Borobudur 10k Run and Beyond

04 December 2013 Written by Fiona Hutama
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The main purpose of this trip is of course to take part in the Borobudur 10k run, but being overly ambitious, Dora jam packed itinerary that for the very first time ever, had Adam's objection.

We arrived in Yogyakarta Saturday 12.30am after taking the train from Jakarta. We then checked in to our hotel and ...sleep? of course not. Ambitious James went for a swim whilst the rest got ready. 30min later all of us hit the town in search of loud music and booze. We arrived at a dodgy Rasta bar not far from our hotel and then head to Bosche as it was advertised as the hottest club in town.

Saturday 4 am - as per the promise we made for ourselves, we head back to the hotel, had some sleep and woke up at 9am ready for first day adventure. First thing, we head towards Merapi, after debating whether to climb up or took a Jeep, we went with the later as the weather wasnt friendly. It was an interesting ride, bumpy and wet! We werent so sure about our driver as he looks about 15yo, but 5 minutes into the drive, we were sure he is skilled enough for us to trust our lives to him. The driver then took us around some touristy spots around Merapi, the museum, the Alien Rock, the bunker and showed us how the eruption has destroyed the villages. (on Monday, less than 36 hours since we were at Merapi, I woke up to the news that it has erupted, sending over 200km of ashes into the sky, and 40km into the city in the direction of Solo - guess our time isn't up yet, Thank GOD!)

We then proceed to Prambanan Temple, where some of our friends (the foreigners) felt ripped off having paid over 10x what the local paid for entrance fee. Prambanan is part of UNESCO world heritage site and is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia. The temple is well maintained, clean and impressive. We visited most of the temples in the complex, trying to decipher messages behind the carving along the way. I think at one point, we even found a Kangaroo look-a-like carving which of course brings delight to our Australian friend. Then whilst taking a break, we did some dangdut dance and attempted some kung-fu like photo-shoots (very good effort from the team indeed).

By the time we finished our tour, the sun has set and we ran out of time to collet our race packs for the Borobudur 10k, we then checked in at our hotel, had a dip in the pool and proceed to dinner. Most of us retreated to the hotel room shortly after dinner, whilst others (I'm included of course) still has energy to stroll along Malioboro and had some quiet beers at Fiona's favourite Bintang Cafe.

Sunday 3am, morning call! Its time to pack and make our way to Magelang where we participated in Borobudur 10k run. This run was part of the Indonesian government attempt for "Visit Jawa Tengah 2013" and is also a way for them to identify new talents in the atheletic field. Because it was a free run with extravagant prices, and the last one was held 8 years ago, it was super crowded! All of us planned to run together but in the first 1 minute we were easily separated from one another. Around an hour later, we all met at the finish line, proud, happy and tired.

After an hour of rest, we made our way to Borobudur temple, it is also a UNESCO world heritage site, and was also previously enlisted as one of the 7 wonders of the world. Until today, Borobudur is still the holder of the worlds largest Buddhist archaelogical site (according to 2012 Guiness Book of World Records). The temple is well maintained, we can see that a few restorations have happened and surprisingly is kept quite clean, considering it is the most visited single tourism spot in Indonesia. Once again, like in Prambanan, our 'bule' (western) friends found fame in the eyes of local students, where they were asked for photos literally every 10 metres of steps. Interestingly enough, even Dora and myself was quite an attraction and we too were asked to take photos with fellow locals. 

From Borobudur temple, we walked like forever to find our driver, and wasted no more time to head South of Yogyakarta for river tubing. The initial plan was to do the tubing at River Kalisuci but as the rain was heavy that day, the guide would not take us (no matter how much we convinced him that we have 9 lives). We then had to settle with our second choice, a well known (but i heard is not challenging) tubing site, Cave Pindul. We geared up in our 'armageddon' outfit (except for our Australian friend who couldnt fit into the largest costume) and head to the Cave. It was a relaxing activity, sitting on the tube, strolling around the river and listening to the explanation of Cave Pindul by the guide. The ride took about 15 minutes and as we needed a more adrenaline pumping adventure, we asked if they would take us to a nearby river, so the guide happily obliged!

We rushed though the river as I had to catch a flight to Bali, but managed to have a good time. Some of us (Dora is the TOA representative this time) bravely jumped from a 14m platform into the raging torrent. Bravo to Dora as she has never attempted this sort of jump before. Unfortunately though, as my camera ran out of battery, we have no prove of her intrepid act (it did happen tho!)

Sadly, like any adventure, it has to come to an end. Fiona went on her saga to Bali - Jakarta - Singapore - Krabi, and more. And the rest went back to Jakarta to their jobs, where once more then hit the office desks, a needed sacrifice for future adventures.


Special Thanks to Rani Lukitasari for the splendid organisation of the trip!