Une Promenade En Voiture


Irishman was tied up with university work and writing for most of our stay in Jogja so Mrs Nev was left to her own devices. With so much to see in and around Jogja this was hardly going to be a problem. It was more a matter of having enough time to visit all the places that I’d earmarked for my forays whilst Irishman got on with the important task of earning our bacon.




I hired a driver for 3 days which meant that with wheels and a chauffeur now at my disposal, I could explore the back streets and villages in and around Jogja and not have to worry about finding a taxi or ojek out in the sticks.

After completing our transformational paint job at the Bali house a few months back, I’ve had a fancy for getting some huge terracotta pots and painting them a deep yellow to go with the backdrop of blues, oranges and bright pinks that now glow from the exterior walls.

A Bright Idea | Lottie Nevin



First stop was Kasongan, a village a few miles outside Jogja and famous for it’s potteries. Steering clear of the tourist shops, I got Agi to take me round the back streets and it was here that I found what I wanted. It was a hot day and the smouldering fires under the basic but effective kilns made it stifling . I bought 3 enormous pots (1.5 metres high) 2 large Buddha heads and a wonderful, Cretian like statue of a bull all for under £100 including shipping to Bali. The bull was a totally random purchase but sometimes these things need to be done.




For the rest of my stay aside from visiting Borobudur, The Kraton and of course the Sultan’s infamous pleasure pools, Agi took me on my very own Promenade en voiture out into the surrounding countryside and kampungs where I delighted in the rural scenes, the lush padi fields, and marvelled at the freshness and greenness that surrounded me; A far cry from the madness of Jakarta.




And, because Agi is as fond of his stomach as I am, we made a small detour to the Monggo chocolate factory at Kotagede to buy some of their divine chocolate which we then greedily polished off on the way back home.


This banyan tree was so tall that I couldn’t photograph the whole thing. It’s vast canopy was quite something. I think it maybe the biggest tree that I have ever seen.


There’s some great street art in Jogja. This one is particularly ghoulish.

20 thoughts on “Une Promenade En Voiture

  1. I don’t want to be picky but one image appears twice. It is very good but perhaps once would have been adequate? The jars look brilliant. You could easily hide 40 thieves in there. Aburizal Bakrie and the 40 Politicians would make an interesting variation on the Arabian Nights tales. The last wall art image is quite disturbing. Is it some sort of ritual? The chocolate looks great. Not one I’ve seen in the local supermarket. Do they do fruit & nut? I hope the Irishman earned enough bacon to keep the wolf from the door. Or at least to fund another crate of gin.


    1. Funnily enough I had just noticed the duplication when your comment popped up – but thanks for mentioning it and I shall remove the offending article just as soon as I’ve sent this back to you 🙂

      Monggo chocolate or cokelat as it’s called in Indonesia is really good – it’s not easy to come by though. I did mention this to them when i went to the shop – Considering it’s by far and away the most superior chocolate in Indo, you’d think that they sell it at the airport but they don’t – I think they are missing a trick there.

      I’m wondering if you have some sort of 6th sense about me Andrew…strange that you should mention Gin. I bought a bottle of it yesterday – you must have fabulous super strength binoculars being able to spy on me from Honkers!

      Right off to do some editing…..:)


  2. Love these photos! I bet those pots will look fantastic painted. Did you get a chance to meet the Belgian man behind Monggo? I met him when I was there and his story was a nice one: backpacked across Asia, fell in love with Jogja, fell in love with a girl in Jogja and then decided he needed better chocolate in Jogja. And the rest as they say, is history.


  3. Hi Lottie this is a lovely post -what a treat to be able to explore like this. (I’m pointing this post out to my Irishman as a hint to get his b*&%y PhD finished before I die – perhaps your Irishman could send through some suggestions on this etc..) Very much like the cows + the photo of the kiln in full flame is wonderful – it’s one thing to see the product another to see the process. Hope all your purchases get back safely.


    1. Ah the PhD…Poor Irishman as if he hadn’t got enough on his plate already what with writing courses for a new university and a load of other things. He’s been sat at his desk now for 3 days running and time is running out fast as it has to be submitted shortly!

      It’s a real treat to be able to explore and I’m a very lucky girl to have this opportunity – I pinch myself at times! It’s very different to a previous life that I once led and I’m making the most of my time here – there is so much to see and we don’t yet know how long we shall be here.

      It was great seeing all the kilns fired up – it’s a pretty basic method but it works – I went two days running and so saw the pots before and after they had been in the kilns, fascinating. Rice stalks and wood are used for the fires – it’s a wonderful smell but very smoky and incredibly hot as you can imagine. I’m praying the pots arrive in one piece too! They should be here very soon now and I can’t wait 🙂


    1. I took the ghoulish photo from the car but it looks like the bikes are just parked there.

      Jogja was so lovely Sherry, I hope you get a chance to visit it at some stage. You won’t be disappointed.


  4. Nice pictures Lottie. Did you get a chance to go and visit Dieng Plateau or Wonosobo city?. It was voted the’ best garden city’ when we were there some years back. A good friend of mine told me his father met his mother there, got married and had five childreen, all of them now living in Australia.


    1. No I didn’t Gerard but I shall make a note to visit next time I’m there.

      What a romantic story! the gardens sound beautiful. Pete and I are hoping that we get an extension here with work and can stay for longer. If we do, we may well swop our Bali house, for one in Jogja as a place to escape to in the future. It’s a place full of artists, and writers and it felt ‘right for us’ if you know what I mean.

      Hope all well in your neck of the woods. Lottie


  5. Love your photos of the “ordinary”! I covet those big pots – bet they’ll look awesome when you’ve painted them. You must show “after” photos. And who knew there was Belgian chocolate being produced in Indonesia? I’m obsessed with Belgian chocolate since I discovered Caraques!


    1. Beduwen, I promise I shall post a photo of them when they are painted. It wont be for a couple of weeks or so but look out for them!

      I’ve never tried Caraques but Monggo is pretty damn good and I loved Lydia’s comment with the story of how it all came about. We can get Cadbury’s chocolate here but it’s just not the same, I think they have to add so much carnuba wax to it to stop it melting that it ruins the flavour. and gives it a strange taste – a bit like that fake chocolate you can buy for icing on cakes..yuk!!


  6. Your photos are a feast for the eyes, dear sister. And left to your own devices you get up to all sorts of interesting things. The pottery shops look fascinating. I cannot wait to see what you do with your pots, Buddha heads, and bull. Fantastic! You must have been so pleased with your finds and for such a great price!

    No need to say anything about the chocolate. I’m sure you must know how I feel (jealous! it looks and sounds amazing!). xoxo


    1. I’m very excited about my pots – I just hope that they arrive in one piece or 3 pieces rather!!! I’ve found the yellow I want to use, the next thing is to find a primer so the paint doesn’t flake off – that’s the main problem with painting onto pottery. I hope the finished articles will complete the setting for our Bright Idea project!

      I shall be buying loads more of this chocolate, have no fear some will be coming your way soon! xoxo


  7. Love this photo tour! My strongest memory of Jogjakarta is being taken to the water palace to buy batik paintings– at exorbitant prices for mass produced pieces being sold as originals. I was so naive!


    1. Thank You Spicebox travels 😀

      Don’t worry, we’ve all done it- I didn’t happen to fall into that particular trap in Jogja, but I did when I first visited Ubud in Bali. I paid about 3 x as much for some batik than I should have Grrrr.

      It not only dents one’s pocket but you end up feeling so stupid!
      You soon learn, I’m a lot more streetwise and canny now! No flies on me BAH!….(till the next time lol ! )


  8. Love these photos, Lottie — I remember the drive into Ubud from the airport and seeing all the storage facilities with Buddha statues and Hindu deities and bathtubs(?). Love the black and white photo of the scooter and statue peeking out of the hut!


    1. Glad you liked them Steph and that they reminded you or your travels too. I love those stone baths – I’ve eyed them up from the back of the car many times on that road to UBUD. They are such a simple design but they must weigh a ton!! can you imagine – good job we don’t have one or it would probably go through the ceiling with me in it – I think they probably can only be installed on ground level or for size 0 people or below…what do you think?!


  9. I love these photos and the story you weave with them. I am rather greedy with fine chocolate myself, and I most loved the Banyan tree and the bright yellow hat. 🙂


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