21-Jan-2005 -- Confluence 7S 111 E, East of Semarang Jawa Tengah. Friday 21st January 2005
Its been 8 months since I last visited an Indonesian confluence. I've watched anxiously as more and more of the unvisited confluences in Indonesia have been deflowered. I felt an urgent need to visit some of the confluences in Central Java that I have had my eye on for a long time. The long weekend to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Idul Adha provided an excellent opportunity. I’d fly down to Yogyakarta from Balikpapan with my wife, 2 girls, and maid. It was my youngest daughter's first birthday on the 21st , Sue and the kids would celebrate at my maid’s mothers village South East of Yogya, and I being a good husband and father would leave them to it, and go off in search of two unvisited confluences in the area.
I organized a car and driver and drove north to Purwodadi leaving the hotel in Yogya at 0700. From the only map I had of the area, this confluence looked like it would be a piece of cake with the point being very close to a road. I soon found out that these maps are way off. The roads are sort of there, but the confluence points shown on the map are completely wrong. This makes for a very interesting time trying to find the point by dead reckoning – driving up many dirt roads and dead ends trying to find a road that gets you within reasonable walking distance. As in past confluence visits, the Indonesian driver has no idea of what I am trying to do or where I am trying to go.
After several dead ends, we drove north off the main road on a small lane about 10km south east of the point. We drove about 6km, and then turned west on a small dirt road. Amazingly, this road wound around the forests and hills in the general direction of the confluence. We traveled about 5km, my driver looked very concerned as he drove through mud holes, and tree branches scratched at his car. He looked relieved when a farmer told us we had to stop because the road ended. His expression turned to bewilderment when I grabbed my backpack, gps, and camera and told him I would be back in about 3 hours. According to my GPS, I was at 1.5Km from the confluence. The trek was very easy, and quite pretty. I crossed a broken down bridge on the old road. Then I walked through some cornfields, cow pastures, across a small river, through a small village and finally found the confluence at the edge of a big cornfield. It was about 30 minutes and 2 km walking from where we stopped the car.
The village was interesting – a couple small kids burst out crying when they saw me walking through. One guy looked at me very strangely, but showed me a path heading in the right direction. At the confluence, the wind had picked up, and a big thunderstorm was coming in. I tried to get the pictures in a hurry, as the rain was starting to come down. I did not manage to get all the zero’s on the gps, but got close. Took the pictures and hiked back to the car. Drove back to Yogyakarta and arrived at the hotel at 1600.
It was great to get another confluence in Indonesia, this was my first solo confluence. Tomorrow I go for
8S 111E, which looks like it will be much more difficult.