Farewell colourful Blitar, you’ve been good for us

We leave Blitar tomorrow.  I’m very sad about this.  We have already started making plans to return.  Why?  Because it’s one of the most colourful, friendly, open and relaxing towns I’ve been to.  If not ever, then certainly for a long time. wooden-rocking-horses-blitar-java-indonesia

A quick google search of what to do in Blitar, particularly since Mt. Kelud is still out of bounds, doesn’t exactly paint an interesting picture. But I think it’s all the better for that. Continue reading

Willing workers of Blitar, Java, Indonesia

Whilst on our walks around Blitar, we came across many people plying their trade.  Becak drivers, metal workers, fruit sellers, street food vendors, mechanics, bakers, fryers…the list is endless.

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Men selling feather dusters. I wonder if they use the dusters themselves. . .

Each and every one of them were interesting and happy to take the time to show us what they were doing.  Fascinating.  Continue reading

Gorgeous faces of Blitar, Java, Indonesia

We’ve seen very few white faces here. We’re quite a novelty.  And are treated as such when we go out and about.   I doubt many visitors venture far from the Tugu Hotel, and I don’t blame them.  If I’d been staying a night or two – as it seems most other guests have – I too would have enjoyed the lovely hotel and then moved on.  But boy, are they missing a trick!

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Gorgeous boys!

The people of Blitar are so, so friendly and kind. We’ve been invited to people’s houses, had our hands shaken, and offered breakfast.  People were happy to have their photos taken and in return they took photos of us.  Continue reading

Blitar fashion: as colourful as the town.

There are a number of clothing shops in Blitar.  In keeping with the rest of the town the clothing is equally as colourful. Although, I can’t say I’ve seen many women wearing these dresses.  Perhaps they are ‘for best’.  The men wear quite colourful shirts, and they look good in them too.

mannequin-green-yellow-shawl-blitar-java-indonesia

It’s searingly hot here (it’s November) and I just can’t picture a time when a knitted wooly hat and scarf would be required.  Perhaps I need to stay here longer in order to find out. Below is a gallery of some of the items available. I felt terribly dull dressed all in navy! Continue reading

Want to feel like A Famous? Head to Blitar, Indonesia.

We are staying in Blitar in east Java for a week. We chose Blitar purely and simply because there is a Tugu Hotel here that we could afford to stay in for more than one night. We loved our experience of the Tugu Hotel  in Malang so much that we wanted to it to last longer…but at a more affordable price. So we have decamped to its ‘poorer cousin’ in Blitar to enjoy the hotel, its afternoon teas and, as it turns out, its super-good internet.

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Entrance to the Tugu Hotel

Blitar isn’t on the tourist map as such, which makes you wonder why the hotel is here.  When we arrived, we doubled the number of guests staying here – although others arrived, and departed, over the coming days. Continue reading

Review: The Tugu Hotel, Malang. Quite possibly the best hotel I have ever stayed in…

When we were overlanding, we stayed in a variety of accommodation.  Homestays, hotels, tents, yurts, beach huts.  Most had windows, some did not.  Some were excellent, some historical, some nothing to write home about, some were lovely and homely, some faceless and some could well have been death traps. But when there’s limited choice, you can’t be fussy. toiletries-at-the-tugu-hotel-malang-java-indonesia

I stumbled across Tugu Hotels when I was searching for a cheapish place to stay for our trip to Malang.   Continue reading

Indonesia: Prambanan

We visited Prambanan in October 2014.  It is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and one of the largest in S.E. Asia. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Prambanan

Not a great photo, the sun was still too bright. And too damn hot. But you get the idea.

Built in the 9th Century, it was an impressive sight, though infuriatingly signposted. I read that few people (particularly backpackers) view the other temples in the grounds, and I’m not surprised. We tried, but it was like a treasure hunt, only with no clues. And in the searing heat, well, we gave up.  Continue reading

The mighty Borobudur, Java, Indonesia

We visited Borobudur today (Oct 2014), and what an impressive sight it is. I think it will get a well-deserved entry in my ‘Top Ten Temples’ list. When I write it.

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View of Borobudur as you turn the corner. It really is a magnificent sight.

We opted for the sunrise tour. Or at least I thought we did. We were being picked up at 5am, which I knew would be too late for sunrise here in Yogyakarta, but didn’t argue.   Being so close to the equator, sunrise and sunset only takes about 30 mins.   The call to prayer coming from the mosque RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO MY BED informed me that sunrise was well on it’s way, long before 5 am. The long lingering summer sunsets you get in England or Scotland are a distant memory now.  It’s almost equal parts night and day here in Indonesia.   Sunrise and sunset is done and dusted in not much more than 30 mins…but I digress.  Continue reading