Usually a fine layer of mist indicates as that one area is cooler than another area. In this case, even in the early morning light, that could not have been the cause of the mist since it was burning hot with every single step. There was some sort of steamy condensation, but most of it was wrapping itself around my sweaty body. A tiny bit of breeze might have been nice, but maybe that would have blown away the mist!
The light changed every few minutes through the morning. As the low clouds rolled across the jungle below Borobudur, you could see the nearby volcanoes poking through into the sunrise.
All of these SE Asian temples are oriented against the poles of the earth and the solar system so you can often get these symmetric shots, although I normally don’t do that sort of thing. This was shot from the top of Borobudur when the sun was burning down at about 100 degrees of hot waves of humid heat. Scaling my way up there through the jungle gloom was tough enough without the added burning factor!
This is the hotel where I stayed (The Grand Mercure) in Indonesia when I went to visit Borobudur for the weekend. I never took a chance to sample the pool, except for my camera, which could not resist! 🙂
The Buddhist Temple of Borobudur has several concentric levels, each going higher and higher, each level a more significant plane of enlightenment. Monks are supposed to start at the bottom and spiral their way to the top, contemplating the countless reliefs and 500+ Buddha statues. I spent almost the entire weekend there and made the walk more times than most of the monks. Plus I was carrying a tripod and not wearing sweat-wisking robes… I don’t know if this means I am more enlightened or just more tired.
The stupa is covered with Buddhas, most of which are encased in these bell-shaped cages. Early during the sunrise, I went around from cage to cage to peer inside with a flashlight. Every buddha is holding his hands in a slightly different arrangement. It was super dark and moody while I was there, and I was going to freak out if I peered in on one of them, and his pose was to block the flashlight from his eyes.
I was absolutely deluged by kids that had never seen a white person in person before.Â After the sunrise, when I was pretty much alone, a bus pulled up from a remote part of Java and tons of kinds poured out and started running all over the temple.Â All of them wanted their picture taken with me, as if I was some sort of goofy Baluga that had washed up on the temple steps.Â They were all very happy and fun, so I asked them to sit on the corner of Borobudur for a group shot.