January 16, 2012
After two and a half days of travel, Huy and I's lives had been enriched with at least three movies, several games of battleship, a Hagaan-Dazs ice cream bar, and admiring Hong Kong's efficient transportation system. We landed on a wet tarmac in Denpasar, and only minutes later, the daily 3pm monsoon rain poured down. First purchase on my list is a poncho!
Despite the rain, we had a happy reunion with Aunty and had a relaxing first couple of days to get over jet lag in a beautiful home. There are many sunny breaks but my plan is to make use of the wet weather by integrating it into my photographs. Experiment No.1 was on the bus ride to Lovina. We crossed the island North-wise to the black sandy coast. Along the way, we ascended foggy mountains with cliff sides wallpapered in giant ferns and drove along roads that flowed like rivers. Drops of water on the windows became out-of-focus spots splashed across my drive-by photos.
Lovina is a lovely, fun beach town in the dry season. But dry season, it is not, so after a night we continued our journey West towards Gilimanuk. More drive-by shots, mostly of passing motos. Some with cute babies and children dressed in school uniforms. Men drove with piles of greenery taller then themselves, trays of folded banana leaves, a tv, and long tubes of bamboo balanced on one shoulder. Gradually the scenery became more mountainous and lush, until we arrived at the ferry to take us to Java, and then... it started to rain.
Onwards to the sulpher miners at Gunung Ijen, we met Fendy who told us it's erupting poisonous gas! It has been closed for the past 3 weeks and will not likely reopen for a couple more. So one night here in Banyuwangi, and we're on the road (train) again tomorrow. Wish us better luck at Mt. Bromo!