Friday, October 17, 2008

Long Road to Probolinggo via Lumajang

The lady at the hotel gave me direction to where I could wave down a bus going to Malang and I got to the road just as a bus arrived. Malang was not that far and the bus was fairly full but I have no idea why at about 5 to 10 kilometers outside of Malang the bus stopped and they combined 2 busses so that it made one bus busting at the seams for the ride into Malang. When I think a bus or van is about full that means in Indonesia that it is about ½ full by local standards. When I am unable to move and it is hard to breath they still manage to squeeze in more people. Times like this I always wonder why did I not want to take that van full of tourist?

Once in Malang I was happy to be out of the bus but knew I needed to figure out how to get to a different bus station to catch a bus to Probolinggo. I had written down the name of the bus station and also Probolinggo but no one seemed to want to help me at all. I got pointed to a couple of vans but once I got there and ask them they would just wave me away. Finally someone told me to get on a bus. I got on and when the bus left I showed the guy the name of the bus station I thought I was suppose to go to and he wanted to kick me out of the bus. I then showed him Probolinggo and he said yes but it took me a while to get him to give me the name of the place the bus was going to. I showed him the map in the guidebook and tried to get him to point out the city on the map but I think now he could not read a map at all. It took me a long time but I finally found the city the bus was heading for and instead of heading north I was headed south in the direction I had just come from. The bus did turn east at some point. It seemed the long way to go but Lumajang was just a bit south of Probolinggo so I just tried to seat back and enjoy the view. The road did go though the mountains and was a really nice ride. Also it was one the least crowded busses that I took in Java. I got a seat next to the door at the back and there was legroom for a change so it was not a bad ride. The one thing they really need to do is to stop from time to time so a person can pee. The only time I was on transport in Java that had pee breaks was when I was in the van where I was the only passenger. In other countries I have traveled in I had just watched other passenger and could usually tell when we were stopped for a bit. I should have just watched the driver to figure this out but once I would notice that he was gone I had no idea how long we would be in one place so was scared to leave the bus. Oh well I never peed my pants while in Java. Being able to go a long time without peeing has to be the only benefit of the unbearable heat. All my body's liquid is used up by sweating.

There were a couple of ladies that seemed to want to talk to me on the bus but we did not really say any thing to each other except through the guy taking money for tickets. I did say good-bye to the first lady when she left and both of the ladies seemed to find this really funny.

The guy on the bus told me what the cost of what the ticket should be from Lumajang to Probolinggo and pointed out the bus to me once we reached Lumajan. I had someone pushing me on the bus but I was not getting on another bus until I found a toilet. I said toilet a few time so he tried to get me to buy water or a coke. He finally understood when I did the old standby of holding one thumb in the other hand placing this in front of my crotch and making the ssssss sound.

It was after dark when the bus left Lumajang but the ride to Probolinggo was not that long and once there I avoided the tourist trying to get to go to Bromo that night and found a ride into Probolinggo and found a hotel. It was a really long day for what I thought was only going to be a rather short day on a bus.

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