Yogyakarta was a game changer for us, we hired a motorbike for our week's stay and we loved it. Heading out into the countryside without a plan, getting lost in the villages, driving over rickety bamboo bridges, waving to all the smiling kids we passed. We had the best week of our trip so far and we left with a new confidence to forget about the guidebooks and just get out there and see what happens.
We had planned to head straight to Borobudur after our week in Yogyakarta, but when some new friends invited us to go camping on top of an extinct volcano, we couldn't say no. So we loaded up the scooter with all the borrowed camping equipment we could find and nine of us headed off, coincidentally all on red bikes.
You don't have to drive for long out of Yogyakarta city before being surrounded by beautiful countryside. And if you get lost (as we did – a lot), then you end up on these tiny winding roads through farms and up mountains, passing areas that tourists don't usually go (judging by some of the surprised-looking people we passed anyway!).
At the end of a very bumpy road through little villages, we stopped at a river for a quick dip.
And then had a wobbly drive over this wooden bridge.
We had aimed to get to the volcano for sunset, but our little stops set us back and so we watched it from a cafe on top of another mountain nearby.
This meant climbing up the volcano in the dark, but luckily it was easier than some of the other hikes we've done. The evening was spent setting up camp and eating crisps and chocolate around the fire (wishing we had thought to bring marshmallows instead, toasted crisps just aren't the same!). We slept on a tarp under the stars, and luckily no animals visited during the night.
In the morning (after very little sleep thanks to the death metal fans camping near us), we woke up to amazing views. There was just time for a cup of coffee before loading up the bike and heading off on our next adventure, Borobudur.
For more ideas on adventures in Indonesia, pop into AS Java Coffee in Yogyakarta.