I started researching with a map, to help me in getting to know the places that I was going to visit. For this, I used online maps. I also researched about the river and climate change issues online.
I figured that I would also need to bring a map as a guide for my travel. But I couldn’t find a map of Bengawan Solo in any book stores, so I tried to stitch a map out of Google Maps screen grabs. I needed to stitch lots of screen grabs in order to make a detailed map of the river.
As I was stitching them together using an image editing application on my computer, I realized that it would make a billboard size map if printed. There is no point in making a detailed map when you just print it in A4 or A3 paper. But there is also no point in bringing a billboard size map in your travel.
Then I stopped stitching the maps. I thought of using a GPS, but I don’t have one. Then I remembered that I have a phone that has a built-in GPS. Then I also remembered that I have Google Maps installed on my phone. Now I only needed to mark some locations in the towns that I wanted to visit, then my phone will guide me in getting around there once I arrived in each town.
Planning the itinerary, when to go where, stay there for how long before going to next destination, was quite tricky for me. I already had a hectic travel plans from mid-October to mid-November, so I didn’t want to stuff more destinations for that period. I decided to go to Bengawan Solo in late November and go back home in mid-December.
As unexpected things happened in November, I then postponed Bengawan Solo only until early December. I didn’t want to be traveling by the time of Christmas and moreover new year, so I decided that I have to be home by then. So I have about three weeks of time to travel along 600 kilometres, through six regencies in two provinces.