My friend Den and I were able to take a trip to Indonesia last April.  It all happened so fast…such a heady and exciting experience that left us asking ourselves, “Whoa…did it really happen?”

Oh, yes it did…and I’ve got tons of pictures to prove it…and naturally, that meant I have so many to upload that I don’t know how to start.  I will try to make it short and simple as possible.  But this is going to be an endeavor of epic proportions that will definitely use up most of my editing and lay-outing powers and super human patience.  Hold on while I drink my extra joss…Ok, here it goes:

Believing in Cebu Pacific’s motto: It’s time that every Juan (and Juana) fly, Den and I bought our plane tickets last January even if we didn’t have passports yet!  So these two Juanas hurried up and headed for NBI and DFA to finish everything that was needed to be done.

It was our first trip abroad…We stayed in Java, Indonesia for a week.  We were sure lucky since we have three friends staying there, too:

Day 1: April 5, 2008 (Saturday)

We arrived at 2 in the morning and slept immediately along with Ly and Ros in Pluit…when I woke up this is what greeted me from outside the window.

Welcome to Indonesia: View from Ros’ apartment at 5 am. This is my first look at Indonesia in the daylight (left).

First Stop: The mosque, Masjid Atta’awun at Puncak, Jawa Barat.

Masjid Atta’awun is a must-stop, especially when visiting Jawa Barat.  It has a great view like something you find when going up to Tagaytay, I guess.

The view from Jawa Barat. There were people paragliding from those cliffs, too. But one thing they have a lot that we don’t: Tea plantations! They’re everywhere!

Next Stop: Taman Bunga Nusantara (Flower Park) at Jawa Barat

Beautiful flowers were everywhere.  Wished my mom could see it.  She would have loved it. The Japanese Garden is my favorite.  I liked Rumah Kacah (Green House) as well.  And the Taman Gaya Bali (Bali Garden)…ok, I liked them all!

The Peacock Garden with its resplendent wings in full color

The Japanese Garden. So tranquil…

A Miniature Replica of Bali… a taste of the exotic.  Even if I didn’t get a chance to visit the real Bali…this would do, i guess…for now (wink, wink!).

Next, we headed for Taman Safari (Safari Park):

No need to go to Africa, they’re all here and so much more…one day isn’t enough to explore this vast park…

Before going in Taman Safari, better buy lots of carrots…the animals expect you to. Or else they will not give you their two cents’ worth…as well as the drool that comes along with it…just kidding…I love the animals…

…Most especially, the Big Cats!…Grumba’s friend, Mr Lion, looking majestic while lazing around…but we didn’t dare open our windows to feed them, majestic or not…we wanted to stay alive.

(Left) No, it isn’t Grumba and yes, it’s a real White Tiger and we get to touch it!…scary (!) but a dream come true for me! I love tigers–white or Bengal…doesn’t matter.  But oh, you beautiful but poor, drugged-out(?) white tiger…you probably wished people would leave you alone, huh? I wished that now, too.

I got to hold this cub as well!  I cropped myself out in the shot so you won’t see the petrified smile on my face…And in my excitement, I didn’t get to ask what kind of cub this was…all I know is that it looked female 🙂 . I’m guessing that it’s a lion cub, right?

There were also performances by humans and animals alike (left).  This show was about saving the wildlife. They talked in Bahasa but we got the message nevertheless...Other shows like the sea lion show were rained out since they were held outdoors…such a bummer.  In fact, it rained heavily everyday (with frightening thunderstorms, too) when we were there, and it wasn’t even the rainy season yet.

“Look, what I can do! This funny baby elephant (right) takes a drink while showing off his balancing prowess!

(Left) “Aaaargh!  YOU GIVE ME FOOD…NOW!!!”

Really, that’s what this hippo said…It spoke to us while we were trying to shoot the carrot bits in its mouth but they just won’t get in…Sorry, Hippo!

Souvenir Shop at Taman Safari (right)…Oh, I could just live here, I swear.  Cuddly, soft lovelies! They may not be real but at least I could take one home…and I did! This is were I met Grumba…I chose him (or did he choose me?) out of all the cuties here.

Thanks so much to LY and ROS!  Abot-abot ang pasasalamat namin sa inyong dalawa. We are so lucky to have you as friends. We had such a great time! And to think that this all happened in one day…whew!

Some photos courtesy of Ly, Ros and Den

To be continued…Indo-xicating Places (Part 2)