The time I spent in East Java was undoubtedly incredible because of the friendly people, wonderful food, and being able to see where one of my best friends has been living for almost two years now. But to be able to climb Lawu and see such an incredible sunrise next to a great friend transformed the experience into something like that first trip to Cologne n 2005; it was a trip that increased my passion for both international travel and my love of mountains further than ever before.
The walk we went on was a good time to finally catch up with John, mostly because up until that point I had been high on adrenaline from arriving south of the Equator for the first time, and he had been caught up in work stuff getting ready for our trip north. We walked and sweated while debating if we might be some of the first Americans, or possibly even Westerners, to see this road and it's views of East Java. Eventually, we arrived at what appeared to be the end of the road, and I decided to see what was actually going on in the rice paddies.
I once inside the courtyard, I noticed that there were a bunch of motocross banners. John enlightened me by telling me that the grounds were commonly used for a motocross race during the past few years, and it was easier just to leave the banners up year-round I guess. It would be a pretty unique place to watch a race!
I noticed quite a few people will ask you, upon finding out that you traveled to Indonesia, Malaysia, and/or Thailand, "what was the weirdest thing you ate?" For me, it was definitely Chicken Foot Soup. Don't get me wrong, the dish was delicious, with fresh veggies and bits of chicken, but it was a little odd putting a chicken foot in my mouth, suckling the fat off it, and spitting the foot bones out. Luckily, by the time I got to the sixth toe, I felt like a natural.