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Five AM. I woke up, but I still want to sleep. Uuugh.

I got up anyway and by 5:45 AM, I was ready to roll. Went to Timmy’s room. I got a plan so wicked, I couldn’t wait to execute. I was going to kick him to wake him up. To my surprise, he was up already. Man, what a waste. A plan so perfect, that will live in my imagination.

Anyway, 6:30 AM, we were rolling. Ha! It’s on!

The first destination was Malang. A place in central Eastern Java. If Google Maps to be believed, it would be a 348km road trip. Because we I am such a hipster, we were choosing the route that off the beaten path. There are two different routes that connect Yogyakarta and Malang:

1. The Yogyakarta - Solo - Madiun - Surabaya route. All the “mainstream” stuffs happen here. All of those bad nasty buses go there. So, nope. Not enough good things, too much nasty things.
2. The Yogyakarta - Pacitan - Ponorogo - Trenggalek - Tulungaggung - Blitar - Malang route. This one is interesting. Mountainous landscape, with a glimpse of sea. No buses. What more could you ask?

So, we were going with the second option.

It paid off immediately. The traffic was very light, or I must say, non-existent. Not something we will complain though. The road was great, well maintained, it seems. So we were rolling, and rolling fast.

Pacitan was where the intresting stuffs were laid before our eyes. See, we were right there, in that mountainous road, and we could see a glimpse off a beautiful sea through the woods. It was so pretty. Definitely, I will come back someday.

By noon, we were at Ponorogo. A city famous for Reog. Google it up, it’s interesting, I promise. However, the city itself is not very interesting, at a first glance. Yes, we weren’t see any Reog there, but that’s not the point. We just ate, then carry on. This was the point where we were at 50% of Yogyakarta - Malang. So far, we were progressing nicely. So, next would be easy right?

Well, no. After Ponorogo, the route was crowded. It seemed that the route was not a off the beaten path anymore. So Ponorogo - Trenggalek - Tulungaggung - Blitar leg was progressing rather slowly. Those cities are interesting though. Being in the southern Eastern Java, they were surrounded by mountains. It’s like, those cities are hidden inside a valley. So interesting.

Right, about the mountains. I chose that route because it’s mountainous. I love the mountains, more than the seas. Though I won’t complain about anything sea. I love the mountains because I feel the excitement everytime I see it. It looks so majestic, I couldn’t help but to be in awe.

Around 6 PM, we were entering Malang. Things started to get crowded. I believe we were cruising at only 30-40 kph. I guess it was because of those people going back from their vacation.

Now, about the accomodation. We got a friend who is a Malang native. So Timmy asked him last night, so we could crash in his home. Permission granted, accomodation secured. As I’m writing this, I was in his guest room, sipping a nice hot tea. Thanks Andhika.

It was a 395 km trip, done in 13 hours. Well, we stopped a lot. We’re not going to rush, that was the promise I made to myself. Now I could see the benefit. My body and mind are still in good shape, fatigue is minimal. The trip was a happy trip, not a tense trip.

395 km is the most distance I’ve ever covered driving. So exciting. But the next legs wouldn’t include insane distance coverage like this one though. I chose to just go straight to Malang because I didn’t find any appeal of those cities between Yogyakarta and Malang. But, the next legs, things would be different. A lot of novel things would be encountered, so the distance will be broken apart at medium distances. Maybe like 150 km a trip.

Not a lot of photographs here in the first day, considering that today was dedicated into driving. From tomorrow though, things would be different as the longest leg of this trip was already over. I would expect a lot of photographs being taken.

What of tomorrow? I’m thinking of Safari Park, just one and a half hour away from Malang. Why? I love animals. I love zoo. I love Safari Park even more. That’s not set in a stone though. Let’s be Markovian, and just go wherever we want to go tomorrow.

So, all in all, I’d say, this is a good start for the trip. So excited!