[5] Are we there yet?

As the weeks went by, we slowly got more and more settled into our new home and were loving the adventure we had been on so far. The one thing that continued to be a big adjustment for us both is how little nature is around us as we are in such a big city. Having moved from Vancouver, we realized just how spoiled we had been and how little we had stopped to appreciate the beautiful sites.

We decided to go to Bogor, which is a city just south of Jakarta, for the weekend together. Back in Vancouver, we used to go on “staycations” where we would book the cheapest hotel about 10 minutes away from our house and pretend we were tourists for weekend. The only rule was you had to walk into the hotel, ask for recommendations of what to do, and then you had to do whatever they suggested.

This weekend felt a bit like that, except for the fact that we definitely were tourists and relied heavily on the locals to give us recommendations (but our hotel definitely still fit in the ‘Benger Budget’ category).

After a night at the hotel, we both woke up excited to get out and adventure for the day. We booked a car, thinking we would be with our driver for about an hour long drive, but ended up spending about 14 hours with him that day. We thought we were just driving up to some waterfalls, but we ended up running into a full day of hilariously random attractions.

About 20 minutes into our drive, we were no longer on the main road, but were on a super bumpy dirt path that was about a car-width wide, and was far from a one-way road. Add in motorbikes, lots of walkers, and some random animals every now and then, and you’ve got yourself an eventful drive! One of the things I was most struck by was how it felt like we were driving through textbook poverty; small shacks, half clothed children, kids turning trash into toys and yet, it also was one of the most hardworking villages I had ever seen. Every single man we saw was outside, doing some sort of manual labour. Every woman we saw was either cooking food, playing with children, or sitting with the other mothers, who were also with their children. A sight like this could be seen as textbook poverty, or a flourishing community that we should all strive to be more like. Perspective is powerful.

Once we arrived at our destination, we couldn’t help but laugh. We had literally driven up the side of a mountain and seemed to have arrived to a place that resembled both Disneyland and a waterpark, with a pirates and shark theme. For people who were trying to find nature, this was a hilarious sight to see.

Once we finally figured out that we were supposed to get in the back of a guy’s truck that had seats raised up to get to the waterfall (silly us, not assuming that), we headed to the base. There, we were met with someone who was really excited about my camera, so they conducted a full on photoshoot for us…

Then the moment happened, we finally found the waterfall!

We were a big fan of the view from the walk back down the mountain!

We then hopped back in the car, and headed to our next spot. Thankfully, our driver had agreed to wait for us and ended up being our driver for the day. This was super helpful as we definitely wouldn’t have been able to find a driver in the area that we ended up in.

We decided that the only natural place for us to go to next would be Venice…

In case you are as confused as we were when we arrived here, it turns out there is a place called, “Little Venice.” They have re-created the most well-known components of Venice and given you a little taste all for only $9. The most hilarious part is that I have been pestering Kelvin to take me to Italy for many years and he was gloating that he found such a good deal to take me there. I spent the remainder of the day trying to convince him that this didn’t count, but he didn’t seem to agree…

We also got to go for a gondola ride for $2, fully equipped with some nice Italian music that was blaring from Kelv’s phone.

I think one of us enjoyed it more than the other…

This definitely goes down as one of my favourite photobombs I have ever been part of. I had asked a gentleman to take our photo with my camera, and then about 5 seconds later, all these ladies came running over. The man who was taking the photo was so mad he wasn’t in the picture (and none of the ladies were willing to get out of the photo so he could go in for one), that he grabbed his selfie stick and hopped in. Definitely a hilarious moment.

After eating at the only restaurant in the park, we got back in the car and started on our 4 hour journey home. Needless to say, getting out of the car at the end of the night was a beautiful moment! Thanks for the memories, Bogor!

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