Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Java Journey - Prologue

The power is out. I've got most of my bag packed, but was leaving some to the last minute stuff until this morning. Now, it's uncomfortably clammy and its hard to find stuff in the dim light. If this is the biggest problem I run into these next two weeks, I'll be a happy man.

Today marks the beginning of two weeks vacation, and I have a flight booked for this afternoon from Yangon to Jakarta. Tomorrow, I'll go in search of a suitable 2-wheeled vehicle (I'm thinking I'll be getting something with a little more power this time) on which to travel the hinterland of West and Central Java. It's the Tour d'Joko: Java Journey. My itinerary is comprised of the 2000 kilometer loop you see below. (I can't get the picture function to work)

I lived in Jakarta in 1986-87. Thanks to Google Maps Street View, I've checked out my old neighborhood, and it doesn't look that different after 30 years (except for the fact that the house I lived in has been torn down and replaced by shops!). Of course, the question is whether or not any of the people remain that I used to know. I'll find out soon.

By contrast to my recent voyage to Borneo, I expect this loop to be far more... umm... dense. There's 141 million people living on Java, more than twice that of the UK on an island half the size of Britain. It's the northern plains where most people live; my plan takes me along the southern coast and zigzagging through the volcanoes of the interior.

Ah. Here comes the power again. Time to go back to last minute preparations. I can't decide whether or not to bring two things: a jacket and a ukulele. I

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