000 each.
When we got to Bandung, I realised Lonely Planet Syndrome had kicked in as our chosen hostel had not only been closed down but was closed down several years ago. Thank you very much Lonely Planet for all the driving around in circles trying to find it.
When we finally chose on a different place, we were instantly met by the resident tour guide trying to unload his overpriced tours on us. He wouldnt budge on the price so we checked in and popped out in search for some good mie goreng.
It was an early start but with a free Indonesian breakfast. A few of the stops on the tour felt a little random if not redundant like seeing a strawberry field or the tofu plantation though that did give us lads the opportunity to test our manhood by all eating hot chilli only to be beaten by a little kid munching down the chilli without any effort. Then we went to some rice fields which was nothing new to any of us on the tour but it was nice to see them in mid harvest and get a fuller understanding of the process.
Seeing the tea plantation was fantastic as I am quite the tea lover. As far as the eye could see were fields full of tea trees.
We then walked up through a volcanoe to mess about in some hot springs. The thing that struck us most was the houses we saw that turned out to be on the inside of the volcanic cone. We had to stop and speak with the village elder to get permission to enter the land. I am fairly certain that this was all a front or a show for our benefit and that it was wholly unnecessary.
After we dried off from the hot pools, we were driven off to see a lake in the area shrouded in mist. The lake is apparently a big weekend destination for the Javanese. This explained the large market surrounding the lake.
The German lads were great craic. Although fresh from school, the two boys really had their heads screwed on. They really enjoy photography which was the cause of much banter throughout the day and since. Hopefully we will stay in touch.
Back at the hotel,we grabbed our bags, said goodbye to the boys and jumped in a min ibus to take us on to our next destination. Today was a good day. Back in the holiday mood good and proper. Really felt like I was seeign and doing interesting stuff now.