Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 6 May 2013 • Destination
I’ve been going back and forth between the definition of savanna and steppe. There aren’t a lot of them in Indonesia. We have a lot of evergreen forest, tropical forests, monsoon forests, lowland forests, mangroves, and tundra. My self-debate about savanna and steppe was due to the fact that I’ve been to the savanna in Baluran National Park, East Java, and it wasn’t like the Tomia Island savanna that orange afternoon. Turns out, by definition, they’re the same; it’s a grass plain in the tropical latitudes.
The savanna, located on Kayangan Hill, sloped like one of those hills when I was a kid, where I would lie down and let myself roll down until I reached the bottom with laughter because it was so much fun and I didn’t care much about the danger of it. Ah good times! Of course, rolling down this hill would be improbable considering it’s quite the distance and I might have thrown up and hurt myself as oppose to laughing once I get to the bottom. Glad I wasn’t all nostalgic and tried the death-defying act. The reality was the hill wasn’t smooth under the thick grass. I had tripped in a few holes just by walking around.
To my surprise, Tomia Island has one of the most beautiful savanna scenery I’ve ever seen. We were ending the day by spending the sunset on top of the hill over looking the village located far far on the coast. The hill descended gradually to the sea showing the face of the tree-patched savanna. The land was orange and green, enhanced by the clear afternoon sky coming in to the sunset. The air was clean and had a slight grassy smell to it. All possibly peaceful if not for our Ooh’s, Ah’s, ‘Holy cow! Are you seeing this?’ and clicks of our camera.
Aside to Explore Solo team who had done this trip before, the group’s impression was a consensus. Tomia has a super gorgeous hill and looked like somewhere foreign. Living in the tropical country and most of us residing on the Java Island, we rarely see a vast open area with no trees aside. We can only refer it to the meadows of western countries or the hills of Bollywood movies, which are mostly shot in Europe, I heard, where the guy chases the girl to music that seems to be heaven sent.
What really caught my eyes were the giant clam fossils scattered and embedded all over the hill floor. Apparently Tomia Island was once a sea bottom, or so it seemed. It would be odd if these shells were put here on purpose with such arrangement. It pretty much explains the holes I tripped in which could be remains of a clam fossil. Somebody needs to get the fossil-squad up here fast and study this before more people trample or steal them all.
With most of us photographers, it was a no-brainer that all we did was take pictures. As a blogger, I could only jump on the bandwagon and took pictures of the landscape, the sunset, and my mates for the purpose of profile picture (is there any other purpose to pictures than this?!). After I got bored I just stood there and stuffed my brain with landscape memories, along with chatting with my friends. True enough, I remember a lot of that awesome afternoon.
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