Berhala Island

Tanjung Jabung Timur

The Makalam Bridge

Jambi City

Mount Kerinci

Kerinci

Berbak National Park

Tanjung Jabung Timur

Zapin Dance

A Famous Malayan Traditional Dance

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Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3

4 extraordinary days in Yogyakarta ended by starting the trip to Bromo in the morning. On January 29, 2015, it was not too crowded on the road, I went to the City of Solo, via Klaten Regency. From Solo I took route to Karanganyar Regency to visit Grojogan Sewu, Cemeru Kandang, and Tawangmangu tourism spots. Karanganyar Regency have border directly to a Jawa Timur Province's regency named Magetan.

I arrived at Grojogan Sewu at 13.30, unfortunately it was only an hour to enjoy the waterfall and its parks, the Park Guards asked me to leave because they had to close the gate at 15.00. Heavy raining forced me to take shelter in a small mosque in a small farming village in Tawangmangu. After Isya prayer time it was only drizzle left. I continued my journey, crossing the border line between Jawa Tengah Province and Jawa Timur Province.

Around the midnight I reached Kediri, rested for a while and continued a non-stop trip to Batu City and then, finally Malang City, at dawn. In this town I made a call to a former coworker, Mas Handoko, to ask if I could make a visit to him and I got welcoming words, "Hell of course!" Then I was at his house in the morning, also met with his mother.

I really used the time at Mas Handoko's house to prepare myself for the trip to Bromo. I gave him lots of questions how to reach Bromo from Malang and things I might find along the route, including the best time to catch sunrise view. After Maghrib prayer time I said goodbye sayings to Mas Handoko and his mother thanked them for the place where I could refresh my body.

Frankly, at that evening time I had no idea to take the best route to Bromo from Malang City because there was too much information from Mas Handoko that I had to remember when driving. It was around 21.00, surroundings were getting more and more quiet made me to run Plan B which meant I would follow the traffic signs to reach Bromo. Unfortunately, I got the situation that I had followed the route based on Mas Handoko's information too far and had not found any direction signs on that small villages roads. I then decided to ask first people I encounter to guide me how to reach  Bromo. Alhamdulillah, I found a group people who gave me precise information kindly that brought me to Wonokitri, Tosari, it is a district of Pasuruan Regency and the gate to enter Bromo tourism spot.

I arrived at Bromo National Park Information Center at 02.30, for me it was very cold, I could not take my helmet off even to open its glass, piercing cold air made my eyes hurt. That was more steps needed to reach the location named Pananjakan to see the sunrise. After paying entrance ticket I rode my motorcycle slowly, my 3 layers of shirts and jackets were unable to prevent cold air from touching my body, slower speed helped me stay warmer.

It took almost an hour to arrive at Pananjakan and it was not finish yet, I needed to take more steps to go to a public balcony if I want to see the sunrise perfectly. I looked at my watch, and found it was still about an hour and half to go catching the sunrise, I then spent my time by looking around and having a cup of coffee in a small coffee shop. More and more people were coming to crowd public balcony, I thought this spot is really a famous place to attract tourists.

It was 10 minutes before 05.00 AM, I could see first light of sun rising and the public balcony was already full of people who hunting this view. There were no seats left for me and standing was the only choice I could make in the crowd. For the next an hour I enjoyed the sunrise at Bromo, sometimes I smiled at myself, I had made it, traveling somewhere after my first trip to the same place years ago.

At 07.00, only a few people were left in the public balcony, I enjoyed smoking my cigarettes in that mountain atmosphere while thinking about my next stop, Bali. I left for Bali from Bromo via Probolinggo route. Probolinggo Regency is a coastal regency in Jawa Timur Province and has a main route to Bali. By January 31, 2015, at 08.30 I really left Bromo, riding my motorcycle again, now to Bali.

Chapter 3: Yogyakarta-Bromo
Yogyakarta-Surakarta-Karanganyar-Madiun-Caruban-Kediri-Batu-Malang-Bromo

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Road to Tawangmangu

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
At entrance gate of Grojogan Sewu

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Grojogan Sewu Waterfall

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Agricultural area in Tawangmangu

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Border pillars between Jawa Tengah and Jawa Timur

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
City Gate of Malang City

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
My shelter in Malang City, Mas Handoko and his mother

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Where am I?

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Information Center in Bromo

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Sunrise view of Bromo

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Quiet cold morning in Bromo

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Gate to go to public balcony

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Mount Bromo

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Villages, taken from Pananjakan, so small

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
Vegetable farms

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 3
New acquaintance

Route of Part 3 on Google Map

You may visit my Facebook to see all pics.

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 2

I spent 2 nights in my parent's house, preparing for the next chapter of my trip, including finding friends who I could contact to become my shelter. I planned to have next shelter in Yogyakarta, I thought it is a moderate distance to reach from Jakarta and I wrote down a few points on the map where friends stay between Jakarta and Yogyakarta if I want to visit them.

Departed from my parent's house in afternoon, around 15.00 WIB, on January 23, 2015, traffic jam made me riding my motorcycle casually. I passed through areas that I had not travelled for a long time -Ciputat, Pamulang, Parung, and City of Bogor. I discovered Bogor had grown into a metro, so different compared to my last visit more than 10 years before and what I saw made me guess what Puncak was like now. Puncak is a tourism spot located between Bogor Regency and Cianjur Regency, which is famous for people who live in Jakarta.

Arrived at Bogor-Cianjur boundary monument, Puncak around 20.00 after had dinner in Bogor I took a rest to enjoy night view. The air was cold enough to make me lazy to continue the trip. Finally, I made a call to a friend in Bandung, asked him if I could stay for a while to take rest at his house. It was my day, he did not mind allowing me to visit him, his welcome words killed laziness on me and in few minutes I was riding my motorcycle to reach Bandung, the capital of Jawa Barat.

After spending 2 nights in Bandung, on January 25, 2015, I continued my journey to Yogyakarta, I took the Jalur Selatan which passed through the areas known as Priangan Selatan. Garut, Tasikmalaya, Ciamis are regencies, and a town called the City of Banjar. In Ciamis I stopped to visit relatives there before I really felt lonely riding a motorcycle at night to enter Province of Jawa Tengah.

Riding through City of Banjar means one step more to reach the boundary between Jawa Barat and Jawa Tengah. Once I crossed the provincial boundary monument I really put my foot steps in Cilacap Regency, the first area of Jawa Tengah Province that borders directly with Province of Jawa Barat.

Next to Cilacap is Kebumen Regency, I tried to call a friend there in the middle of the night and it worked! I visited him for a few hours before continuing my trip. In the dawn, I felt loneliness was even more piercing, after passing Purworejo Regency then in the morning I arrived at border line of Province of Jawa Tengah and Special Region of Yogyakarta, precisely in a spot administered by Kulon Progo Regency. Too sleepy to riding my motorcycle then I looked for a mosque to take a rest but actually I was asleep for hours and woke up at around 14.00. I really wondered why none of people there had tried to wake me up since I have "sleep apnea" disease means I snore so hard while I am sleeping and I was snoring in a mosque!

After showered at mosque then I had my late breakfast (and lunch). I really enjoyed a life motion there, slower than my routines. I could see the people there have their livelihood in a simple way but none of them seemed like misery. Really a mystery of life and I was jealous to them.

Took almost 2 hours after wake up then I was already on the street again, riding to the heart of Yogyakarta. I searched for a location near Meguwo, military airport in Yogyakarta, to wait for a friend who I had called since I was in Jambi, he was going to be my next shelter in Yogyakarta.

Spent 4 days to enjoying Yogyakarta, including meet to friends who I know them through social media (Facebook), a Kawasaki Z130 owners club from Yogyakarta. I took the time to visiting several spots but mainly I killed my time at my friend's home enjoying Yogyakarta's life style.

This "9 days" chapter of my travelling story was written well in my mind as well in my travel diary, moments that sometimes I would like to recall when I am bored with routines.

Chapter 2: Jakarta-Yogyakarta
Jakarta-Cianjur-Bandung-Tasikmalaya-Banjar-Cilacap-Kebumen-Purworejo-Yogyakarta.

No photo description available.
Boundary monuments between Bogor Regency and Cianjur Regency

Image may contain: 2 people, including Robby Siregar
Lalan Suharlan, a friend who lives in Bandung

Image may contain: plant, tree, sky, outdoor and nature
Lembang, Bandung

No photo description available.
City gate of Banjar City

Image may contain: shoes, motorcycle and outdoor
Town square of Purworejo Regency

Image may contain: 3 people, including Robby Siregar, people smiling
At the "Kilo 0 Yogya" Monument

Image may contain: 12 people, including Robby Siregar, people smiling
We are Kawasaki ZX-130 owners

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Mount Merapi, a view in the morning from Yogyakarta

Route of Part 2 on Google Map

You may see full pics on Facebook

Article: A Round Trip from Jambi to Bali by Motorcycle - Part 1

When I was a kid, my father brought my whole family to a long trip twice. The first one was to around Java, Madura, and Bali. And the other one, it took 3-4 years later, he brought us to travel to Sumatera. These 2 trips greatly have influenced my adventurous spirit which makes me think about planning the same trip but in solo.

Years passed by but works and duties prevent me to do that wish, even I got 2 kids it seemed impossible to do such a thing. But in late 2014, my wife was pregnant for the third and I suddenly felt "now or never" to travel a long trip in solo. Because I worried that after the birth of my third child, it would have never done forever.
It was a sudden planning then, I prepared just for a little, mainly for my motorcycle, a Kawasaki ZX-130. I made dots on the map to be my shelters, some were friends of mine. And honestly, I was short of money at the time.

Alhamdulillah, I made it, my first epic journey, a solo round trip Jambi-Bali-Jambi by motorcycle. It took a month and 2 days, from Jan 19, 2015, to Feb 21, 2015.

Started the trip by lying to my wife -I did not tell her about my plan to travel to Bali to make her not worrying me while I am traveling- that I just wanted to go to Jakarta, I downed the road to Palembang at night (22.00 WIB).

Unfortunately, I lost my travel diary on the way home. I guess it was left behind when I was at a gas station near Pangkalan Balai, the capital of Banyuasin, a district in South Sumatra Province. But thankfully, I still had my camera and all the pictures I take on my trip remain safe there.

I divided my trip into 6 chapters related to shelters I get while I am travelling.

Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta.
Jambi-Palembang-Kayu Agung-Tulang Bawang-Bandar Lampung-Serang-Jakarta (Cipadu Jaya).

Jambi-Bali-Jambi, Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta
Started travelling by lying to my wife

Jambi-Bali-Jambi, Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta
Missed that travel diary

Jambi-Bali-Jambi, Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta
Provincial border gate, Jambi and Sumatera Selatan

Jambi-Bali-Jambi, Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta
First stop was at a minimarket in Sungai Lilin, Sumatera Selatan

Jambi-Bali-Jambi, Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta
Had a morning coffee break in Banyuasin Government Offices

Jambi-Bali-Jambi, Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta
Provincial border pillars, Sumatera Selatan and Lampung

Jambi-Bali-Jambi, Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta
Fellow travelers

Jambi-Bali-Jambi, Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta
A Java-Sumatera ferry boat

Jambi-Bali-Jambi, Chapter 1: Jambi-Jakarta
Finally, arrived at parent's house after 35 hours of trip from Jambi

Generally, this chapter was a warming up. I am so familiar with this route since I have taken the route to travel to Jakarta several times. Lintas Timur is the only one "map line" we can take if travelling by vehicle to Jakarta from Jambi. In Menggala District, Tulang Bawang, a regency in Province of Lampung, there is an intersection to choose which both roads will end to same place, Port of Bakauheni in Lampung Selatan Regency. We may continue the trip to take Lintas Tengah and the road will bring you to Bandar Lampung, the capital of Province of Lampung, or we can turn left to Lintas Pantai Timur that will lead you to Sukadana, the capital of Lampung Timur Regency.

It was about at 16.00, a while before reaching the intersection rain began to fall and fortunately a gas station was close to me to be my shelter. At the gas station I met a group of young men who were travelling to Lombok by motorcycle. After making small talk and knowing me on the way to Jakarta, then those 4 young men on 2 motorbikes asked me to accompany them to Jakarta. We then agreed to pick the route Lintas Tengah to reach Bakauheni Port and depart immediately after the rain stops.

We reached Port of Bakauheni after the dawn and in the morning we were already in a ferry crossing the Sunda Strait that took us to Java. In ferry boat was a chance to take a rest and I took the whole time to do it, after about 30 hours on the way it felt like I need to get a massage.

We arrived at Port of Merak around 09.00, and we continued the trip to Jakarta. Had a rest for almost an hour in Tangerang we then took separate roads in Kalideres, Jakarta Barat. They had a friend waiting there for them while I picked other direction to go to my parent's house in Cipadu Jaya on January 21 2015.

Route of Part 1 on Google Map

You may see full pics on my Facebook.

News: Smog in The End of Dry Season 2014

Normally, in Indonesia, October is the beginning of rainy season and it is also the end of dry season. But in the last ten years, there was anomaly on this nature of weather. April and October as starting points to forecast the weather are not reliable anymore. I am not an expert in climate change but I guess what experts said about nature changes caused by global warming has influenced the way we count the seasons. What recently happened in Jambi City about the weather showed me that I have to revamp the way I forecast the weather, October is not a sign to have rainy days anymore.

On the other side, air pollution in Jambi City by intentional forest and bush fires which usually occurs in dry season has been much worse than ever. I think people who triggered the fire to burn bushes miscalculated in weather forecasting. The rain that they think would fall in had never come and what they had done with firing bush and forest led smog to mask Jambi City.

The situation burdened people who lives in Jambi City and other areas in Province of Jambi to live with air pollution. Schools closed due to prevent kids having respiratory illness and outdoor activities would be a nightmare to do. But, still there is an advantage with this smog (it is the way Indonesians to think that there is always a positive side with a bad situation). Dry season's sunshine blocked by smog haze, reducing ambient temperatures into moderate ones helping people to avoid sunburn, in dry season sunshine would be much hotter.

Sunshine blocked by smog haze

People lazy to do outdoor activities

Thick smog

No kids appeared in school area
So, pics above reflected smog condition in Jambi City area, in the end of dry season, mid of October 2014. And as usual, like other past years, the authorities said that smog caused by bush and forest fires even most people here know that bush and forest fires triggered by land clearing, burned by irresponsible people with economy motives, a bad habit and bad tradition, only in Sumatera.

Article: The Great Mosque of Al-Falah

Built on former location of the palace of Jambi Sultanate, the great mosque of Al-Falah was completed in 1980 and started to use on September 26, 1980 since President Soeharto inaugurated it. The mosque itself stands on a 2.7 hectares land and its broadness is 6200 meters square. Beside its formal name "The Great Mosque Al-Falah" it has a nickname "Masjid Seribu Tiang" (Mosque with Thousand Pillars). This nickname refers to many pillars we can see in the mosque.

The Arabic name, Al-Falah, means Victory, this name was picked to express why the mosque was built without any walls, partitions, or windows except for "mihrab". Mihrab is a side of a mosque where people will put a direction of their face forward when they praying. Mihrab is also center attention when a "Khatib" speaks, khatib is one who preach sermons in occasional time, like Prayer on Friday. So those who wants to get in to mosque could come from any entrances they want. The building's philosophy means "victory is freedom for everyone, freedom to enter the mosque without any barriers". The name also means about the victory over the Dutch colonial which the location of mosque once was the center of colonial administration in Jambi since the Dutch had ruined the palace of Jambi Sultanate.

"Thousand Pillars" comes from this view