Friday, June 22, 2012

To make the sunrise at Borobudur, we got up at 5 and left the hotel at 5:30. Since we were so close, it took only about 10 minutes to get to Borobudur. Only limited numbers of people allowed for sunrise. We didn't count, but it seemed to be about 30-50 people. It wasn't quite as peaceful as we had been led to believe, mostly because people were talking constantly. But despite this, the sunrise was amazing, even without any sharp oranges or pinks in the sky. The monument consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. At the very top center is the main dome, which is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupas (although for some of the Buddhas, the stupa was missing). This level (the top level, also called "Nirvana") is where we were sitting.

We took turns wandering around the top level while the other person stayed with our stuff. Basically every vantage point was interesting in some way, either for the backlit sunrise, the frontlit bas reliefs, the mist off in the background, the volcanoes on the horizon, etc. We stayed on the top level for about an hour or so, meandering around. After the sun came up, we started slowly descending from the top level, checking out the other levels. As with Prambanan, there were intricate carvings on all the walls, telling numerous stories. Justin was completely out of it (high fever, headache, stomach ache, muscle aches, general soreness, you name it), but made it through without passing out. It was sort of like Michael Jordan's Game 5 in the 1997 finals, but without any athletic skill whatsoever.

We got back to the hotel just before 8. Ignatius had told us to be ready to head out again at 11, which was perfect timing for Justin, as game 5 of the NBA finals (speaking of MJ) was on between 8 and 11. There was one TV at Amanjiwo, in the kids play room above the lobby, and the staff was kind enough to find the game and put it on (no kids were around). While Justin watched the game, Crystal read a bit and packed the bags, since our driver would be taking the large bags with him today so that tomorrow we'd need to fly to Surabaya with just our carry-ons. The Heat won the title just before we left at 11, helping Justin's health (or maybe just his mood) a little bit.

At 11, we took another short drive to two smaller temples, Pawon and Mendut. At Mendut, Crystal got a couple souvenirs, some stone carvings of Buddhas with removable stupas. We went to lunch, which was nice, but we were literally the only people there, so it was a bit odd. We got back to the hotel and quickly finished packing the big bags. We went in the pool for a bit, which was colder than we would have thought given how hot it was outside.

Justin laid down around 2, and got up around 9. During this time Crystal read, went to afternoon tea, went to a local Monastery for meditation (apparently it is famous for having the Dalai Lama meditate there some time ago), then got dinner. After Justin (finally) got up, he got some room service (sorbet and Sprite), while Crystal continued to read her book. She got to sleep around 11, and Justin an hour after that.