Sunday, October 16, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Sunday 18th July

Today's wake up call was more surreal than the call to prayer, which hardly disturbed us this morning. No, today  we awoke to pumping techno beats and voices over the loudspeakers. Surely there wasn't an outdoor rave? Not here in Java?

Of course no.

It was a crazy sight of adults and children alike working out to pumping beats! It was 6.30am. I couldn't resist a photo, although I did feel bad. I had seen people do workouts before.
The breakfast hall was packed at this early hour. (Lots of families came for the weekend to the hotel.) We sat and enjoyed breakfast and tried to not stare in our hazy, sleepiness.

We decided that the local sights would be enough to entertain us, so we asked the hotel to organise a driver.
The view along the road
He was a taxi driver and on a metre. Dubiously, we proceeded. Tokyo, London, any major city makes this a scary prospect when your plan is to slowly potter while keeping the driver waiting. Our fears were unfounded. The minimum journey price was 20 000IDR and we were at just 2 000IDR.


Buying yet another es degan!

steam from the hot springs
First stop - SONGORITI. Apparently, a market town with a hot spring attracting many Indonesian tourists. It was a quaint place indeed, but it was heaving with people armed with bags and headed for the onsen (hot spring.

We stopped for an es degan and a stroll around a hotel that had been built by the ruins of a Hindu temple. the gardens and plants there were lovely!

 Actually, the lonely planet had been wrong about this little town. They had mentioned fruit and vegetable markets, but we saw plenty of musical stores and batik too.

The place was so crowded with people for the hot springs that we decided not to stay. sadly, we couldn't really buy more glockenspiels, any heavy kitchenware etc as the journey home would have been impossible, but we still regret that decision to this day.

Next stop, CUBAN RONDO. our simple guide book mentioned a waterfall, but added no description . What is missed to inform us was that there was a long and cute winding road, filled with food places. We climbed a mountain in the car and looked at the views below.
Beautiful views

Beautiful views

The weather was cloudy but didn't prevent us from seeing into the distance. Clearly the lonely planet writer had not even been here or he would have mentioned every detail. We approached an entrance gate and paid 10 000IDR each to go and see the waterfall.
our entrance ticket
The climb continued....There were coaches, trucks, mopeds, all with people on them. Police vans were overloaded with people staring out the back at us. Finally we came to a huge parking lot with some markets. The cabbie pointed us in the direction we needed and off we went.

I was instantly distracted by some wild monkeys. It was so nice to see them out and about, a far cry from the caged monkeys in market at Malang.
The macaque plays with a PET bottle
 Further along, past the overflowing toilets (with water thankfully!), past the endless sprawl of people, there it was - the most spectacular sight and the best waterfall I had ever seen.
Wow - Waterfall
Playing in the cold water
 It was so high and the water was gushing down with such a force, that even 2 or 3 metres away from the foot of the fall, we were getting wet. It was so refreshing that no one was complaining. There were dozens of young children wearing their karate uniforms. We wondered why, but all of them were playing in the water, either directly under the fall or in the river banks nearby.
Karate kids playing in the river
There were so many people stopping to take photographs that clambering over the slippery rocks was not so easy.
Sooo busy!
Heading back towards the taxi, I found some market stalls, although there wasn't anything new to be seen, more batik and bags and even a wooden carved penis...?!?!?!
We drove on. Time to return back down the mountain. Thankfully the traffic has dispersed or at least stayed at the top of the mountain. 
There was still one more place that tickled our fancy - SELECTA. We love the name (you maybe need to be British to know why, but it is based on a tv show and lame humour!)

The taxi was 100 000IDR at this point, and we had been with him a  good few hours!
The drive up to SELECTA was so quaint; we were greeted by little traditional houses and lots of bonsai shops, although not quite a shop, more of a garden museum each time!

We approached the gateway to SELECTA. It wasn't a town. but more of a resort area that comprises of a water park, wide stretching and beautiful landscape gardens and some restaurants. 
It was basically a great day out for the (rich) family. Having said that, we did eat the worst food there.
We headed back to Batu with our cabbie, thoroughly satisfied. We had definitely ticked each of the Batu boxes, including the surrounding areas. It had been the perfect way to spend a cloudy day.

No comments:

Post a Comment