Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 4 October 2013 • Destination
Some people struggle to understand how 870 km needs about 18 hours of driving, especially to those that live in developed countries. The distance on the map is so insignificant, it challenges logic to think it takes that much time on the road. But the reality is, Indonesia has narrow and winding intercity-roads with countless potholes. It was a long ride. Although my ass survived pretty well without any aches, my boredom barely did.
So, my travel mates became my subject of conversation. I have to give out a special shout out to Boski, who is actually a reporter off duty and has an ambition to drive all the way to Lombok. He makes my life easier by becoming our sole driver. His life story is fascinating and I wish I knew him when he punched his headmaster in middle school. I thank him for sharing his hilarious stories to keep his tired self entertained, especially during the last hours of the journey coming in to 2 a.m.
After only about 3 hours of sleep and with a pounding headache, we had to attend the Daihatsu CSR activity at Kinahrejo village. Ten thousand trees were to be planted in the remains of the eruption area, and we were there to witness the grand start of it. I planted my own tree and I hope to see it again one day. The ceremony was pretty straight-forward with speeches, local dancers, and food.
We also tested out the Terios on the sands of Kinahrejo Village. The car turned to be pretty awesome crossing sandy terrain, in the right hands, of course. Having to travel with several automotive medias, we’re supplied with some great car testers. They also educated me on how this car is built higher to perform on more adventurous routes, has a great default sound system, and moves pretty good on winding roads for that price. It followed through as the ‘sahabat petualang’ or friends of the explorer. I learned heaps.
We closed the night by venturing off to the southern ‘alun-alun’ of Yogyakarta, where the famous double fig trees stand to test your direction. Only a few of us went and had a good laugh to end the day. Tomorrow, we’re doing another 347 km to go.
I was confused to see that Kinahrejo would be one of our ‘hidden paradise’ destinations. Kinahrejo is one the villages that melted with the hot air and volcanic mud flood during the 2010 Merapi Mountain eruption. Most of the villagers were evacuated leaving some that chose die in their beloved homes. Kinahrejo is now known to provide tours on jeeps, to see the remains of the eruption.
There is much devastation amongst the remains of the eruption. Deserted and damaged houses are spread around the area. Some houses became private museums, which accepts voluntarily donations for its remaining operation. Within them are burned items. I can’t imagine the heat after seeing some of the melted belongings.
I thought about how much is lost. But, it occurred to me that maybe there is more to gain. This might not be the paradise for humans, but it might as well be paradise for the next generation of vegetation and following fauna. Think about it. The most fertile soil is volcanic soil! With so much area covered by this sand, it’s guaranteed to create a new lush area of greens. The local ecosystem can refresh its lives. With that, animals can start making the ecosystem spider web all over again, and maybe even better.
And an immediate benefit to the people is the booming sand business for the purpose of construction. The sand of Kinahrejo is high quality sand and, by the looks of it, the business is growing pretty fast. Pak Kepos, a local who works in this sand business, explained to me that the locals have the right to manage sales of the sand. It’s part of the program to compensate their loss. But how would you determine which area is whose?
“Oh we just kinda estimate it, but nothing is too accurate. We agreed on that.” So, with so much loss, there is still much to gain. Paradise or not, both humans and nature are trying to get to that state of ‘paradise’. Now, only time can tell if we’ll all succeed.
*This post is in accordance to the Terios 7 Wonders trip but the opinions are my own