Climbing Gunung Arjuna
Malang, East Java - 17th September
Postcard #21 (transcription by Catherine Playoust)
************ Picture ------- A white-painted symmetrical single-storey building with green trims. Lots of windows (including a central bay window), with lace curtains on lower halves. Looks rather like a shop in an Australian country town. Building is labelled on top of facade: TOKO [ ] ,,OEN'' RESTAURANT ICE CREAM [ ] PALACE PATISSIER with a design where the  are. ???A gelato bowl? Power lines on the street, and a ?transmitter tower in the background. A couple of young trees are in the pavement. A man is crouching against the building, shielding his face from the sun. He has a stick, possibly a crutch. Caption (under photo) --------------------- INDONESIA Toko Oen Restaurant in Malang, East Java, a colonial landmark. Stamps ------ Republik Indonesia 100,- Picture of ???Soeharto. Blue. 1986. Republik Indonesia 500,- Drawing of people farming. Water in foreground, trucks and sheds in rear. Pelita IV 1986 Swasembada pangan Text ----
I'm sitting in the shop that appears on the front of this card---a nice comfortable place to write half a dozen postcards or so! It's expensive, but serves nice ice cream and western style cakes and food. There's also a direct-dial phone here, so I might ring home and see how everyone is.
The climb of Arjuna today (800+ m from Weliranggan) was spectacular but pretty easy (3 hours at a relaxed pace). The descent to Wonosredjo, however, was a real killer---a 2500 m drop on an often slippery track. No problems with the legs or lungs, but sore feet and shoulders. Wonosredjo to Lawang was an exhilarating 6 km on the back of a motorcycle---didn't need the engine at all! Probably more dangerous than the trip over the mountain, but the driver seemed to know all the potholes by heart!
I'm staying in the Hotel Helios in Malang, where I stayed last trip. It's on the expensive side (20000 / night) as all the cheap rooms are taken, but that's only US$11 / night and I'll be lucky to get a dorm bed for that in the US, so I'm going to be extravagant! (The room has two beds so once again I'm paying extra for being on my own(*)---there's no extra charge for a 2nd person.)
I really like Malang, and I'm going to stay here 3 nights, so I can clean up all my clothers and rest up before climbing Semeru. The town square is a lovely place to sit and read the paper in the early morning, and it's not as hot as Solo or Pare.
More later, Danny.
(*) So who wants to come with me next trip? I'd like to go to Sumatra and the Nusa Tenggara.