Ten hours locked in a tin box on wheels with their children is more than any parent can take – apparently. My friends will know I’m particularly hard on our girls, but I have to say, with a little smarm, that it seems to be paying dividends. I could be wrong, and the fact that they have used a month’s iPhone time in one day, is what pacified them. But we all survived.
To break the journey we climbed the slopes of Gunung Lawu above Solo to explore a small temple. Candi Sukuh is known for its stunning location and erotic carvings, this time on show for all to see, leading to some interesting conversations with the girls. This isn’t a Hindu or Buddhist temple, and its origins and meaning are a bit of a mystery, even though it was only built in the 15th century. Even in the mist and rainclouds, the location was magnificent and the atmosphere intriguing – I’m sure the carvings had something to do with that.
The weather took a while to clear, but not before a massive downpour, which flooded the streets with a foot of muddy water. Cyclists and motorcycle riders braved the flooded roads like cap crusaders in their plastic ponchos on a mission. As suddenly as the rain started it stopped, the flood water disappeared and the roads were practically dry again.
Accommodation: Tugu Hotel, Malang. An historical gem with attention to detail. The hotel is a family-run business, and the owners have paid particular attention to antiques, practically turning the corridors and bedrooms into a user-friendly museum. www.tuguhotels.com