Indonesia 1. East Java by Anna Garcia

23/08/2017  Barcelona - Dubai - Jakarta

Una vez acabada nuestra aventura por Islandia, nos quedamos con ganas de más aventuras. Así que no tardamos mucho en empezar a organizar nuestro nuevo destino. El turno le tocó a Indonesia, un país que teníamos muchas ganas de conocer, y empezamos nuestro viaje por la conocida isla de Java.

Once we finished our adventure in Iceland, we start thinking about a new destination. It was then the turn of Indonesia, a country that we really wanted to visit. So, a couple of months later we started our journey at the famous island of Java.

El 23 de agosto empezó nuestra aventura. Tras unas cuantas horas y una escala en Dubai, por fin aterrizamos en Yakarta. Sufriendo de jet lag, pasamos la noche en un hotel cercano para coger un vuelo de madrugada a Surabaya, acercándonos cada vez más a nuestro primer destino: El este de Java.

23rd August was the day this new adventure started. After a few hour flying and a layover at Dubai, we finally landed in Jakarta. Suffering from jet lag, we decided to spend the night in a nearby hotel, because we had booked a flight early in the morning to Surabaya. We were getting closer every time to our destination: East Java.
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25/08/2017  Surabaya - Probolinggo - Cemoro Lawang - Gunung Bromo

Ya en Surabaya, cogimos un autobús hasta Probolinggo para contratar allí un tour que nos ofreciera una visita a los volcanes del este de esta isla. Una vez contratado, iniciamos la ruta hasta Cemoro Lawang, un pequeño pueblo a los pies del Gunung Bromo.

At Surabaya, we took a bus to Probolinggo and then we hired a tour to visit the volcanoes of this area. Once we booked a tour, we started the route to Cemoro Lawang, a little village that stands on at the base of Gunung Bromo.

En Cemoro Lawang teníamos dos opciones: descansar y recuperar las horas de sueño o subir al Gunung Bromo, así que no nos lo pensamos dos veces y nos decantamos por la segunda opción. Junto con un grupo de alemanes que conocimos por el camino, iniciamos la ruta hacia el Gunung Bromo antes de que atardeciera. Todo y no ser una excursión dura, notamos los efectos acumulados del cansancio y del jet lag.

Once at Cemoro Lawang we had two options: sleep a little or climb the Gunung Bromo, so we didn’t think twice and we opted for the second option. With a group of German people we met along the way, we started hiking the volcano before it was dark. Even it was not a hard excursion, we were tired and we noticed the effects of fatigue and jet lag.
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Elegir esta segunda opción nos regaló unas vistas desde el volcán para nosotros solos, ya que normalmente se sube al volcán al día siguiente por la mañana, así que fue una gran decisión subir esa misma tarde. Casi anocheciendo bajamos del volcán para pasar la noche en Cemoro Lawang, aunque dentro de unas horas nos despertaríamos para iniciar el tour oficialmente.

Climbing the volcano that afternoon was a great idea. Just a few persons had the same idea as us, and we could enjoy the views and the volcano almost alone. It was getting dark so we decided to go back to Cemoro Lawang. We would have loved to have some relax at night, but it was not possible. The alarm would ring in a few hours. The adventure must go on.

26/08/2017  Gunung Bromo

03:00h suena el despertador y sabemos que nos tenemos que poner en marcha. Tras pasar un rato ascendiendo, llegamos al mirador todavía de noche, listos para ver amanecer. Seguimos subiendo para alejarnos un poco de la gente hasta llegar al punto más alto, desde donde tenemos unas vistas espectaculares del Gunung Bromo y de Cemoro Lawang.

03:00h and... it’s time to wake up! After spending a while ascending the mountain, we arrived at our viewpoint when it was still dark. We were ready to see the sunrise, but we continued climbing to get away from the people until we found a peaceful place. From that point, we had a great view of the volcanoes and Cemoro Lawang.
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Después de ver amanecer, el tour nos ofrecía la oportunidad de subir al Gunung Bromo, pero como ya habíamos subido el día anterior, preferimos quedarnos con la experiencia de haber estado allí arriba solos, sin aglomeraciones de gente ni sin tener que hacer cola para poder subir por las escaleras.

After enjoying the sunrise, the tour offered us the opportunity to climb the Gunung Bromo, but as we had climbed the previous day, we decided to stay at the bottom. The previous day we lived a great experience climbing the volcano, and we didn’t want to see that beautiful place overcrowded.

De vuelta en Cemoro Lawang teníamos pensado volar el drone y por fin, descansar un poco, pero el autobús nos recogió para llevarnos a nuestro nuevo destino. Después de un viaje de unas 6 horas, llegamos a nuestro alojamiento cerca del siguiente punto: el Kawah Ijen.

Back at Cemoro Lawang, we wanted to fly the drone and finally rest a little, but the bus picked us up too early to take us to our new destination. After a 6-hour road trip, we arrived at our accommodation in the nearby of the Kawah Ijen.
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27/08/2017  Kawah Ijen

Empieza un nuevo día a las 00:30h, y siguiendo con la tradición de dormir poco, nos despertamos con muchas ganas de la siguiente excursión. Una vez equipados con máscaras de gas, iniciamos la caminata ascendiendo el Kawah Ijen, para poder bajar al cráter antes de los primeros rayos de luz.

New day new beginning, and today the alarm rang at 00:030h. As it was getting usual, we started our day without having rest properly. Once we were equipped with gas masks, we started hiking the Kawah Ijen, to arrive at the crater a while before sunrise.

Subir al Kawah Ijen fue muy diferente a subir al Gunung Bromo. El cansancio acumulado, el calor del volcán y la elevación de la pendiente hicieron esta caminata más dura de lo que esperada. Pero después de lo que se me hizo una eternidad, ya estábamos bajando al cráter para ver el fuego azul. Más duro se me hizo estar en el cráter, ya que el olor a azufre y el gas nos impedían bastante respirar. Todo y llevar máscaras de gas, respirar allí abajo era casi imposible. Aún me cuesta entender cómo se puede permitir que trabajadores tengan estas condiciones inhumanas. Aunque hicimos fotografías, no aguantamos mucho tiempo dentro del cráter respirando ese aire.

Hiking Kawah Ijen was very different than hiking Gunung Bromo. The accumulated fatigue, the heat of the volcano and the elevation made this walk harder than I had expected. But after a while, we were already going down to the crater to see the blue fire. It was really hard to breathe inside the crater. Even we had gas masks, breathing inside was really complicated. I could not imagine how people could work under this conditions. We stayed in the crater taking images but we had to leave after a few minutes.
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Una vez arriba, disfrutamos de un bonito amanecer, el último que pasaríamos en la isla de Java (al menos durante este viaje). En la vuelta en autobús, nuestro grupo se dividió en diferentes caminos. Nosotros habíamos decidido que el siguiente destino a visitar sería Bali, así que dejamos paso a los volcanes de Java para por fin, poder conocer a la isla de Bali.

Once we get out of the crater we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise, the last one we would spend on the island of Java (at least, during this trip). On the bus ride, our group split into different paths. We had decided that our next destination would be Bali, so we said goodbye to the Java volcanoes and finally started to think about the dreamy island of Bali.
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Iceland 7. Reykjavík by Anna Garcia

We woke up on our last morning in Iceland (or maybe not, who knows). The weather forecast was correct: a big snowstorm hit the whole country. Half of the island’s roads were closed, so we didn’t have another choice but to stay in Reykjavík and enjoy the city.

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Although it’s not easy to appreciate it on the images, walking through the snow with a lot of wind was a little bit complicated and maybe not the best idea. But anyway, it was our last day in Iceland and we wanted to visit the city with daylight.


After walking (or trying to walk) through Laugavegur, we arrived to Reykjavík’s City Hall. We walked a bit around Lake Tjörnin and we took some pictures of the swans and the birds. A little bit later, we could not resist the cold and we entered into the City Hall to enjoy a huge model of the country and observe the geography of the island.

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It was time to have lunch, so we went to our favorite restaurant in the city: SmakkBarinn. In our first night in Iceland, we went to this restaurant recommended by a local. It was quite affordable (based on Icelandic prices) so we wanted to repeat the experience.

After lunch, we decided to walk a little bit more and visit the Harpa area. As I’ve said on the post Iceland 5. Walking on a glacier, I became obsessed with houses and farms. So, it couldn’t be otherwise: Reykjavík was the perfect spot to take pictures of colorful houses. We said goodbye to the city after spending some time walking through the harbor.

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We said goodbye to the city after spending some time walking through the harbor. The weather was quite better, the roads started to clear, so it was time to take our car and head to Keflavik’s airport.

The weather was quite better, the roads started to clear, so it was time to take our car and head to Keflavik’s airport. Before that, we stayed a while near the Grótta island Lighthouse observing the landscape and saying goodbye to the city.

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Once we arrived at the airport, we were informed that our flight was canceled due to the weather conditions. We were confused because the airport was closed during the morning, but not during the afternoon. Besides, the only flight that was canceled was our flight, the others were delayed but the airport worked with normality.

So, that was the situation: We were at the airport with no car, and we needed to spend the night in Iceland. The next day and a half was a nightmare but finally, more than 24 hours later, we caught our flight back to Barcelona.

Once we were on the plane, we noticed that there was a green light entering through the window: Northern Lights again. Although we were very tired, all the nightmare at the airport was worth it, because we flew almost 2 hours seeing the auroras.

Having said that, our journey through Iceland finished, and it couldn’t finish in a better way. So, glad to meet you Iceland, I know we’ll meet again soon.

Iceland 6. White and Colorful by Anna Garcia

On our sixth day in Iceland, we woke up with the street (and our car) covered with tons of snow. We spent quite a time trying to clean the car and once we finished, we drove south again to complete the part of the surroundings of Vik that we missed up.

 

As you can see, this day my obsession with horses, houses and farms continued. We drove direction Vík but we stopped a while in a snowy field to say goodbye to our beloved Icelandic horses.

 

 

It snowed quite a lot during this morning, but in a moment, the weather seemed to calm a little bit. We take this opportunity and we started to walk on the snow direction the Wrecked Plane DC-3. After walking an hour more or less through a lot of snow, we realized that it was actually sunny. I think that this was the only moment in the whole trip that we stayed more than an hour without it was raining or snowing.

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It was quite interesting to visit the plane in the middle of the snow. All we could see was white, and the plane seemed pretty camouflaged on the surrounding.

 

After spending an hour more or less taking photos of the plane, we decided to say goodbye to the south coast of Iceland. It was time to return to Reykjavík, but on the way, we decided to visit Eyrarbakki, a little and colorful seaside village located in Suðurland.


It was too cold when we arrived, that we drove around the streets of this village. After a while driving and walking a little bit by the area, we jumped again to the car and continued our journey to the main city. The weather forecast announced a big snow storm on the next day, so we decided to arrive in Reykjavík before dusk, just to be preventive. Guess what we did when we were at the city? Chase the Northern Lights!

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