As we watched the rising sun light up the sky behind the mountains, we had one of those ‘is this real life?’ moments. We had been up since 3am, reaching the top of Borobudur Temple to witness the sunrise. It’s almost a rite of passage here, and is probably the number one reason people visit this part of Java. People gather at the top level of this Buddhist temple, and watch as the sun rises behind the volcanic Mt Merapi, changing the sky from a deep purple to one full of gold and yellow and oranges. The mist covers the rainforest below, and slowly dissolves in the morning light.
The perfect day descended into chaos for me. Once the day had dawned, I felt sick and dizzy, and didn’t get much better. I think it might have been a mixture of lack of sleep and no breakfast, but I spent the morning throwing up. What a day to be ill! Ben was able to make the most of the tour however, which included a visit to a Buddhist monastery, and a visit to a Javanese village, where he had a go at basket weaving, teaching some English and trying traditional Javanese coffee and food. I was gutted I missed out, but so happy he got to experience the real Java and could tell me all about it.
I couldn’t recommend our tour company enough. Kaleidoscope of Java provided us transport to the temple, a history of the temple and it’s philosophies, breakfast, a trip to a local monastery, lunch, a visit to a Javan village and transport back – all for less than £20. Atik, our guide, was amazing. I loved her, she was so warm, passionate about true Javanese culture and really knowledgable. It was like being shown around by a friend.
Once we got back, I slept off whatever I had and we chilled out, before crashing out in bed. What an unforgettable day.