I took the cargo ferry from Kupang to Surabaya. In the beginning, I thought that it would be a lot faster than driving back to Java, but it turned out that I was on the ferry for five days! For five days I couldn’t see anything but water and I was so bored. Normally the ferry is faster, but something was wrong with the engine so they had to go really slow.
I found something really interesting on the ferry… they had a sophisticated Japanese toilet! I can’t read Japanese so I had to try all of the buttons one by one. It turns out that this toilet had a seat warmer and a control panel for temperature control. It also had a sensor that automatically flushed the toilet, and even a small sink on top. Amazing!
After arriving in Surabaya, I drove to Madura. Madura is an island off the northeastern coast of Java. Many people from this island are migrant workers. There was one village I passed called “Kampung Arab” or “Arab village”. They named it that way because most of the people there have become migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and also many people who live in this village also originally came from Saudi Arabia. This village looks completely different from other villages in Indonesia because most of the houses here are very big and look like mansions.
In Madura, there were so many beaches. I camped on Lombang beach. In the beginning, people were worried about me camping outside but I insisted that I’m fine. A funny thing happened. When I was lying inside my tent staring at the stars, suddenly I felt there water on my face. I thought it was rain but then I realised that a cat had just peed on me!
In Madura, one of the tourist attractions is located at Larangan Tokol village, Pamekasan. This place has an eternal flame. This flame is always on, even in the rain. Locals say that the flame region contains sulfur, which burns in the air.
After Madura, I went to Sidoarjo to see the Lapindo mud volcano, the biggest in the world. The mud started flowing when a natural gas well drilled by PT. Lapindo Brantas blew out. The government denies it and says it was caused by an earthquake which happened a couple days earlier. Most of the villages have disappeared under the mud and many people have lost their homes. When I was there, I met a few people who have become tour guides because they lost their homes and don’t know what else to do. It’s so sad that human error can cause this disaster.
After Sidoarjo, I went to Bali and stayed with my friend there. In Bali, I got sick again. My immune system has been so weak ever since I got malaria and I get sick so easily. In Bali, I went to visit the learning center where I previously worked for a year as a teacher and saw the family who took care of me while I was there. It was fun to see all the kids. They are much older now but they still remembered me.
After Bali, I went back to East Java. I was so happy when I realised I’d done almost 75 % of my trip. I felt Java was easy because I’ve travelled in Java before and in Java, it’s not hard to find a place to sleep. In East Java, I stopped at Pare, which is famous for the “Kampung Inggris” or “English Village”. Kampung Inggris is a small area in the district of Pare where there are many places offering various English courses and English camps. The students come from all over Indonesia to take courses in this village and most people speak English to each other for the sake of practice. I went to many places in Java and it started to feel like home again.