Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 19 January 2011 • Itinerary
It had been a while since I last signed up for a big group trip. It’s not that I missed being given an itinerary and making big group photos at each spot, I just really felt like trekking/hiking. And this 1 day tour that Mr. Marsad organized was all about hiking the foot of Salak Mountain to see the Arca Domas (arca = statue) and then hike down to the bottom of Curug Luhur (curug = waterfalls). Plus, Mumun and I needed to test our new pairs of shoes.
Photo: courtesy of Endi Hamid
Hiking to the Arca Domas
Apparently, the path to the Arca is far from being off-beaten, which was great for me, a hiking rookie. Some parts of the way was still all dirt between bushes and trees, on which we had to be careful so as not to slip and fall. But some parts were paved with stones and some was formed into small steps, making it a very convenient walk.
Photo: courtesy of Endi Hamid
However, it’s slightly hard to get there on your own, since some parts of the path were far from obvious. Not to mention, you would be walking in between small alleys which unlikely looks like a path. One note you can hold on to is, you have to head up to the pine forest. And if you get lost, the locals definitely can help you since they know how to get to the location.
I was having fun with my own little group, with Mumun and Endi, within the big group of probably 20 people. There are many little groups within the group, and I don’t think these groups talk much to each other up until this point of the trip. But everyone seemed to be having fun, enjoying the healthy walk and taking photos of the surroundings and of themselves.
The view was… not breathtaking, but it was definitely refreshing. Like always, greens and blues of trees, mountains, and the sky.. you just can’t go wrong with that. And once in a while we went past village houses, some of which stood in great distances.
About an hour hiking up the foot the mountain, we got to our first destination: Arca Domas. According to Marsad, the organizer slash tour guide, this formation of rocks are, until today, still used by the villagers for praying. It appears that some people there still hold to the ancient belief. We could see that there were some offerings on the rocks, even though it was wrapped in modern containers.
Photo: courtesy of Endi Hamid
Before reaching this big rock formation among huge trees and guarded by barbed wires, we also passed by some small rock formations. But some of these are made in recent times, unlike the big one on the very top. It’s said that the small ones used to be where the common people prayed, while the big one was for the royals and probably the high priests, not just anyone was allowed to pray there.
Standing on the top of the rocks kinda brings you back to the time where ceremonies were everything. You can imagine how the place would be lit by torches, offerings were spread all over the place, and people coming with faces of hope. But the flash back didn’t last long, since the group were pretty noisy. Oh well….
We stayed up there less than an hour, mostly taking photos of each other, and of course group photos. Then we went down the same path as going up, and I couldn’t wait for lunch. Mumun was a dear for bringing chocolate bars for me, cos she knew how cranky I’d get when I get starving, and that I’d annoy the hell out of her.. hee hee..
Hanging Out with the local kids
There were 20-ish people in the group, so it took quite a while before Mumun, Endi, and I got our turns being served in the warung for lunch. So while waiting, we stepped aside to the back of the warung, joining the little kids on the river. They were bathing and playing there. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday, I thought. And as we chatted with them, later we found out that they like to play on the river on school days and school hours as well! Kids, don’t try this at home. School is cool, you know.
A Dip at Curug Luhur
After lunch, we went across the street to this water park called Curug Luhur. We’ve blogged about it a little bit just to give you a heads up of what we were experiencing.
Honestly, this wasn’t what we expected. Well we didn’t expect a Niagara Falls nor Saluopa either. But we definitely didn’t think they’ve built this Water Boom park at the base of the waterfall. There were, like, 17 swimming pools with bright colored slides and other elements. I’m sure it was a great entertainment for the locals, cos opposite to us (and to you perhaps), natural scenery is an everyday thing to them. Not to mention, water boom parks are usually expensive, and a place this affordable to a wider range of people, is definitely a joy for them.
However, we didn’t want our disappointment to take over the fun we meant to have. So we took off our shoes and just dipped in the pool at the base of the waterfall. The natural pool, that is. Oh, it was freeessshh!! The water was cold, but it was such a delight after a hot and sweaty walk up and down the foot of Salak Mountain. Most of the rest of the group dipped in as well, but Endi didn’t, and he took pictures of us instead (yay, a Facebook profile pic!). And when you can’t really swim much (the pool got deeper as it’s nearer to the waterfall and Marsad didn’t recommend us to swim that far cos of safety reason), what else can you do other than playing the corny game of splashing water to each other? Hahahaha..
Don’t worry about getting wet, they provide changing rooms. If you didn’t bring extra clothes, well there are clothes for rent as well.
Entrance fee to the Water Boom Curug Luhur is IDR 20,000 / person. And the changing rooms don’t come for free. IDR 2,000 / use / person.
If you’re interested in doing this trip, go ahead contact Marsad at firstname.lastname@example.org
or to his Facebook account http://www.facebook.com/update_security_info.php?wizard=1#!/profile.php?id=1491206210 , he goes by the name Marsad Mrd
Our only meal in this trip was lunch at a warung across the Curug Luhur, called “Warung Nasi Pasisian”. They provide Indonesian food; rice with fried fish, chicken, vegetable stew, etc, as well as instant noodles. It was alright, nothing special as a warung.
We took off from Jakarta’s Kota train station at about 8 AM and hopped off at the Bogor train station. The train trip was about an hour long, with IDR 11,000 ticket price / pax. It was my first time riding a train to Bogor (and I don’t go to Bogor very often even though it’s like Robin to Batman with Jakarta.. 😛 ), and I was surprised at how convenient it was.
The seating is just like those New York subway trains (if you haven’t been on one, you must have seen it in a movie), and it’s air conditioned, so don’t worry about Jakarta’s superheat (except the fact that AC effects on heightening the world’s heat.. sorry, such a party pooper here).
And then, from the Bogor station, we went walking down to the Ramayana T-intersection near the Bogor zoology, passing one of the sides of Kebun Raya Bogor, one of Indonesia’s botanical garden. We waited near the still-closed mall while Marsad was getting us 2 angkots to charter. Each angkot was chartered for IDR 75,000 each, I think. And then we went to the Ciapus / Kecamatan Taman Sari direction.
And after passing through quite a long and winding road, they dropped us all at a bend where the hike would start. It was at the Arca Domas I street.
The whole trip cost IDR 100,000 / person including transportation (starting from Jakarta’ Kota train station and back), 1x meal, water, and Curug Luhur Water Boom entrance ticket. If you were to go on your own with the same itinerary and route, it would definitely be cheaper.