Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 4, Central Java: 10K steps on the Fitbit--negated by 10K calories consumed

We slept quite well until the morning call to prayer—and a few “calls” of a different kind, from what we’ve now learned is a very large gecko (we thought that noise was coming from a bird).

One of the bedrooms in our villa
Last night, immediately after dinner, we perused the breakfast menu and placed our order for this morning’s meal—and we managed to over-order by a large margin. It was all delicious, though, particularly the “soto” (soup) with some extra chili. 

Soto for breakfast (delicious)
The soup put some "hop" into our step for our first activity, hiking up Menoreh Hill with two guides from the hotel. It takes about an hour to go straight up from the villas. The start is inauspicious, along a "road" from which a crew of workers was busy clearing of grass and growth from the waning wet season. Once above that, the path narrows and eventually winds through a small community near the top of the hill (the villa's management supports this community through a foundation). A group of small children were happy to see visitors and came running down to greet us and shake our hands. We kept on going up to the very top, where a resident cut down a couple of coconuts and opened them so we could have some fresh water. Although it was a little hazy, we enjoyed the view from the top and could see straight down to our villa's private pool.

Cutting the coconuts
Was posing, looking for handouts
Turmeric drying in the sun
Kids welcoming us along our hike
Needless to say, we were a little warm after a couple of hours of hiking, so it was a terrific time to take advantage of said pool—and a few drinks.

Breakfast taught us to be a bit more careful in the quantity department when ordering our meals. Lunch was more modest in size--corn fritters (with more spicy chili), sautéed green beans, and honey garlic chicken--but still delicious.

Corn fritters for lunch
Originally, we had planned to visit the Dieng Plateau during this portion of the trip. But once here, a day trip with a four-hour drive each way didn't sound all that appealing, so we scaled back and instead chose a trip out to the 8th Century Selogriyo temple. The drive out meandered through more rural landscape and into the rice fields. At one point, we had to take a rather lengthy but interesting detour on a very narrow road through small villages due to some bridge construction. Once near the temple, we parked and walked through a small village that smelled of tobacco (one of the area's primary crops), past a group of men racing pigeons, and then along a path through the rice fields for about 30 minutes until we reached the temple. The gates of the temple were locked by the time we reached it, but that was fine. We could still see it from about 20 feet away. And this excursion was one of those that was more about the journey than the destination, anyway.

Rice fields on the walk out to Candi Selogriyo

And with that, it was time to eat…again (we’re going to need a lot of exercise to make up for all this food). This time, we sprung for a couple bottles of wine to accompany our dinner, and we enjoyed them while enjoying the evening breeze and 7 pm call to prayer. It doesn’t get more relaxing than this.

Link to all of today's photos

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading about your stay at Villa Borobudur. Thanks