Saturday, December 5, 2009

Qigong Mountanous Retreat - Day 4 / 5

Bromo to Surabaya.
After watching sunrise and having some fun scaling Mt Bromo, we had our breakfast at the cafe before rolling downhill for the next 3 hours.

Our drive took us down to Probolingo passing Pasuruan , thru Lapindo before we reach our hotel at Town Square, Surabaya. At Lapindo we wanted to see the " mud slide ' that destroyed a entire village due to oil drilling operation, but was unable to cross a highway of extreme heavy traffic.

At Town Square hotel, we were impressed by the fine layout and the quality of this 4 stars hotel. At a special rate of 650,000 rp per room ( double bed ) with breakfast thrown in, what was most surprising was a free offer of the mini bar with a full range of drinks. The hotel is located next to a big shopping complex which specialise in branded goods.

In the afternoon it was shopping time for some, while others laze around , with Patrice indulging in her favourite past time - swimming in the bath tub.

We had our dinner that evening at Bon Ami, a Indonesian cum peranakan set-up which specialise in steaks. What a combination, but the food was good and affordable .

Waiting For Check In. As we were concerned over traffic problems we arrived at the airport much earlier. Spend our time at the coffee house " RotiBoy " and reminisce on our retreat program. Everyone seems contented with their individual experience . Staying in a convent was for most of us the first time and to some, their 1st visit to central Java. After sending the Singapore group off, it was then time for Michelle to visit her friend at the convent which Connie put up while we were at Mount Bromo. The convent was a ex army barrack which belongs to the 17 Infantry bridgade . The catholic church now uses it as a primary school.

Leaving Surabaya Train Station at 6pm was in the dark. Porter service were however always at hand and they were so efficient and conversant with the system, we were advised to avoid the rush. We brought bread along to last for the next 5 hours, but it was not necessary as the train caters for dining in different forms.

Returning to SOLO. After sending off the Singapore group at 2pm, and visiting Michelle's former classmate who became a nun, it was time for homeward bound, but not before Patrice had her last dry practice at horse riding and car racing at " Time Zone " - a popular entertainment center for kids. Also can't resist taking this mosque which I passed by several times.

Pic shows train conductor on his round
At 6pm, Gek Hoon sms that the Singapore group was safely home while we start our train journey and arrived in Solo at 11pm. The retreat round up an eventful 5 days 4 nights educational and de stressing holidays for all of us.

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