Kamis, 10 Januari 2008

Dieng, here i come!

The name had never entered nor excited my mind. But on listening to Sienni's friendly persuasion, I made the decision that some time in December we would go to Dieng, to which both of us had never been before. As the long weekend approached, Sienni said she could not make it.

thought, i must go. i contacted travelmates and none showed interests. so i decided i would go there by myself. a week prior the date, i could not resist the urge to urge people to join my maiden journey. the thought of traveling alone was unbearable (hey, i need constant companion!)

so, Cika and Fajar said they agreed to go with me just three days before December 21.

i prepared my clothes. i must bring less, i thought, so into my back pack i stuffed:
- 3 t-shirts
- 1 longjohn
- 1 jacket
- 1 knit scarf
- 1 hoodie
- 1 linen scarf
- 2 pairs of socks
- 1 shorts
- lots of undergarments

i also brought essentials: victorinox kit, shampoo, flash light, sandals, liquid soap, deodorant, lipgloss, muscle gel, Voltaire's Candide, and small note. Also camera.

i warned them to pack less. so we showed up bringing only single backpacks.

first, Cika and I headed to Gambir for express train tickets on the day before. there was none. sold out. so was at Senen. Later Fajar told us to go to Rawamangun bus station and after long wait, we decided to buy Lorena tickets, each Rp50,000 (USD4.5) or 3 times cheaper than the train ticket.

since price rhymes with comfort, we nodded understandingly when the AC-ed bus began to show some oddities: dangdut karaoke and magical smell. we hardly sleep for 10 hrs until we arrived at Purwokerto, Bello's hometown, at 5.30.

we continued the journey to Wonosobo on a stuffed non-AC bus. it was fine, only my butt felt numb for sitting 2.5 hrs.

we changed bus to Dieng, chatted with local guide, Pak Hengky ("He looks like a Jakartan movie star," said Fajar) and arrived thee at 12. we chose Dieng Plateau Inn and got the biggest room for only Rp40,000 (extra Rp10,000 expected for extra pillow and blanket). we've got king size bed, only this went with wafer-thin sponge mattress. and luckily, it got electricity

it was sunny outside but the water in the bathroom ice cold! I chose the latter not because I was unwilling to pay extra Rp5,000 for hot water but i remembered russians even dipped into icy lake in winter. it proved to be refreshing as my nerves was given shock therapy :) i felt rejuvenated.

we ate meatballs for lunch ("Mouse-meat meatball," joked Cika).

then we began the historic hike. we went to Candi Site, Indonesia's oldest Hindu temples site. we got past two potato fields (Dieng provides potato stocks for the entire island of Java) and paid Rp6,000 for entering 3 areas.

first we admired the temple complex. most of them are slender and less decorated compared to those 'newer' temples like Prambanan or Candi Kidal. some reliefs still show their original forms while the rest are left for us to imagine.

it was midday but the cloud, if not fog, rested heavy above our heads. we chose to continue walking despite the drizzle. the plateau was beautiful. the vast valley look inviting and as fas the eyes could see, hectares of land were being ploughed into crops producing land. i just hope that some of them reforested.

along the roads we found cinnamon trees in bloom and trumpet trees were also in full bloom, ranging from whitish to orange. elephant grass were towering among them.

while walking we saw in the near distance a cluster of abandoned house. we guessed, it was mushroom nursery (factory?). it is said that mushroom is the region's most valuable crop next to potato of course. but we found out that the factory had long been abandoned and none cultivated mushroom no more. sad eh?

Kawah Sikidang
The drizzle poured and we took refuge at food stalls. somebody from umbrella rental approached us and we were given large umbrella-ella-ella and decided to have a look at the bubbling crater.

from afar we could smell the sulfurous air and it hurt eyes. the ground was white and grey and small clear watered pools exhumed sulfuric smoke.

the crater was situated in the valley, surrounded by hills, so it has beautiful scenery and evoked my memory like deja vu. it was like the final battle ground in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Witch, The Lion and The Wardrobe. Seriously. the hilly scenery was graced with pines and western-looking trees. i was hoping it snowed.

the crater itself is about 3 m in diameter and is boiling, smoking. not far from it, we saw big pipes that belongs to the govt. they use geothermal to generate electricity.

We went down to the Telaga Warna (Colored Lake). It was drizzling but beautiful, perfect for photo shoot :). the lake is situated among thick greenery and is rocky. the rocks form some caves which people believe to be magical, giving special strength to get some 'thrones'. but the caves were closed. it's okay, we enjoyed the surrounding especially where the fog fell heavy on the woods.

There's no life in the Telaga Warna because the water is sulphuric, but at the neighboring lake is surprisingly a lake full of fish. In the raining seasons, youths flocked there to gather fish with their trappings.

The walk was memorable because the trees (mimosas, cinnamons) and the shrubs (hydrangeas, morning glories) were flowering. We hiked to Dieng Theatre to watch the short movie about the mount's namesake. It was old movie that needs some update. But it was nice to see how it looked in the late eighties.

As we went home, we stopped at a warung nearby and shyly tried to sip the notorious drink, , purwaceng. No effects. We fell asleep soon after dinner.

By the way we had dinner at Wisma Pak Jono, next to Dieng Plateau Homestay where we stayed. So delicious that our long waiting worth while. The sup sayur (vegetable soup) was freshly cooked, it tasted so good. I felt like this was mandatory for me to order the local harvest. the cabbage, tomatoes, and green beans were crunchy and the tomatoes were soft and spicy. The best i ever had!

We woke up early in the morning to catch the sunlight but the sky fell heavy on our head. we were not disappointed though. We had so much fun up there. We hiked from one place to another, see every thing, and it all took only 6 hours! Time stopped here. Amazing, eh? :)

The best (suggested) time to hike up there is between March to June because it will be icy cold in August and rainy on November to January.

Tidak ada komentar: