Yogyakarta, or Jogja to locals, is but a train ride away from the City of Solo in Central Java, Indonesia. This bustling city is touted as the second most important tourist destination in the country after Bali due to its proximity to the world renowned Borobudur and Prambanan temples.
A couple of minutes after the ASEAN Blogger Festival 2013 was declared closed, we rushed to collect our things from our hotel and headed to Solobalapan to catch a train ride to Jogja. Three Indonesian bloggers (Agus, Jarwadi, and Anno) whom we’ve met at the conference were gracious enough to take us under their wings and join us on this backpacking trip.
The train ticket only cost about a dollar which was way too cheap. But then Jawardi apologetically explained that it was a non-aircon coach and–here comes the catch–the trip will be delayed by a couple of minutes. We took all these in stride like true blue backpackers that we are 😉 Commuters were not a bit perturbed by the news either which suggests to me that this might be a common occurrence.
A couple of minutes later, people started getting up after hearing the sound of a train coming around the bend. And then all sense of decorum broke loose as everyone made a mad rush for the doors. Whew! I never thought a train ride could be fun and death-defying all at the same time!
By the time we got in, the coach was packed like a can of sardines and I was perspiring like I was in a sauna but more than a tad uncomfortable. There were no more seats available so we contented ourselves with the prospect of getting to our destination an hour later in… errrr…a vertical position. How a cart loaded with drinks and snack items (for sale!) was able to make its way from one end of the coach to the other was beyond me.
But then again, my companions on this trip, which include Gael of thepinaysolobackpacker.com, Claire of iamtravellinglight.com, and Regin of reginstravels.com, were even able to find space on the floor to sit on, so I guess there was still enough room.
This was our first backpacking trip as a married couple and we were determined to enjoy the whole experience. And by the look of our faces in this photo (grime, sweat and all), we were indeed having a blast!
This is my first entry for my blog series on Indonesia. Watch out for my other entries in the coming days! These will include our experience in eating out lesehan-style, and our exploration of the Borobudur and Prambanan temples, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
This also serves as my entry to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge on WordPress titled “Escape“.