Day 3 held yet more adventure for our intrepid group of travelers. We spent most of our day in the area of Bandung. It was a few hours away by bus, but I think most of us would say that it was worth it. We spent our morning sightseeing at a volcano crater. On our way up we stopped at a gas station. We disembarked to use the facilities. We soon found that they were of a more, shall we say, simple design than we are used to. The males were fine, but many of the women were less than thrilled. We made the rest of our way up the mountain, chugging right along. Towards the top we had to switch to a van because our bus couldn't handle the rest of the trek. Finally we reached the craters. The smell of sulfur (similar to that of rotten eggs) met us, but we adjusted quickly. The crater itself was neat. There were lots and lots of fumes coming up from it, making for some fun pictures. The real entertainment though was the long line of vendors hawking their goods to us. Bartering commenced and many of us came away with good deals on souvenirs. We made our way back down the mountain without incident.
We ate lunch at a local restaurant. There was much standard Indonesian food. Fish, chicken, rice. It was all placed on a rotating plate in the middle of the table for maximum convenience. All of it was delicious. Fresh fruit was served for dessert, as usual (one of my favorite things about Indonesia).
Our afternoon entertainment consisted of a show with dancing and music and a puppet show. The music was almost exclusively from instruments made of bamboo. There were various traditional dances. Part way through the show we each received one of the instruments and were given a crash course on how to play them. We soon became experts. Perhaps the most entertaining part of the show was the last dance. The dancers (a bunch of kids ranging from about 6 to 16 or so) came and grabbed almost all of the audience members to join them on the dance floor. Needless to say we impressed everyone with our dancing abilities. Either that or we made complete fools out of ourselves. It's so hard to tell sometimes. We spent a little while in their shop afterwards, picking up some fun souvenirs.
We ate dinner at a Sudanese restaurant (at least I think it was Sudanese). We sat on the floor at a table about a foot off the ground. We spent our time enjoying our food, telling stories of relationships and first kisses, as well as being harassed by a so-called "feral" cat. Finally, our stomachs filled, we got on the bus for a couple hours ride back to the hotel. All in all it was another successful day.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming. Stay tuned for more on our exciting adventures in the wonderful world of Indonesia.