I started the week in Yogyakarta saying goodbye to my host Jessica and her family. I only spent a week with them but they were so friendly and welcoming that it was kinda hard to say goodbye. I cycled to the train station behind Jessica’s car and took my bicycle to the cargo company for packing, they had insisted on packaging my bicycle, but when they actually saw it they weren’t so eager. I told them what needed protection and made sure it looked secure enough before I headed to the train station for what I hope is my last train journey for a long time. Travelling with the bicycle gives me the freedom to take train journeys or hitch a lift when I need to, and the fact that I couldn’t get a third month on my Indonesian visa has meant I had to take the train through Java, even though I would have preferred to cycle through slowly and see more of the sights.
After a nine hour train journey I arrived in Jakarta at around midnight and met my host at the train station. Jakarta is a busy capital city with traffic jams all day, I cycled into the city a few times and didn’t see any traces of the flooding I had seen reported on the news while I was in Yogyakarta. I don’t really enjoy cities and Jakarta doesn’t have a great deal of attractions to distract you from the traffic, there is a national monument in the city centre but the visit isn’t really an activity so much as a photo opportunity. On Friday I stayed with a different Couchsurfing host for the weekend and was talking to their friends about Orang-utans, which are my main objective for the remainder of my time in Indonesia. While we were talking I found out that the only places to see them in Sumatra are in the far north of the island, which would make it difficult to get to and then get to Singapore before the end of my visa.
The main place to see Orang-utans in the wild is Borneo, so I started to think about going there instead and then getting to Singapore afterwards. Maybe even travel to the Malaysian part of Borneo and take a boat to West Malaysia, surely there would be a boat going there, but no apparently the flights are so cheap that there is no demand for the boat service. So I am going to fly to Borneo for the last two weeks of my visa and hopefully see Orang-utans and Proboscis (Big-nosed) monkeys before I have to get to mainland Asia and get back on my bicycle for the foreseeable future. Luckily my host from Yogyakarta, Jessica, is originally from Borneo and will go to visit her family at the same time I will be there, so I will stay with her again while I am there.