I have discovered that I am not a big fan of Indonesia, infact I would go as far to say that I really do not like it and probably won't rush to come back. As soon as we entered customs at the airport we were ripped out, but it wasn't until we'd gone through customs that we realised the airport official had charged us twice as much as he should for our visas, which was no doubt going straight in his pocket. Then our bags were basically grabbed from us by 4 men in uniforms and after carrying them about 2 metres, despite our protests, demended money from us. This basically sums up most of our trip in Indonesia so far-people have crossed the street and followed us, poked us or more often just shouted at us to hire a taxi, rent a moped, buy something, eat in their restaurant, stay in their hostel and after a week or so the harassment is getting a little bit too much!
Kuta in Bali was the worst, because there were so many shops. Ubud was quite bad too, as we were walking with our backpacks which was the same as holding a neon light saying 'please try and sell me something'. Lovina was ok, but our taxi driver dropped us outside a hotel in the middle of nowhere as he was trying to squeeze out his commission, so we started walking, at which point we were followed by two guys on mopeds who decided we needed a taxi, which we didn't until it started raining. So he then very kindly offered to let us wait in a shop (where the woman tried to sell us beads, earring, shells, her grandparents) and we started talking to the taxi driver and told him (after he asked) that Sam was a diver. So after we got dropped off at the hotel and paid him he followed us to our room and tried to pressure Sam into booking a diving trip. After a few 'Maybe we'll come by later' s he said we had to go with him to his office there and then, which we refused to do as we had just arrived and were starving and tired, so he got in a strop and gave us his card, and, eventually, left. I can understand that it's quite a poor country and a lot of their money is generated by tourism, but stalking people and trying to force them to buy your product is a little bit too much, and they have put us off Indonesia completely. The locals have only talked to us when they are trying to make money from us, no-one is genuniely nice just for the sake of being nice, and it's meant that we are scared of talking to any of them now because we don't wanted to get hassled into anything.
In Kuta we went on a tour to see a few temples and a monkey sanctuary which was very good, but the guide planned it so the 2nd temple was closed when we arrived there so we missed a fair bit of the tour. In Ubud there was another monkey patk which was even better because it was massive and there was a temple and a little river-we both got pounced on by the monkeys and they seemed to think we had food on us as they were quite intent on rooting through our bags.
Lovins was ok but it was really just a gateway to get to Java-Sam was going to do diving there but decided not to.
We went straight to Bromo when we arrived in Java with the intention of getting up to see the sun rise over the volcanos, but it was still raining at 4am and was very foggy so we decided not to-another couple we met attempted it but said they didn't see anything so I waws quite glad we didn't bother!
From Bromo we came to Yogyakarta which is very big and a bit nicer than the other places. The hotel we were trying to get in to was fully booked, and after looking round a few others we discovered that western toilets are very rare here-they have 'maris' which is basically a little porcelein bowl in the ground. I don't think Sam fully understood why this wasn't the best option for girls but he patiently looked round a few more with me until we found one with a proper toilet (with a manual flush) in a grotty little hotel. We were woken up at 4am by singing being blasted from speakers in one of the nearby mosques. We closed thw window by there were big holes in the outside walls so it didn't really make much difference.
Today we found another hotel which has both a toilet and hot water so I feel like I'm in heaven! I think we're going to trying and go to the kration this afternoon, which is a little city within a city (pop. 25000) that is the home of the sultan and his palace, and then maybe go to Borobudar tomorrow. We're going to try and fly from Yogya to Jakarta on Wednesday which is meant to be a pit of a party capital and so i have high hopes for it as it may mean there are more tourist and therefore more toilets.
We have seen some good thing here so far-we saw a temple in the sea and lots of monkeys. At the temple in the sea a guy asked Sam if he could have a photo, so Sam went to take the camera from him until he motioned that he actually wanted a photo of Sam with his friends (who came a little past his waist!). Sam also held a massive snake which looked like it might kill him so I passed on that one. Food and accomodation are both very cheap, but I must admit I'm looking forward to moving on now.