I got up and started my run around 6:45. The night before, I had researched where the countryside bicycle tours go, figuring that the countryside would be just as nice a place to run as it is to bike. My goal was to do 9 miles.
I headed south, making my way through the little alleyways and side streets. The layout of the city is pretty interesting– you can go through alleyways for miles and miles. You go in one, get spit back out a few hundred meters down, then find another one across the street.
People stared at me as I ran past. It happens every time I run in SE Asia, so I’m pretty used to it at this point.
I turned back at 4.5 miles, still feeling pretty good.
At 6 miles, I hit a wall. I was getting dehydrated and it was incredibly hot. I thought to myself, only 3 more miles. That’s nothing. You can do it.
I ran a half mile more, but I couldn’t keep going. I had to stop and walk. I rested for a few minutes, and then started running again. I could only go for another half mile before I had to stop again.
At this point, I knew I didn’t have 9 miles in me. 8 miles was my new goal.
I stopped every few minutes for the rest of the run. It really sucked, not being able to accomplish my goal. Barely being able to even run 8 miles. I hadn’t had such a bad long run in months. I hadn’t felt so weak in a while.
I was so happy when I finally reached 8 miles. I walked 5 more minutes to get to my hostel, completely exhausted and feeble.
One strange thing I noticed on the run was that there are absolutely no stray or pet dogs in Yogyakarta. I am so used to seeing dozens of stray dogs on runs that it was really bizarre to not encounter a single one. It was kind of nice to not deal with dogs barking at me for once, but it made me wonder why.
I took a long shower and went out to the front courtyard for breakfast. The staff made me an apple pancake, which came with some fruit. I topped it with my almond butter and ate it with coffee.
I felt much better after that. I blogged until I got hungry, and went into my room to get my wallet.
I decided to book the Borobudur tour on my way out to lunch. There were a couple girls already at the front desk, asking about something else.
When I started asking reception about the Borobudur sunrise tour, the girls told me not to do it; they had just gotten back from it and had a really bad sunrise. They couldn’t see anything. Hmmm… I wasn’t sure what to do anymore.
There was another guy with them, Stu, and we started chatting. He told me he’s been traveling for a year and a half and got to Indonesia from the Philippines a few days ago.
I weighed the pros and cons of doing the sunrise tour– I could either get up at 3:30 am and risk not getting a good sunrise, or get up at 4:30 and do the normal tour without the sunrise.
I decided to do the 4:30 option. Even though it’s only an hour more of sleep, I’ve been getting a bit tired of waking up at ungodly hours for sunrises. The last one at Mt. Ijen was so awful that I didn’t want to go through that again.
Stu and I both didn’t really have plans for the day, so we decided to explore around together.
I was hungry, so we looked for food. Almost everything was closed for Ramadan, but we finally found a decent-looking restaurant about 10 minutes away from the hostel. It happened to a restaurant that specializes in gudeg, aka a traditional Indonesian cuisine made of young jackfruit. Stumbling upon vegan food! Success!
When we sat down, a waiter came up and asked us what we wanted. He was hilariously enthusiastic and chatty. We asked if they had any vegetarian options, and he was extremely happy to explain the menu items to us. Gudeg= jackfruit, krecek = beef, tahu = tofu, tempe = tempeh, nasi = rice… and on and on.
He guessed if I was Japanese, and I was super impressed. I really don’t know how he could tell my race so specifically. He then went on warn me against eating Japanese fish, telling me that there is some bad bacteria in it that will eat your insides and kill you. It was all very theatrical and entertaining. I don’t really know what disease he was referring to, but it definitely sounded frightening.
We got our food, which was a sad portion of rice, gudeg, coconut sauce, and tofu. No vegetables at all. They didn’t even have sambal (chili sauce). So sad.
It tasted good, but wasn’t super satisfying.
We moved on, heading north on the main road. We passed by a market, a bunch of street food, some clothing stores, and a mall. While we were in the mall, I told Stu that I wanted to see a movie. We looked in the mall for a theater, but couldn’t find one. After a quick google search, we found one a couple miles away.
We decided to start heading over that way. It was about an hour walk.
We were definitely off the beaten path. We walked through roads that I don’t think even locals really pass. We eventually got to the theater, a swanky, new establishment, around 2:30. We got super lucky– all the movies were starting around 2:30 or 2:40. And tickets were only $3! Insane. I don’t understand how the ticket prices are so different compared to the U.S. It’s the same movie, yet somehow it costs much less to show it abroad. It really doesn’t make sense to me.
Deadpool 2 was showing at 2:40, so we bought two tickets, some popcorn, and sat down.
The movie was pretty funny, although I don’t think some of the jokes landed quite right. Like, I think the writers overdid it a bit and thought they were funnier than they really are.
We cabbed back to the hostel and chilled until we got hungry. I had bookmarked a vegan restaurant nearby called Simple Plant, and asked Stu if he wanted to come.
The restaurant was on a busy street lined with all sorts of cafes and restaurants. I’ll call it the “tourist street,” because it was literally where all the tourists were. We didn’t see any other westerners all day, and then suddenly, BAM: there they all were.
We ordered onion rings to share, banana/dragon fruit smoothies, mushroom tongseng (coconut stew) for me, and a tempeh burger for Stu. The onion rings were really well-made. I usually don’t love onion rings, but these were really high quality. Nice, firm onions, light yet crispy exterior, and not too oily.
I also really liked the tongseng. I’m a sucker for coconut soup! And mushrooms. Mushrooms will always win me over.
We walked out and saw a gelato place called Tempo Del Gelato down the street. It looked really busy inside, so we decided to check it out. Everyone was sitting with massive cones of delicious-looking ice cream. I asked the staff if they had any sorbet, and they told me they did.
It seemed it was a place for both locals and tourists. It was insane– I hadn’t seen so many people in an ice cream place since Oddfellows in Brooklyn.
We finally made our way to the front, and I tried a couple flavors. The lemon ginger was ok– not enough ginger– but the passionfruit was delicious. I went with passionfruit and melon, and the dude scooped out a generous portion for me.
A small was only $1.50! Crazy. You would pay at least $4 in the NY for that much gelato.
We sat outside on the curb since all the seats inside were taken.
Finished and full, we walked back to the hostel. I went to bed shortly after that since I had another early wake-up the next morning to get to Borobudur.