When everyone finally wandered back to the van from the rather useless slog up to the rim of Ijen's crater, we all piled in for the last leg of our trip. When organizing the trip, there were three possibilities offered--you could be returned to Yogyakarta, be dropped off in the city Surabaya, or taken to the ferry to Bali. I, of course, had chosen Bali, as the whole trip for me was just a way to take the scenic route getting there. I mean, as it turned out, it was mostly not terribly scenic and rather long, hot, and miserable at points, but it did get me there, eventually, and I did see a whole lot more of Java than I would have if I'd flown. I mean, I could have taken the twenty-six hour direct bus, but even so it would have been dark through most of the interesting parts, and that just didn't sound like fun at all anyhow.
The last one back in the van was Maryam, and she hopped in with her to-go coffee--in a baggie, with a straw sticking out, which is a weird but not unheard of to-go method for drinks here in Asia. You'd think cups wouldn't be that much more expensive, but...well, like many things in Asia, it may not make much sense to the American mind, but I suppose it works. We did take a few photos of the coffee-in-a-bag just for the novelty, though.
Normally I prefer to go it alone rather than joining a group, but occasionally it can be fun as a single traveler--at least I have people to talk to for a day or two. Most of us were traveling alone, or in couples, so we ate a couple of meals together and enjoyed the company. I mostly talked to two other single travelers, Maryam from the Netherlands, who I met in the hostel in Yogyakarta, and Ronni, a British girl who is also teaching in China, although in a kindergarten instead of a university. We also spent some time with a Swiss couple, a Japanese guy, and an Indian guy who lives in Singapore.