As i did in previous year, i have to celebrate my birth-day not in my hometown, but it wasn’t enough money in my wallet to travel far away *so pity me 😦 *. So I persuade my friends to accompany me to travel somewhere worth for 70 USD remain in my wallet. And tadaaaa!! Bali was my choice although I know 70 USD will be less money to go to Bali for five days.
So i browse for cheap flight ticket to go there. and gosh..it will spend at least 45 USD just to buy it. Then i found a great alternative to go there without spend too much money: by lowest coach of train! Lucky me the lowest class of that train is still available in three day before departure day. Sritanjung series train bought for 3,5 USD to carry me in the east end of Java. In fact, economy class is very popular here in common. Difficult to get the seat if you book in at close day. The ticket can be booked since 90 days before departure.
The journey with Sri Tanjung train takes 15 hours, took me from Lempuyangan Railway Station in Yogyakarta at 7.25 in the morning and arrive Banyuwangi Baru Railway Station at 10.10 at night. For your information, this train series isn’t a business class or executive, so no air conditioner during my trip. Instead of it, the blower fan blow my head for 15 hours exact above my head. But it was stunning. My two friends are a great travel buddy. They were Retno and Andry who made the journey always full of laugh and no time for no snacking along the way.
As typical in Economy class train with no air conditioner (Sritanjung train also has AC-Coach and will cost 11-12 USD), the doors kept open, so the people who sell everything freely come in to the coach and…wuifff…it will be annoying. But, in the other way, it’s fine for me because they also sell cheaper food along the way. Indonesian salad (or we called pecel), chicken with rice, souvenir, bottled water and also little thing you will need during the trip will available just from 10 cents to 1dollar only.
i sat in aisle, which mean the huge fan blow in my head. No smoke allowed in the train make me stuck with game in my friend’s iPad. The sun already dissapear and no scenery anymore from Jember (small town in east Java) to Banyuwangi Baru. They said the east-end Java panorama is very nice with hills and mountain everywhere. The railway winding through the hills and mountain. Occasionally the train will come through the tunnel to cut a mountain made a roar sound.
In the limit of my awareness, finally the train arrive Banyuwangi Baru. We say good bye to nice family who accompany us along the way with impressed story about East Java and show us the way to go to harbor. It was so sleepy since i CAN NOT sleep with fan in my head. It was like whistleblower yell in my ears.hahahaa.. *but it still stunning for me*
It was 10.30 and it’s become a late night for small town like Banyuwangi town. No huge activities there and i saw people even provide a mat to rent in front of railway station. Yes, the Banyuwangi is popular way to go to Bali as budgeted trip route.
We walked through straight way to reach the road in front of station, asked to the people for the direction to harbor and they said we have to walk about 300 meters to the right side of -front-of the station. And here we are, in Ketapang Harbor!
It wwas almost midnight, but the harbor’s still overcrowded. Crossing by ferry to Gilimanuk (Harbor in Bali Island side) available almost 24 hours. It takes 1 hour to cross the straight and we just pay for 0.6 USD. No available choice for class in ferry. So we sat in the upper deck enjoy the windy straight and beautiful panorama: flickering fairy lights on the island of Java.
After one hour enjoying night with full moon above, ferry berths in Gilimanuk Harbor. It was very quiet since no town near Gilimanuk. Only port officials and some people offering taxi to Denpasar which is still on the harbor. We walked into the right side of harbor to find public bus. It was at 1.00 am.
So, we reach bus station with no bus there. The schedule board, with conspicuous size said that there is should be a bus in 1.30. But after we ask information from the local, they said that the first bus will be available at 3.00. Oh my God, I felt so sleepy and i lied in the long bench in the bus station, just want to relax a while.
Time is ticking and 3 am already pass. Still no bus appear in the bus station. 30 minutes after 3 am, first bus come to the nearest platform in front of me and here we goo…!!
Just 15 minutes after departing, the bus become overcrowded by the people who want to go to Denpasar. Some ladies stand in the aisle but i still don’t want to offer my seat to them, sorry, but i’m so sleepy ladies…I just crossed my arm, lay down in the seat next to me and sleep….and wake up…and sleep again..and wake again. The conductor asked me where i will going to get down, and we agree to stop in the biggest bus stop in Bali. He was also asked to pay as much as 2.5 dollars for a 3 hour trip from Gilimanuk to Denpasar, the capital city of Bali Province..
The little bus ride through the winding roads along Tabanan made our sit unsteady. So i have to hold on to the front seat so as not to fall sideways. Still stunning? Yes..at least for me.
After 3 hours, the conductor shouting “… denpasar denpasar denpasar …” sign we’ve entered the territory of Denpasar. We don’t know where we have to stop the bus, so i just asked people sit beside me where’s Ubung bus station. They said our bus will go to Mengwi station, not Ubung station…ah, i never go to Mengwi before.
The sun start rise. And finally my friend who live in Bali call me after i try more than 10 times. She will pick us and we have to wait in Mengwi about 30 minutes. Mengwi is nice bus station. Government build it to replace Ubung that looked so obsolete. Ah, obviously, we did it so easy to go to Bali with very cheap price. I just spend 66 ribu rupiah (6.6 uSD) to go from Yogyakarta to Bali with bucket of bonus: new experience.