Indonesia: Petirtaan Jolotundo Dewasa; East Java

At the conclusion of our tour of the Resort’s extensive gardens, there was time for a quick sortie out into the nearby rice paddies and a walk to a village.


It was just a 15 minute walk along a very narrow path to get to the village. We needed to tread carefully as the path was along the top of an irrigation ditch.


Even here, beside the path, there were interesting plants and insects to find.


Unknown but obviously enjoyed the damp.


The various paddies contained rice at different stages of growth.  Some had not long been planted, while other paddies were nearly ready for harvest.


This crop was only days away from harvest…


…a fact that this hungry locust was more than aware of!


There were some attractive flowers of Mimosa pudica growing alongside the path.  It is a creeping annual or perennial herb belonging the pea family.  Its common name is Sensitive Plant because when touched or disturbed the finely divided leaves close up by folding together, thereby defending themselves from harm.  They re-open a few minutes later.  The plant is native to South and Central America, but is now a pan-tropical weed.


The small village was paved and very clean and neat.  The narrow roadways were lined with well looked after gardens.


A covered verandah sported a couple of tables made out of slabs of tree trunks supported by some old tree roots.  Nothing is wasted here!


Still unsheathed corn cobs, neatly woven into bunches, hanging up to dry.


Freshly cut and stacked bamboo, prior to being used for building purposes.


I guess this house belonged to a fisherman.


Interesting patterns and colours created by roof tiles…


…and stacked flat roof tiles…


…and split bamboo.


Bright yellow cosmos with their heads pointed to the sun.


Bi-coloured balsam… very attractive.


A couple of the younger members of the village were obviously interested us.


…and so was an older lady.


The whole area was rather wet as can be seen by the plant growth and water damage to the wall of this house.


Moss and ferns, another indicator of moist conditions.


Speckled flowers of the Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia wulfenii).


A busy wasp looking for moist mud to build its nest.


These lovely orange speckled flowers seemed to be common in the gardens we saw.


Another plant I don’t know… also enjoying the moist conditions.


The petals of this waterlily are still expanding after opening for the first time.


On our walk back to the resort for lunch, four of us decided there was time to continue on to a nearby Temple, Petirtaan Jolotundo Dewasa.It lies on the slopes of the 1653m Mount Penanggungan, a perfect cone that stands sentinel between the coastal plains and the volcanic hinterland.


 Along the way, we passed this abandoned shelter… the plants beginning to take over.


Jolotundo Temple is a centuries old Hindu shrine. It was built in 997AD for Udayara, a Balinese King, when he married a Javanese princess.


Nearby was a mosque.

Over many centuries and under successive dynasties, Jolotundo Temple has been a sacred place. Its still a place of spiritual power even today, long after Hindu-Buddhist Java gave way to Islam. The idea of bathing at this special bathing temple still brings pilgrims.


The temple precinct contains a series of stone pools filled with ‘holy’ water. These are filled with spring water which constantly runs and so replenishes any lost water. Many devotees travel quite some distance to bathe in the two separate pools, one for the ladies and the other for men. The spring water is supposed to possess ‘healing’ and ‘cleansing’ powers, so, after bathing, many pilgrims take containers of water away for later use.


A little boy and his dad at the men’s pool.


In the daytime these pools can appear to be a perfect family picnic spot. But, we were told, as darkness falls and the noise of the crickets rises, pilgrims arrive to burn incense, toss flower petals into the waters and bathe in prayer for healing, energy and good life. They come from many faiths… Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and those who still have ties to ancestor-worship and animism. But, unfortunately, we couldn’t stay until night fell… we still had many miles to cover on this day.


By the time we made it back to the resort, we were really ready for lunch… delicious.


 Before we left the resort we watched a demonstration on how to make red ginger tea. After that, we left the resort at 15.00 for the next part of our journey, a nearly four drive to Yoschi’s Hotel near Mt Bromo.

The last part of that drive was in the pitch dark as we climbed up a very, very twisty road to our hotel. It was probably just as well that we couldn’t see much of the scenery that we were driving through… very steep sides to a very narrow road!  But we made it safely, had dinner and fell into bed… we had a wake-up call booked 03.00. The mini bus would leave at 03.30 for us to be in time to watch the sunrise over Mt Bromo… and we certainly didn’t want to miss that! More anon.


All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

If you enjoy these armchair travels, please pass our site onto others

more of our travel stories and photos can be found on

More of our travel photos are on

Russia : Kamchatka : #20 Kozyrevsk to Petropavlovsk

We had a long nine hour drive ahead of us today from Kozyrevsk back to Petropavlovsk. But as there were no tents to pack up, some of us decided to get up early and go for a walk around the town before breakfast.  It seemed a good idea to stretch the legs before such a long drive.  And we hadn’t really had a chance to explore one of these small frontier villages before.

The area around Kozyrevsk is in decline, as, indeed, are many of the places we’ve stayed in or passed through on the Kamchatkan Peninsula.  There was once a collective farm here growing vegetables on the rich volcanic soil, but that has gone.  There was also a small airport on the outskirts but it was closed in 1995 because of  low flight volumes and growing maintenance costs.  All that remains for the economy seems to be a helicopter base and the surrounding volcanoes that bring groups such as ours to the area.


P1120537  © Dy  of  jtdytravels

P1120537 © Dy of jtdytravels

It was another clear day and we had a good view of the volcano that we had seen spurting out molten lava the evening before.  Now, in the daylight, all we could see  was the steam belching forth from the top.


P1120530  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120530 © DY of jtdytravels

It was obvious from the state of many of the houses, that people are leaving this small town to try their luck elsewhere.  There is certainly not much to keep them here.  I know, I wouldn’t like to live here . This house was having some work carried out on it – and not before time.  Perhaps these owners do have a job.


P1120532  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120532 © DY of jtdytravels

This is the traditional log method of construction – there’s a plentiful supply of logs in the forests.  Some of the caulking used between the logs to keep the place weather proof is coming loose on this building.


P1120541  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120541 © DY of jtdytravels

Maybe this house is beyond repair, but it gives an idea of layering construction.


P1120531  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120531 © DY of jtdytravels

Doors are often made a feature of a building.


P1120540  ©  Dy  of  jtdytravels

P1120540 © Dy of jtdytravels

A general view down the street.


P1120539  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120539 © DY of jtdytravels

Not all houses were derelict.  Some were obviously the pride and joy of their owners.


P1120542  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120542 © DY of jtdytravels

On the better maintained houses, intricate carved wooden decorations have been used.


P1120546  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120546 © DY of jtdytravels

This one added a trophy of antlers.


P1120555  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120555 © DY of jtdytravels

With a long, very cold winter ahead, many houses had stockpiles of firewood.


P1120549  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120549 © DY of jtdytravels

As usual, I found a plant to photograph; this one a delicate clematis sp.


P1120552  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120552 © DY of jtdytravels

The glorious colours of this clematis stood out against a brilliant blue sky.


P1120553  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120553 © DY of jtdytravels

And I couldn’t help myself… there was yet another mushroom photo for my collection!

But this was to be the last one…

Our adventure in Kamchatka was coming to an end.


P1120561  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120561 © DY of jtdytravels

Back at the resort, I noticed their well stocked vegie garden.

The good volcanic soil here helps people to be at least somewhat self sufficient.



After breakfast, we hit the road… with a final salute from the volcano!


P1120563  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120563 © DY of jtdytravels

Within an hour of being on the road, we stopped.  The driver’s side of the split windscreen had been shattered by a stone.  To our amazement, Toly climbed onto the roof and took out a spare one!


P1120564  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120564 © DY of jtdytravels

Windscreen in hand, the job was all but done.  The whole operation took just forty-five minutes and we were under way again.

It stands to reason that a spare should be carried since there is no possibility of getting one repaired on the road.  I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to drive in the wintertime when temperatures drop to below -30°C – definitely brass monkey weather!


P1120565  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120565 © DY of jtdytravels

Although not a lot of vehicles travel these roads, each one poses a stone-throwing threat.


P1120568  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120568 © DY of jtdytravels

With clearer weather, this time we did see some of the volcanoes that lined our route.


P1120571  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120571 © DY of jtdytravels

There doesn’t seem to be anywhere too far from a volcano on this peninsula.

Here, we were just coming back towards civilisation and Petropavlovsk.


P1120579  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120579 © DY of jtdytravels

An orthodox church amongst a group of small houses.


P1120572  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120572 © DY of jtdytravels

Finally, at 18h30, we arrived back at the Geyser Hotel and that view of PK Harbour.


P1120575  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120575 © DY of jtdytravels

The fishing fleet was in. I looked forward to enjoying some of their catch for our dinner.


P1120577  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120577 © DY of jtdytravels

After a much needed shower, we walked up the street on our way to dinner.

The sky over the bay was particularly attractive.


P1120582  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120582 © DY of jtdytravels

And there, in view as always, were volcanoes!


P1120583  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120583 © DY of jtdytravels

This most certainly is the land of fire and ice.


P1120584  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120584 © DY of jtdytravels

Our walk took us to rather nice restaurant which did indeed serve lots of seafood dishes. We enjoyed our meal, which apart from breakfast the next morning, was our last meal together as a group.

Dessert was a rather fitting, local concoction – ice-cream with ‘bear berries’, a blend of lingonberries and crowberries.  This dish encapsulated the tour for me; the red of molton lava, the ice capped volcanoes and, of course, bears and berries.  And I’m sure there was a mushroom or two in our main meal as well.



All Photography Copyright ©  David Young of jtdytravels

Some of our other travel stories and photos can be found on:



Russia : Kamchatka : # 19 Tolbachik to Kozyrevsk

The was the last day of our Tolbachik Volcano Region excursion.  We were up early for breakfast at 08h00 as it had been decided to break camp a day early.  The weather had been so inclement and, with almost everyone still suffering from the effects of the head cold, we would drive back down off the high country onto the plain below to the small village of Kozyrevsk.  There we could at least sleep the night in a bed rather than a tent.  And, hopefully, there would be some warm water for a good wash which, by now, was desperately needed.


P1120408  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120408 © DY of jtdytravels

Much to our pleasure and surprise, the day had dawned very crisp and frosty with an absolutely clear sky.  And what a sight met our eyes!  There, beyond the hill that sheltered our camp, was the dormant Ostry Tolbachik Volcano in all her magnificent glory.  For the previous two days, she had been obscured by fog, mist and cloud.  She did exist after all.


P1120418  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120418 © DY of jtdytravels

 After breakfast, we decided to climb the hill behind the campsite.

That would give time for our tents to thaw and dry out before packing.


P1120411  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120411 © DY of jtdytravels

As I walked I noticed a footprint in the frosty cinders.  This reminded me that the way to help this place stay so special is for visitors to take only photos and leave only footprints. We also need to be careful not to walk on vulnerable colonising plants.


P1120414  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120414 © DY of jtdytravels

Although it was a very enjoyable walk in the sunshine, we couldn’t stay there all day, so headed back to the camp to pack up ready to move off for the last time.


P1120421  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120421 © DY of jtdytravels

We left camp at 10h40 and headed back to the two cinder cones where we had stopped a couple of days earlier on our way up to the Tolbachik camp site.  For those who had decided not to climb one of them before, now was their opportunity.  I think that the cauldron experience of the previous day was enough to spur them on, although the rewards here would be nothing compared with that. However, the views would be better than on the first day now that the weather was quite clear.  I’d been up the cinder cone before, so I decided not to climb up there for a second time.  Instead, I walked back along the track we had come on to photograph the Tolbachik volcanoes from a different point of view.  And that was well worth the walk!


P1120422  ©  Dy  of  jtdytravels

P1120422 © Dy of jtdytravels

I zoomed in for a closer look.  She was picture postcard perfect!


P1120434  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120434 © DY of jtdytravels

How fickle is the weather!  What a difference a day makes.  This was just Magic.


P1120437  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120437 © DY of jtdytravels

It was hard to leave Tolbachik now that the weather was so superb.  But the decision had been made and we had broken camp.  The drive back down along that very rough bush track on our way to the main north/south road would be my last chance to find any new specimens for my collections of flowers and fungi.  And I was not disappointed from a mushroom and toadstool point of view.  There were hundreds and hundreds of them, more than I’ve ever seen before.  Thankfully, the crew stopped to collect some varieties of mushrooms for our meals.  That gave me the chance to find and photograph some different specimens.  Again, I don’t know their names (yet) but I’ll add the photos here for you to enjoy them, too.


P1120435  ©  DY  of jtdytravels

P1120435 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120436  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120436 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120438  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120438 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120439  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120439 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120442  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120442 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120444  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120444 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120445  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120445 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120451  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120451 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120452  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120452 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120453  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120453 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120460  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120460 © DY of jtdytravels


P1120457  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120457 © DY of jtdytravels

Looking up, it was obvious that this tree had its fair share of caterpillars!


P1120481  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120481 © DY of jtdytravels

We moved on and stopped once more at the braided river for a rest and a cuppa.

Vika again helped in the preparation and clean-up.


P1120467  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120467 © DY of jtdytravels

This time, we could actually see the surrounding ice capped volcanoes

This was our lucky last chance to see them!


P1120466  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120466 © DY of jtdy travels

The volcano on the left was belching smoke, just one of those 29 active volcanoes on the peninsula.  It’s views like this that makes Kamchatka a very special place for an adventure holiday.  It’s a long way from anywhere, but well worth the journey.


P1120476  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120476 © DY of jtdytravels

Perfection plus!


P1120488  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120488 © DY of jtdytravels

The cloud descended further, becoming saucer shaped and obscuring the top of the volcano.  We had stopped here at just the right time to enjoy the full, glorious scene. Too soon, it was time to tear ourselves away from the beauty of this area and move on.


P1120490  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120490 © DY of jtdytravels

When we hit the North/South road we turned north for a few kilometres until we came to the settlement of Kozyrevsk where we would spend the night.  A stop at the mini market for a bottle or two of beer was, of course, a necessity.


P1120494  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120494 © DY of jtdytravels

The small ‘resort’ we stayed in here consisted of 5 A-framed buildings each of which slept two people.  There was some other accommodation but that had all been booked.  I suppose we would have had to pitch our tents if this place had been full.


P1120493  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120493 © DY of jtdytravels

No single rooms here either, so once again I shared, this time with Rosemary.


P1120491  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120491 © DY of jtdytravels

The resort belonged to this house which had a banya – the Russian version of a sauna.  This was fired up for us and it was absolutely delightful after the lack of warm water over the last 4-5 days.  In fact it was a bit too hot.  I began to realise that all this changing from hot to cold, whether it be from walking up volcanoes and getting sweaty, to standing by a fire, to warm sleeping bags, to the banya; none of this was helping us to shed the dreaded lurgy which all but one of the group, including the crew, had eventually caught.


P1120495  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120495 © DY of jtdytravels

Now that we were cleaner and warmer, dinner was a time of good cheer after the enjoyment of our first sunny day for quite awhile.  And there was another plus.  By coming down to this town, the drive back to PK had been cut by four hours.  Even so, the next day’s drive of some 500 kms from Kozyrevsk to PK would still take about nine hours.  Not the most pleasant of thoughts.  But then, it was worth it to have had the experience of being in this wild, wilderness area.


P1120527  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120527 © DY of jtdytravels

Then, as the light faded from the sky and we began to think about bed and a good night’s sleep, we were treated to the sight of a spectacular ribbon of molten lava streaming down a distant volcano.  Apparently the volcano had only begun erupting four days earlier.  This spectacle was a bit far away for a good photograph but it was nonetheless impressive.  It was a fitting end to a good day of sightseeing in the land of ice and fire.


All Photography Copyright ©  David Young of jtdytravels

More of our travels diaries and photos can be found on




Russia : Kamchatka : # 13 Drive from Esso

Even though we had spent the night at ‘Uyznoe Guesthouse’ in Esso on beds rather than in tents, it was not a very satisfactory night’s sleep.  It had been far too hot.  And yet outside it had been very cold and frosty.  So much so that lovely green plants that we had seen in the garden the evening before had turned black.  That frost must have been the first of the onset of winter in these parts and it was only the end of August – a summer month!   Gardening must be a heartbreaking task here with such a short and unpredictable growing season.


P1120064  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120064 © DY of jtdytravels

Esso is  a real frontier town.  There are no made roads, nearly every building was constructed of timber and many are poorly maintained.  I wouldn’t want to live here in a fit.  But then I don’t have to.  We who live in Australia don’t know how lucky we are.

Two young lads joined us this morning to guide us to the track which would take us up to the cinder cones.  Egor, who had turned 13 the day before, and Nikita, to turn 13 next month, were as energetic, as most 13 year olds.  They raced around wanting to carry backpacks and generally be helpful.


P1120035  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120035 © DY of jtdytravels

The views were excellent but the track we drove over was obviously not traversed by our sized vehicle very often.  The scrub and trees on either side scraped along the panels of our truck and windows.  Inside, we were pitched from side to side but it at least saved some walking; for those with that head cold, less walking was better.


P1120034  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120034 © DY of jtdytravels

We were relieved to come to a flatter area to be able to get out and have a comfort stop.


P1120036  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120036 © DY of jtdytravels

At this stop I found the delightful small flowering plant, Euphrasia stricta or Eye Bright.


P1120037  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120037 © DY of jtdytravels

Our goal for the day was to climb up to a cinder cone.

As before in Kamchatka, wherever you look there are volcanoes rising above the trees.


P1120039  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120039 © DY of jtdytravels

Finally we came to the place where we had to leave the truck and begin the day’s walk with Igor and Nikita leading the way.


P1120042  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120042 © DY of jtdytravels

As we walked through a flower filled high meadow, we were watched by a marmot.


P1120043  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120043 © DY of jtdytravels

Minuartia macrocarpa  ;  Longpod Stitchwort


P1120046  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120046 © DY of jtdytravels

This little beauty is called Phyllodoce caerulea


P1120048  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120048 © DY of jtdytravels

Campanula lasiocarpa; Mountain Harebell

With my head cold it was an effort just to put one foot in front of the other.  When the cone was eventually reached I didn’t even bother to climb the blessed thing.  A lie in the sun seemed a good idea instead.

It was an absolutely perfect day with very little breeze, just some light cloud.  But to spoil things, a couple of con trails from passing aircraft blotted the landscape.  These were the first I’d seen since we arrived.  It is such a privilege to be in a place where there is nothing but nature around.  Not even high tension power lines jumping across the horizon, no mobile phone coverage.  Nothing – just us!


P1120049  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120049 © DY of jtdytravels

Bear food, Vaccinium vitis-idaea;  Lingonberry.  We liked them too!


P1120054  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1120054 © DY of jtdytravels

On the way back, we had to walk through bear territory again.  That added a certain extra dimension to the walk!  And we were rewarded with sightings of more bears, including a mother and her cub.  They were quite a long way away and difficult to photograph.  But this one, I managed to photograph.  It really blended in with its surroundings.

Eventually we arrived back at the guesthouse at about 18h30.  It was only 20 minutes before dinner so there was not much time to do anything.  But after dinner, all but two of the group ventured into the hot water pool.  The temperature was a delightful 39°C.  It’s been up to 44°.  I don’t know what the temperature is when the water comes out of the ground but it must be close to boiling point.

Thankfully, the heating had been turned down in our room so sleep was possible particularly as a locked door was also opened.

I hoped that a good night’s sleep would auger well for a better day, health wise, on the morrow.


All photography Copyright ©  David Young of jtdytravels

More of our travel stories and photos can be found on

and on