Day 22: Yogyakarta to JakartaJuly 7, 2016 in Indonesia
Alarms buzz at 6am, meaning we've got 1 hour for breakfast, packing, dressing, washing and getting to the train station. Well, I had to pack, Shandos had done hers the night before which made logical sense! Took me longer than expected, and it was nearly 6:30 by the time we made it downstairs for breakfast - only 15 minutes to eat! Picked out a couple of breakfast items and then had to make an unspeakable pitstop in the bathroom, so I only had time to scoff half a piece of toast. My stomach felt uneasy so I had a couple of Gastro-Stop tablets and off we went to the station.
Quite a bit busier than the other stations we'd been to, with lots of people milling around and no special executive class waiting room this time. The train arrived right on time and we boarded and settled in for the 7.5 hour journey westwards to Jakarta. There were some nice mountainous bits of scenery as we went across the middle of Java, but on the whole it was much the same scenery as the previous journey (crumbling concrete towns and rice fields), so it wasn't what I'd call a particularly spectacular journey.
Our executive seats were just as comfortable as the previous trip - loads of luggage space, leg room, power points, tray tables etc. Passed the time with a couple of podcasts and a few hours of Civilization on my laptop, while Shandos dozed and read books.
Arrived in Jakarta about 30 minutes behind schedule at 4pm, right next to the huge national independence monument (Monas, or Sukarno's Last Erection as it's colloquially known - apparently it was the last project the president really cared about in the last days of his life/reign). Got a cab to our hotel for the princely sum of $4 - we probably could have walked it in 10 minutes but Jakarta isn't really a walking kind of place. Wide boulevards with Indonesian traffic and no footpaths isn't a great combo!
Checked into the Alila hotel which is easily the fanciest (and most expensive) place we've stayed so far. As I mentioned earlier, we've decided to stay put in Jakarta for a week to do a bit of catching up and a bit of forward planning too. We also splurged a little for an "executive class" room meaning that we also have access to a special lounge with superior breakfast options, and free canapes and cocktails every night between 6 and 8pm. Straight away we both realised though that the Wifi in our room didn't work - we were in the far corner of the building on level 15, and the signal just couldn't maintain through the walls. A couple of calls to reception and a guy confirming that yes, it didn't really work, and we were on the move to a new room, this time on level 22 with great views over the city.
The new room was much nicer as well - not an upgrade, but it had been renovated far more recently and had far better furnishings. Once all the moving was done, it was conveniently 6pm so we headed for our exclusive lounge on level 7 to check out the cocktails and canapes, and we were very pleasantly surprised at the selection. Lots of sweet and savoury options to choose from, and good cocktails too! I had a lychee martini and Shandos had a mojito.
While we were relaxing my stomach starting feeling off, and I had to run to the bathroom a couple of times for unspeakable acts. Since we'd filled up on canapes and drinks we decided against a proper dinner so headed back upstairs. Unfortunately my stomach was now feeling very off, and I had to make several more trips to the bathroom before turning in for the night.Read more