Today began our three day journey to Australia, taking the place of our cancelled direct flight. After packing up and saying goodbye to the beach we got a ride to the ferry terminal and easily bought tickets to take us across to Java. We boarded with what looked mostly like daily commuters and grabbed a spot with a view towards the front of the boat so we could watch the scenery. The ride took about forty five minutes and the only exciting bit was finding 100,000 rupiah ($7) on the way off.
After fending off a relentless number of taxi drivers we walked the half mile to the train station and purchased tickets for the 9:00 from Bunyawangi to Surabaya. We then purchased a wholesome breakfast of chocolate ice cream and pastries from the local snack stand and sat down in the stiflingly hot waiting for the next hour. We tried to escape the stale mugginess by going out to the platform where at least there was a breeze but it seems Indonesia takes their train security very seriously and we had to wait for a security checkpoint to open up before we could go out.
Our train finally arrived and we boarded our Eksecutiv car which meant we had splurged and payed the extra $7 for air conditioning. For the next six hours we crawled through the Javanese countryside, through rice paddies, palm orchards, dormant and active volcanoes, and it wouldn’t be Indonesia without the large piles of burning trash. We also accidentally purchased breakfast. We had heard from our last host that Eksecutiv class seats also got you a boxed lunch so when the lady came around asking if we wanted breakfast we assumed it was included. It was not sadly. Having learned our lesson we did not accept the lunches when they came around.
We eventually arrived in Sidoarjo, which is a small town just south of Surabaya and, according to Rome2Rio.com, the closest train stop the airport. We disembarked and set off on a mission to find an extremely late lunch. After wandering the streets for a little bit and some very harrowing road crossing we arrived at a building that had a sign of a man with a chef’s hat out front. Not able to speak a word of Indonesian, this was as sure as we were going to get that something was a restaurant. We went inside and pointed at two random things on the menu. The lady who took our order pointed to another section of the menu and made a questioning gesture. “Sure, we’ll have two of these other things too” and we pointed randomly at an item in that section thinking they were sides or vegetables. A few minutes later our food came out and it was very delicious. I had a pork curry over rice and Lynn had a deep fried fish of some sort, both served with a range of delishly spicy sauces made out of eggplant and chilis. Our two sides turned out to be freshly squeezed orange juice. We each had one more.
Full up on a late lunch it was time for us to head to the airport so we walked back towards the train station where we had seen some taxis earlier. What had been a mob of taxis when the train let out had now been reduced to one, so we climbed aboard and asked for the airport. Along the way he asked what airline to which Lynn had replied “Jetstar.” He nodded and so we assumed he knew where to take us. Nope. After making two loops through the domestic terminal, asking for directions twice, interpreting Jetstar as Air Asia, and us repeatedly telling him “international terminal” to no avail we just got out of the cab and took the free shuttle bus over to the international terminal which he seemed to not know exists.
We were a little too early to check in for our 9 pm flight so we had a snack of Roti and Popeye’s chicken fingers. Lynn was too full to eat, but of course she had some anyway and then complained about how full she was. We checked in and passed a little more time watching The Americans before we got on our flight to Singapore.
We arrived at midnight. Back a week and one day after we left and headed back to Tawfiq and Rubaina’s, as they had once again been kind enough to offer us their spare bed. We finally made it to their place at 1 am and immediately crashed. The first of three days of travel accomplished.
Daily Walking Miles : 3.5 miles
- Java and Bali, despite being separated by a straight only a mile or so wide are on two different time zones. We realized this because our phones would occasionally pick up towers from Java while we were still in Bali, causing much confusion until we figured this out.
- Surabaya’s name comes from old Indonesian words for shark and crocodile and the city has an origin story about a shark fighting a crocodile for some reason. The restaurant we ate at featured pictures of sharks and crocodiles fighting.
- Lynn called out @Jetstar on twitter for not re-routing people through Surabaya and instead leaving them stranded in Bali for now two weeks at least. They did not respond.