Tag Archives: weekly photo challenge

Warmth of December

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Cilacap, Indonesia.

The air was warm but the love under the cool shade was even warmer. ^^

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth

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Volcanic Potato

Dieng, a plateau above the clouds in Central Java province has been notorious for having cold dry seasons with the temperature descending to minus 5 degrees at night and that Wednesday was no exception. I gazed towards the green hills of cultivated plants of all sorts (potatoes being the hot topic of the week as it was time for plowing) and saw thin smoke coming out of the river just below the potato fields. So I went down to have a closer look.

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What is it? It doesn’t look like a river. Maybe a hot spring?
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Wow. It looks like a crater to me.
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But how could that be? Look at the crops they’re planting just a stone’s throw away.
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Finally the sign eased all of my skepticism. It read: DO NOT COME CLOSER TO THE CRATER.

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The Blogosphere Tree

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Here’s The Blogosphere Tree, taken at a local blogger’s event held yesterday in Jakarta. The fruits and leaves represent our comments and hopes for the exciting blogging experience ahead.

And that makes it a great Cover Art this week.

Refraction (Well, Sort of)

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It’s probably the most difficult Weekly Photo Challenge theme to interpret so far. I blame myself for having monotonous routines that I begin to disregard tiny details around. If that were too embarassing to tell, I could always point the finger to the camera. 😛

The photo above was taken last night at an almost deserted intersection. I was fascinated by the flashy effect the camera (and Camera 360) created. Nothing impressive.

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The second one, however, better represents the theme. I took the picture of a street vendor opposite and realized the reflection of the car dashboard afterwards.

The Silent Dreamers

The temperature was around 35 degrees and I was just sitting under the shade around the Kalasan Temple complex when I spotted a bunch of Singaporean tourists getting off the bus. But this group looked different; they wore all-white uniforms and were accompanied by a Buddhist monk. Could they be pilgrims?

It soon became obvious why they were there. Unlike several other temples in Java which were built to accommodate the syncretic blend of Hinduism and Buddhism, Kalasan was constructed exclusively in the 8th century as a Buddhist temple to worship one of the Buddhist deities called Tara. It is said to be the oldest temple built in the Prambanan plain of Yogyakarta in Java, Indonesia. Along with the mighty Borobudur, this site has been frequented by pilgrims especially during the Vesak celebration.

They walked almost silently in unison around the temple while holding lit candles. The monk radiated love and peace out of his chants of worship. I was standing in awe at the bottom of the stairs when they finally finished the walk and stood in front of the gate. The candles were then laid on a stone and as they were preparing to pray, the monk suddenly realized my presence and walked over.

“May I invite you to join us in a prayer for world peace?”

I smiled and thanked his hospitality but had to respectfully decline. However I stayed behind them while they were praying. I couldn’t understand a single word they were chanting but the energy touched my heart nonetheless.

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A group of Buddhist pilgrims with a beaming monk, a Muslim tour guide, and a Christian watcher; we were all standing before the gracious Tara. Our mouths recited verses from different scriptures but our hearts were united in the same dream: let there be peace on earth.

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More posts on this weekly photo challenge can be found here.

Record Breaker

“Come on, you can do it!”

Junaidi, the local guide kept shouting from behind as I was panting (and cursing) while on a trekking trip uphill to see Candi Angin (Wind Temple), a forgotten Hindu temple on one of the hills surrounding the mighty Mount Muria in Central Java.

“It’s only a 4-hour journey to the top and back. Piece of cake.”

Easy for him to say! But weighing at almost 90 kg, what was supposed to be an exciting hiking trip out turned out to be a climbing horror when I had to negotiate the narrow and steep path. So after slowly tiptoeing a landslide point (with Junaidi literally supporting my butt), I managed to reach the 1st checkpoint, a small open area with steep gorges on both sides. I instantly dropped my backpack and collapsed on top of it, breathing heavily. I honestly regretted having accepted the offer to check out the temple. All I want now is to go back home.

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“Good job, Brad. When you reach the temple later, you’ll break a new record among tourists that I’ve guided.”

“What’s that? For being the oldest?”

“No, the heaviest.”

I look out to see the mountains, hills, and the sea afar. The temple is another 2 hours away yet I dream of a cold coconut drink by the beach.

That silly record can wait. Let’s take a nap.

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For more posts on this topic, check out the Weekly Photo Challenge.