Solo, Java’s island

Friday, october 3

Already october ! I had forgot about halloween coming. The good thing with Facebook; it keeps me connected.

Yesterday, via facebook, I have meet two other Indonesian’s touring cyclists. There is a large touring bike community in Indonesia. The name of the group on FB is bikepacker. It seems to be a commom thing to helps foreign along their journey when they are travelling on the bicycle. I  have explained them I was worry about my foot and I was hoping to find another host for the next day, in case my foot was hurting and I had to take a rest for couple days. I was worry, did not know how my foot would tolerate the ride today. I wanted to ger to Solo, which is located 60 km from Yogyakarta. They phone a friend and found me a place to stay. They have also put me in contact with other people.

This morning, before to hit the road again, I have decided to let my walking stick at his house !!! He will do a donation for me. My friend has joined me today for the ride. What a relief ! I did the whole way without any pain. I have taped my anwkle with medical tape. The road was flat…but still…I’m very happy !!! Plus, it was not too hot. It was cloudy. I have also notice here that its almost hotter not doing anything then biking. When I’m sitting, I’m just sweating. When I’m biking, I have a breeze (I believe this is tru when the raod is flat). Last time they got rain was in JUNE !

My friend wrote me a note. I always like to have a note in the country’s language. This way, I can show the note to the locals and they can help me. Usually, the note is about finding a safe place to stay. In Indonesia, I have heard that it’s possible to ask the hospitality to the Kapaledesa. From my understanding, this person (kapala desa) is like a mayor of a village. A mayor at a smaller scale. This person is supposly to be very respected by the villager. I will proceed this way.

Today, it was the beginning of the Idul Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), a muslim celebration that is celebrated worldwide. According to my reading on Wikipedia (lolol), because I’m not an muslim’s expert, there are two officials holidays in Islam. The first one, is the Ramadan (which I have took part of it in July in Tajikistan) and the second one is the Eid Al-Adha. This celebration would be in the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrify his promise son. Who is Abraham… (had the same question)? Abraham have been choosen to be the leader for Muslim long long longf long time ago ! In muslim’s belief, Abraham fulfilled all the commandments and trials of Allah. He is the model to follow. This celebration last for 4 days and it happen in the morning time. The day before, people are fasting (no eating). After, the next morning, the comminuty is heading to the mosque to pray at 5: 00 am. After the praying, at about 8 h 00 am, they sacrifice an animal (sheep, cow, camel, buffulo, goat). They donate one third of the sacrifice’s meat to friends, neighbors and one third is given to people in needs. At first, my reaction was: I’m not going to see this…But, this is it why I’m travelling ? Plus, they should, I hope, give one third of the meat to people in need. So, its good…I Guess….

October 4:

This morning, I have participated at the celebration. I think that I have distracted a lot of persons this morning during the paying at the mosque. Some have enjoyed taking me in picture with them. I love seeing muslim praying. There is something mystic…Maybe it’s because this religion has nothing to do with our. But, it always give me goose bump when I hear the mollah.

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They have not sacrified one cow but two cows and goat. When we got at the mosque, my friend told me they had already done it. I was happy but also sad because it is part of the ritual. Later on, a woment told me : there is another ! So I run, curious what was happening but I though the cow was already dead. The man were holding the cow. She had her leg tight and she was laying on two bamboo stick. The man were praying, kids were watching. Then, I look at the animal’s face and…she has her yey wide open !!! Without saying anything, I could feel she was strss and knows something was wrong !! Then, when I realise want would happen, my westerner’s manner came back quiekly. I have yelled, jumped and ran away !!! Few seconds after, I heard a big scream…haaaaa !!!! they did it and I have almost seen it !! Curious, I went back and the cow was still moving a little bit. The head was half cut. You could see the blood running. When they cut the cow’ s throw, they lay her head over a hole in the soil. So, it is nicely done and not messy.

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People were very happy to see me there. Curious to know why I was there. Some people were thinking a was reporting this, writing a paper… No, just travelling and enjoying time with my friend’s family. They are lovely. The mother is so happy I’m enjoying her food. Of course !!! They all laught when I have helped them to clean the dishes. I think they were not expecting that from me.

Should hit the road again tmw morning for Lewu gunung (volcano lewu).

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