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Day 22 - Bicycles and Ballet

semi-overcast 30 °C

Another full-on day was planned and we started by travelling out of the city by bus to a small village (with safer roads) for a bike ride around the local villages and to visit some local industries and farms etc.
After a short drive we all got a bike and helmet each, water bottle and set off around the countryside.

The roads were very quiet, mainly single track with the odd motorbike passing us and we only had to watch for the chickens crossing the road and
the odd dead rat laid in the road. Not long after setting off we stopped at a local "tofu" factory, it was a "real" sweatshop - boiling up the water to cook the tofu, straining and separating it etc. The guys work 10 hours a day (6.30 - 4.30) and nearly always 7 days a week !
Next stop was in a Paddy field, watching them re-sow the rice and also threshing the harvested rice, quiet interesting learning about the time it takes and the different types of rice etc. Then back on the bikes again for a longer ride before wadding through mud to a brick farm where they were making bricks out of mud.
This guy worked for himself, worked 8 hours a day, 6 days a week and made around 500 bricks by hand a day and all for around £350 per month.
We then started to make our way back, stopped lastly at a village museum and had a fresh juice, then joining our bus we returned to the hotel and went out for lunch. We'd had a nice morning doing just over 10 miles cycling the countryside.

We had a free afternoon so we went on a rickshaw to "Malioboro Street" a famous area for shops and the like. Our driver '(around 60 yrs old !) waited for us and then took us back later in the afternoon.
This was our last night in Yogyakarta and we'd managed to get some tickets to see the Ramayana Ballet,
A traditional/mythical love story of Indonesia.
We arrived just as the heavens opened and then found out it this performance was going to be open air ! (It's normally indoors until May).
The performance started and so the did the rain, now even heavier, so I went off and managed to borrow a couple of umbrellas off a security guard only to return to hear an announcement that the show was been postponed until the rain stopped !
We there we all were sat with brollies in the dark in the rain, we all joked that it was like Wimbledon but thankfully without Cliff Richard !
However after about 15 mins they announced that it would recommence indoors, it was then an mad rush with everybody heading indoors to grab there seats and escape the rain. (We originally had 1st class tickets) and
in the issuing chaos to get to our new seats, I spotted 2 empty seats in the VIP section on the front row.
Irene and I made a dash for them and just sat there, soon the ticket guy came round and I managed to blag it -
I said we'd accidentally left them outside in the rain and he accepted it ! So we ended up with front row seats and a fantastic view !

Posted by Andy-Irene 15:12 Archived in Indonesia

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