The crossing from Sumatra to Java took 2 1/2 hours and we spent most of that time dozing in the air-conditioned second class lounge as the boat made its way across the mirror-calm water between the two giant islands. The coloured forms of thunder clouds over Java’s brooding, dark volcanoes made an impressive sight.
We arrived in Jakarta at 8:30 p.m. after 36½ hours on the bus and, along with an English bloke that we have gotten to know on the boat, we took a tuk-tuk in to Jalan Jaksa, Jakarta’s version of Khao San Road and found a reasonably nice place to stay.
Footnote: Jalan Jaksa, formerly one of the iconic backpacker haunts along the so-called “Banana Pancake Trail” through Southeast Asia, is no more. The scruffy backpackers have moved upmarket and the noodle joints and second-hand bookshops of Jalan Jaksa have been superseded by the internet and Snapchat stories. Check out this blog post by travel journalist James Clarke about the demise of Jalan Jaksa.