Explore Indonesia Within A Day

IMG_8637Indonesia has 17,000 islands with different tribes, languages, traditional clothes, cuisine, musical instruments. Can you imagine how long you should spend to learn all that? Rich culture in archipelago from Sumatra until Papua. I did within a day in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta.

First of all, my friend and i took train to Jakarta. It took only 3 hours to get there. We stopped at Gambir station and took taxi to go to Cikini, a capsule hostel where i stayed. It was nice place where they served 8 beds in a room. They had green light in each bed.

In the morning, they prepared us self service breakfast, where we could get toast and fruit.We walked to Cikini train station and went to the closest train station to Taman Mini. It took us almost 1 hour and i had to change 2 trains. After train, we got in public transportation to go to second entrance. They said it would close at 5 pm, so i should keep track the time.

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It was Saturday, perhaps it was around lunch time so not every traditional house (they called it anjungan) was opened. It was sad, we would to see everything. We had lunch and got cold drink since it was really hot there. We walked to West Sumatra traditional house called rumah gadang and saw their wedding dress and saw what inside their traditional house. In North Sumatra they played traditional songs and showed some war diorama Dutch period.

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My favorite was Papua because i really wanted to go there. Their traditional house called honai made from clay and their roof made of plants. They had really awesome wooden craft and exotic landscape. They mentioned that they believed in animism and black magic that cured sickness.

IMG_8634The highlight was the human-made lake where we could see miniature of Indonesia archipelago. We took the cable car and enjoyed the ride. I saw the red castle and each island with their volcanoes. It was super cool and the breeze chilled me down. It was almost 4pm so we should rush before the gate was closed. We visited Bali and Java traditional houses and ran to the gate. We were surprised when we saw the gate was closed. We were not panic, we climbed the gate as other guy did. We hopped in the public transportation and took train.

We were tired but we had fun. In the morning, we took longer train trip to go to Ancol. It was hot there. We hopped on the bus and saw Doraemon expo. I loved this Japanese blue cat robot. I used to watch this movie every Sunday. It was so cool when he showed any kind of his gadget to help his friend, Nobita. My favorite one was special tool that they put on their heads and they were able to fly. It was fun to see 100 gadgets and diorama before we went back to Bandung.

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Road Trip to Sumatra

IMG_1919Summer 2013, I would like to do something new and challenging for my birthday. In the beginning, it should be a farewell trip with some friends, but they chose to go to different places. So I was alone in this trip. It doesn’t matter to be alone, as long as you are an easy going person. I went to Jakarta and took a bus to airport.

It was too early at that moment. I entered a fast food restaurant nearby and bought a glass of soda. I was ready to read my book when I saw a man was looking for a table. I offered him a seat and we had conversation during our free time before our flight.

A nice day to have flight, this time it took less than an hour to get to Bangka. My friend’s parents picked me up and drove me to the beach. It was quiet beach with few locals were playing volleyball. I drank coconut water and went to their house. I met my friend’s sister and she gave me ride to do city tour. A small city with single main road and seemed had a lot of culinary that I should taste before I left.

In the morning, we went to Matras beach, one hour away from where we live. It was raining and no one was at the beach. We took some pictures and headed to Parai beach, the most famous resort in this island. We should pay Rp 25,000/ each person and got a welcome drink to enjoy the beach. Another quiet beach, few tourists came to this place. It was a good weather to relax and had picnic. We had papaya and fish cakes (pempek). The scenery was so beautiful; I couldn’t stop taking picture with my camera.  We went home happily.

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At night, we went to karaoke and sang songs for 2 hours. It was fun, having new friend and sang along together. On the next day, I went to Tin museum. I watched the video about the history and how they produce tin. I had pork noodle as my lunch and bought a boat ticket to Belitung island. It costs me Rp 182.000,00 for 4 hours crossing the sea, one way. My host tried to connect me with her relatives in that island but he seemed so busy and wasn’t able to show me around. I was sure I would be alright and I could find a hostel to stay and explore that island.

When I arrived, I was walking away from the harbor and I had no idea where was i. At last, I took a ojek driver to help me found a hostel. Lucky Hotel, a place where I stayed for 2 nights charged me for Rp 70.000/night. It was a reasonable price. I got twin bed and fan as well as breakfast. I walked to tourism exhibition near the beach, I met a guy who works for the government. He offered himself to show me around. I was so thankful that I could go to the local museum with him. The curator told me about the city and how old the building was. Dutch built it.

He dropped me to Tanjung Pendam beach. I watched a rainbow and had traditional snack while seeing the most wonderful sunset. I met a food seller who was worked in Bandung. She was so excited to have dinner with me when she knows that I live in Bandung. She treated me so well. Next morning, the guy picked me up after I finished my breakfast. He gave me ride to the traditional house. It was so colorful and the visitors could try all the traditional tools. It was cool that I could play their traditional instruments.

IMG_2284We went to Tanjung Kelayang beach and waited for a group who wanted to rent a boat. Finally I met a group who I could join them. They were so warm and nice as long as I want to be their photographer. We were hopping islands and amazed by the clear water, white sand, huge rock looks like bird and blue sky. Finally we stopped at light house and had lunch. I and a new friend went to 18th floor lighthouse after we paid Rp 5.000/ each to see the breathtaking scenery. It was fabulous to see small boats, islands and blue sea with black corals underneath.

IMG_2369We were ready to snorkel. We put sunscreen and changed to swimsuit. We wore the snorkel gear and watched school fish swimming in front of our eyes and fed them with bread. We loved our time there and we were never said enough to snorkeling. Sadly the time was over; we needed to go back to the shore. We paid Rp 75.000/person for renting a boat. It was 6 of us.

We sat in the car and headed to Tanjung Tinggi, Laskar Pelangi (movie) shooting location. Then we went back to our hostel. Then,  I went to Catholic Church and had dinner nearby. I was so thankful to meet wonderful people here. Even though a guy was walking behind me and suddenly sat in front of me while I had my dinner. It was so creepy; I walked away quickly before he knew where I was stayed. I left this island in the morning. I was so sad and hoped that I could stay any longer. I wished I could stay one more night to visit east Belitung, but it was too late I booked the ticket already.

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I met my friend’s family in the harbor who were ready to drive me to Muntok. It took us 3 hours to get there. I supposed to meet another friend there but the signal was so bad so we couldn’t meet. We went to the old lighthouse build in 18th century. It was darker than the one I visited in Belitung. We saw different scenery.

We could see the mountain and the road and the endless sea. I played swing for a while before I said goodbye to my lovely host family. I sat down on the crowded passenger seats in cargo boat. It was the last boat to go to Palembang. I had no choice to find another boat in this evening. I met a guy who is teaching in Sumatra. We were pleased to have each other to talk at night. Our journey was over when the boat landed to Tangga Buntung port, Palembang. I was waiting for my friend’s bother to pick me up.

He was so worried why I chose that port since it is so risky especially for girls. There are a lot of pickpockets, he said. We went to his house after we had breakfast. I took a short nap then I went to mall with his younger sister. We bought DVD and watched it together before we went to movie and hang out with her friends. We ate vegetarian food which is new for me. It was not bad. I’m content to try new things. Eating vegetarian food is one of my lists

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The day after, I met my friend. She just arrived home from Jakarta. We had dinner at Riverside restaurant and saw Ampera Bridge. We went to Buddhist temple and took a tour there. The day after we went to forest named Punti Kayu. We had lunch there under the pine trees. It was relaxing in the heat of Palembang, the trees help us to get fresh oxygen.

We visited some local museums and learn a bit about their culture which is connected with Malay and Chinese culture. After I’m full with fish cake (pempek) and all Palembang traditional food, my time in here was over and I had to go back home. Sumatra is a fantastic place to travel. You can enjoy the history, natural parks and magnificent beaches and delicious food. 😀

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Prehistoric Trip

IMG_0638On IED holiday 2015, i took my friends to the most famous travel destination in Bandung, tangkuban Perahu. There was story about the volcano. Once upon a time there was Dayang Sumbi, who lost her knitting tool. She promised if someone found it, if it was female she would be her best friends. If it was male she would be her wife.

The one who found it was a dog. At night dog turned into man, so they got married and had a son named Sangkuriang. He went hunting everyday with his dog. He never known that dog was his own dad. One day he couldnt find any animal for dinner so he killed the dog.

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His mom was furious when she knew that they ate dog, her husband. She expelled Sangkuriang out the house after she hit her son head with rice spoon and years passed by. Sangkuriang became handsome man and he felt in love with pretty woman. He was about to propose her until the woman asked why he had scar on his head. He told her what happened. She gasped and realized that her boyfriend was her own son. She asked him to build her a lake and a boat before sunrise.

Sangkuriang made it but he could not finish it before sunrise. He was so upset and kicked the boat. It turned upside down and believed to be Tangkuban Perahu.In this volcano, where they gave different fee for local and foreigner and they charged our vehicle too, there was a cave where local believed that Sangkuriang was there to meditate.

IMG_0667We walked through the forest after we saw the crater and sangkuriang and Dayang Sumbi relief on the wall. We paid Rp 1,000 each and got torch. We walked through dark tunnel and found small room where Sangkuriang used to pray. It felt creepy there so we walked out and was relieved after we saw the sunlight. Nearby there was a fountain. Again, local believe that Dayang Sumbi used that water and ate some fruits so she always looked young and beautiful.

One of my friends was so excited, she washed her face several times and wished she looked younger and brought the sacred water home. She also tried certain fruit that local gave her.

IMG_0755On the next day, we headed to Padalarang. We went to the cave Pawon where first caveman laid there. Before we hiked, we had picnic with Ied menu, ketupat and chicken opor from my neighbor. We had good meals and enjoyed the cave. It was great especially when we went down and saw the neighborhood under us. There was one spot consider as Dayang Sumbi kitchen (pawon).

We got fresh orange juice (only Rp 3,000) to keep hydrate before we hiked to Stone Garden. Tourist came with motorcycle, cars or taxi motorcycle (ojek). Lately i found out you could come here by train. You should go to Bandung train station, buy Padalarang ticket, cost Rp 4,000. It took around 40 minutes to get to Padalarang train station and took public transportation Rajamandala. Driver well known the prehistoric sites and it cost Rp 5,000. You could take ojek or walked to the cave. It was easy track. Cave entrance cost Rp 5,000.

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We could go out and entered Stone Garden from different entrance, we could hiked up from Pawon Cave. Of course, as traveler who longed for adventure, we took the short cut. We kept climbing and it was not easy to do it but we kept going. The panoramic was amazing every time we stopped. after around 30 minutes, we arrived to the nearest food stall and got water. We walked around 10 minutes to get to Stone Garden. We had to pay Rp 5,000 and filled in the guest book.

They put one chair to see lime stone mountains around us where was almost gone because of greedy man who liked to sell them.  We kept walking and found other tourists ready with their selfie stick or other camera to captured the greatest stone garden in Padalarang. Stone  were spread out and it was lovely to feel breeze after hiking and laid down on the chair under the tree.

Some of tourist took picture as they were kungfu master sat on the stone. Couple shared food and friends shared stories. It was wonderful place to hang out here.

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Life is A Celebration

IMG_0010In June 2015, a visit to my grandma house ended to a sudden trip. My aunt who teaches 6th grade invited me to her class party to the beach. As a traveler, i couldnt stand to say no especially we would go to the beach! I packed my bag and brought my guitarlele for the first time.

 

I met around 20 students, 11-12 years old. They were so thrilled about this trip. It was their first time went out of town without parents. We took bus to at 11 pm and started to sleep because it would be long journey. Around 3 am we stopped at the restaurant, one of students was threw out but he was okay. After eating hot meatball soup, we continued the trip.

We finally arrived at Batu Karas lodge right at sunrise. We prepared our lunch and headed to Madasari beach. I lied down on hammock and read a book. A local boy with a scar on his face asked me to go around. Sure! He led me to go to the hilly place nearby and amazed with the adorable scenery where sky met the sea. It was uneasy to hike in that place. My little tour guide fell down and hurt himself. I should be careful, i thought then i saw 2 guys were fishing n sat on the cliff.

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He was asking my camera and i gave him. He smiled and asked me to stand on certain places that he thought was the best place to take pictures. He was so happy to see the instant result on my camera screen. He grinned and asked me to pose again. He was funny. Somehow i was worried because i left the group played at the beach.

I met them again and thanked my little tour guide. I had coconut water and headed to another beach. We were lucky to have one parent who owned property in this area, so he well known the best places to visit here.

The sky turned dark, when we stopped to a light house. We climbed the 6th floor building and had breathtaking moment when we saw sea roared and rain came down. Some students were afraid to go up, so they stayed on the first floor. The boys they went to the top with me.IMG_0054

We went back to place we were staying and had lovely dinner, fresh fish. We had great time talking until nights and slept early for sunrise tomorrow morning.

In the morning, 5 girls in my room were sleeping and i walked outside. It was warm in the morning, it took only 15 minutes walking to reach the beach. Slowly but sure, the sun rose and no one was there. I smiled and walked back to the lodge.

Right after we packed for lunch, we went to Citumang. It took around 1 hour to get there. It was great to see clear water and felt like jumping in but i did not bring extra clothes. They offered us body rafting but we rather to play in other place. I met my teacher who taught me English 13 years ago, he was there with his family. His daughter showed me her favorite spot in that area.

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We jumped on the big rocks and stared at the cave entrance. We had good time until both of us needed to go to other places. My group went to Pangandaran and his family who stayed in Pangandaran headed to Batu Karas. It was another hour to reach Pangandaran.

My aunt and i had rujak while waiting for sunset until she worried about her students. I volunteered myself to look after them. I played with them, we hold our hands and enjoyed the waved until we were all wet. Before dark, we bought extra clothes in the nearest clothes shop.

With sticky hair and brand new clothes we walked down the road and found something to eat. Podeng ice, was my favorite and we got the last 3 portions. Yummy. We ate noodle and meatball and cleaned up our mess before buying souvenir. It was cute to see these boys got matching pendants for their necklaces. We hopped on the bus and slept for 2 hours. The host family served us squid dish. Yummy! I went sleeping while the rest of them were playing fireworks to celebrate their graduation.

I woke up around 1 am, found the girls were chit chatting with my aunt. We stayed awoke for another 3 hours to solve girl problem. Oh man… why they couldnt stop the drama and enjoyed the trip…

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It took longer time to prepare lunch. It felt like never ending cooking. It took 3 hours! Finally we went to Legok Pari and some students rented boogie board and learned how to ‘surf’ there. As their lifeguard, i had to pay attention for all the boys in case they got drowned. We had lunch and packed home. We stopped in front of Green Canyon and again shopped for our loved one.

We were all tired and slept in the bus. We stopped at the same restaurant to get hot meatball soup before headed to our home town.We reached Bandung at 1 am and waved goodbye. It was great trip with the students. Everything was nice unless the drama in the room. Wishing them had awesome journey in the future.

Silaturahmi in Singapore

Saturday morning, my brother drove me to Bandung International airport that has been renewed. It looked better, thanks to Ridwan Kamil for that. It was short flight and it was faster than ii was planned. I arrived in Changi airport around 11 am. I was waiting for Kimberley my IMG_0384.JPGSingaporean friend who has been waiting for my coming for 7 years. She gave me two butterflies shaped handmade soap as my welcome gifts. We took train to go to bugis street and found 5 foot way inn to check in. We walked around Arab street and saw Sultan mosque. I saw people sell batik too, hey that belongs to Indonesia

We took train to haw par villa. If u knew tiger balm, my grandma favorite balm, the owner made this park to educate people about Chinese culture. Since i born and rose in Chinese family, all things in this garden look familiar to me. They had diorama for hell, what are punishments you would get in the hell. It was scary. Then they were diorama how people live their daily lives as farmer and their homes. They belief in god and goddess and animals. Some famous stories that i watched when i was little like White Snake legend and Monkey King. Several virtue values about love, friendship, family and money. It was great reminder to treat others well.

We headed to geylang art market and had Indian food snack and Japanese takoyaki ball. We made matching henna on our left hands. It was cool even though it was a bit itch in the first half hour. we said goodbye, she went home and i took train to orchard. I saw McDonald and grabbed one apple pie, my favorite one! Yummy and i finished it right before i got to Singapore tourism board. There was uncle Steven who helped me out and made itinerary for next 3 days. I rushed to Clarke quay and met zac in star buck, ready with his green tea, my favorite drink.

We walked to quay side restaurant and ordered crab pasta. It was delicious and what a beautiful evening dinner in riverside with lights. We went to marina sand bay and enjoyed laser show titled ‘wonderful’. It was ended with our favorite song, What a wonderful world. Lets call it a day!IMG_0458

In the next morning, i was so confident about my reading map skill coz i was better than Kimberley yesterday. I wondered why the neighborhood looked different, i said to myself i could not notice it last night. I keep walking and saw some elderly house and realized i might take wrong turn. I met little girl and she said i  walked to the wrong direction. Oops. She told me to walk to the nearest train to get to St Andrew cathedral, my first destination.

I arrived in the church and attended half of the service. It was father day, they sang songs about father. I cried a lot every time i sang. I got swollen eyes after church and thanked i brought my sunglasses so nobody could see them. I walked to Armenian church and fort canning park after entered the wrong place. I saw some people had picnic there, a father played saxophone for his baby and some girls took pictures of them. What a relaxing place to be on Sunday. I kept walking and stopped in civil defense museum.

IMG-20160620-WA0001It was cool place where i could see fire trucks and little history about singapore. The most entertaining one was trying the hose to extinguish fire and watched how they helped people. I walked to train station and waited for meitry and angel, my college friends who work there. we had salad for lunch, we shared about our healthy lifestyle and our challenging as well.

We walked around orchard and got free apples to be traded to apple cider. Meitry was so excited we went to the place and ordered french fries and got 2 bottles of cider each of us. We ended with full and gas tummy. We had window shopping before we said goodbye. I went to ion art and ion sky. It was incredibly beautiful scenery from 55th floor. I would appreciate more if not only skyscrapers that i saw. Since its Singapore, that’s the only thing they had. Unfortunately, i never heard back from christian my high school friend, so i headed to Clarke quay again.

IMG_0511Tonight zac and i had Japanese food for dinner. Then we tried Singapore flyer, it was sad they closed down before we got in because of bad weather. We walked to marina square and saw left over of balloon museum. Ah.. bad decision, i should come here first because they had extremely beautiful balloon artwork in a maze! I just saw some of them.

The next day, i went to harbor front and bought ticket to batam at batamfast. People said it took 45 minutes to get there but i got 1 hour. finally i arrived in other part of indonesia. It was long line in immigration office. I walked out and found public transportation to get to my next destination. None of my friends’ friends were available so i guessed it’s my adventure time. I hopped on the blue public transportation from batam centre and stopped at simpang balaerang.

It was the first and longest bridge that Habibie, former president made for thisIMG_0550 island. They also had ex Vietnam refugee camp in galang island. I wanted to see that. I found a group of batak people who helped me with this. There was a guy that i called tulang (uncle, batak language) who willingly to drive me there, became my guide and cameraman. He drove 80km/hour in really empty road. Almost no other vehicle but us there. i hope he is good guy and would not harm me.

We saw first bridge, it was nice and i could see villagers and sea. What a calming scenery. The more we drove, i could see different landscape, plantation such as banana, dragon fruit (according to him), chili and tomatoes. I saw rocks along the way and some construction, they might want to build houses there.

Finally we arrived at ex Vietnam refugee camp. We saw their wooden boats, hospital, red cross, youth centre, dorm, house and prison. They had museum as well and i fell on the stone. I had quick lunch there and headed to catholic church and Buddhist temple. Clock is tickling. I had to catch up my boat at 2.30. we drove back and saw bunch of monkeys on the road. We saw boat with some figures, i thought it was station of the cross. We found the way in and looked unfinished station of cross on the big boat. We went to peaceful Buddhist temple and headed to batam centre.

I was glad i did not late and slept on my way back to Singapore. I lost my belt and did not fill the immigration letter that kept me a while with immigration officer who asked me why i went in and out. I was tired that time but still had time to buy things for my mom and Kevin before i met zac.

IMG_0745I rushed to Clarke quay and forgot where was the book bazaar i wanted to see yesterday. The sunset was great but i was unhappy coz i forgot things. Zac finally arrived and we went to garden by the bay to see laser show. It was wonderful, lights everywhere, they had classical music and we laid down on the grass and watched the show. We took train to Singapore flyer and it was successful ride on the tallest Ferris wheel 165 meter above sea level. We could see Singapore lights from above, so pretty.

We took train to harbor front for last destination Mount Faber Park but it was way too dark to hike so we ended did not continue the path. In the next morning, i woke up and straight to train station, although i missed the train but i made my way to Mount Faber Park. I hiked by myself and had no idea where was the canopy walk. I kept walking and saw some people were jogging and rode bicycle. I saw Singapore cable car, small merlion and historical mural, spots for binocular to see Singapore and i found sign to go to Henderson wave.IMG_0811

I decided to go there and realized that i just started the walking trail, but i had no time. I wished i could walk through all the trails. There was only one mrt station nearby which was the one i got off, so i should calculate time and i thought i wouldnt be enough to go there and back before i headed airport. I walked back to hostel and met my new Indian friend, Amrik. We went to Little India.

 

I had prata and lemon juice. It was great. Amrik ordered batura, puff pastry which is also delicious and i drank hot tea. I love Indian food. I bought biryani rice for lunch but i missed naan since they made it at 11 am. I got on mrt and met baby who was interested in me. While we were communicating, there was Singaporean guy who paid attention on us. We talked until i got off at tanah merah. I continued to airport and explored to terminal 1, 2, 3 with Swedish guy. We saw orchid garden, butterfly garden and made black and white portrait. Thats short silaturahmi trip in singapore

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Sad in Salatiga

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My friend Lizzy was studying Bahasa Indonesia in Salatiga. I was thrilled to meet her there. This time, i asked to another bus company to go directly to Salatiga. It was Kramat Jati, it was close to school so i thought it would be okay. I had dinner in front of bus company. We went right after i had dinner. The bus interior was nice, there was separator between driver and passengers so driver could smoke and we wouldnt smell it. I wished it would be better than my last bus trip. At least it was the right bus to right destination.

I awoke when the bus stopped. i thought we arrived for midnight supper but we stopped in front of convenient store. Some of passengers were noisy, i asked what happened to the guy who sat next to me. He said passengers were complaining about bugs. There were something bit them and it made them itchy. I looked at other passengers and felt empathy about them and went back to sleep. We stopped at restaurant and i met 2 guys who showed their skins full of rash.

I shared to them i had worse experience when i went to Sempu island, it stayed for 3 months. They shared their traveling stories and i really enjoyed when they told me Komodo trip because i just did that. It was 4 AM, one by one passengers got off from the bus. I got off in front of gas station because they said it was not safe  to wait in another place. I called Liz and she didnt know where gas station i was. So i stopped one guy who rode motorcycle, he gave me ride to the place i should meet her there.

When i was sitting in the dark, i felt something walked in my pants. I took it and i saw tiny black bug. I pressed it and it was blood. Oh no.. it was bad sign. I didnt think about that and i had small bread i brought from home. It was around one hour i was waited for Liz and sun rose. It was amazing to see the dark sky with stars and slowly changed into blue sky with clouds. Liz finally came and told me that she walked to wrong direction. Oops…

We walked to Liz place, it was really nice place. I thought to take shower before caught some sleep. I took off my jacket and surprised i got red rash around my neck like a necklace, around my wrists and ankles. Oh no… i got bitten from unknown bug that i just killed. I took hot shower and got caladine powder to be put on my rash. I went sleep and hoped it would be gone as soon as i woke up. Of course it was still there. We had breakfast with Liz’s host. She was cool lady with butterfly tattoo who enjoys hosting foreigners.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were lying in bed until noon then headed to university. Liz told me her friend had graduation day. We bought flower but the girl went home already. So i had green noodle for lunch while waited for Liz friends to come. We had no motorbike to rent that day so the noodle seller helped us by lend her motorbike. It was nice of her. We went to the graduation girl, we almost had accident because there was motorbike driver drove so fast in front of us. Glad we were safe.

The girl named Jo. We asked her to join us to hike the mountain. We drove to the hill and stopped when Liz thought she needed her jacket. It was surprised when we opened the baggage, it was full of water. My water bottle spilled and my phone was drown. We rushed to take the water out and found the nearest groceries to get rice. I soaked my wet phone in rice and wished it would absorbed the water.

We arrived in Andong mountain around 4 PM. It was impossible to go to summit OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand back before dinner time. So we decided to hike as fast as we could and went back. It was nice day and we had picture with Jo, with her graduation hat and flower. Yeay for picture, we hiked down and Eddy sang “Naik Naik ke Puncak Gunung” and practice his Bahasa skill with other Indonesian. Funny guy. It was dark when we drove back to Salatiga and couldnt find any public transportation for Liz friends to get home after dinner.

All public transportation refused to take us at 9 PM because it was too late for them. Come on, Saturday night at 9 PM. Are you kidding me? But once they said no, we couldnt do anything. Liz and Eddy said taxi also didnt want to take foreigner. What a strange city. Finally we met up with their friends in a coffee place. I met another 8 Americans who learned bahasa indonesia and listened to what they had been doing in that university. It was interesting that they had to use bahasa and interviewed native and asked them some random questions. It was cool project, i wished i could learn foreign language and did rad thing like them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGoing home time was a bit confusing for us. We were big groups, almost 15 of us while we only had 4 motorbikes. 4 drivers kept going back and forth to take their friends home. When Liz and i got our turn, we went to Eddy’s place to get medicine for me. I took that pill and went straight to bed. The rash was getting smaller when i woke up but still bothered me.

We had breakfast and got ready for Jogya trip. Liz host drove us there and i had difficulties to call my friend in Jogya who bought bus ticket and would go to Bandung with me. My phone was still wet and i couldnt find her number in Liz’s iphone. I emailed my friend and ended got her phone number. We had lunch, gudeg Jogya and it was so cheap and nice. We found bus terminal called Jombor and i bought some bakpia for my mom.

We were waited for my friend, Maria and listened to Liz’s host story. She was aOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA rock and roll fans and organized some road show and met some politicians who liked the same thing. One of them was Jokowi, Indonesia current president. Finally my friend arrived with her husband and the bus was late. I ended got in bus at 5 PM. They didnt give us supper for this bus company. It was weird because i got supper when i came here with the same company. Anyway, i hoped there wont be any bugs in the bus. It was enough.

The traffic was busy and it worried my friend because we could come late for school. I was chilled and said the other would understand if we were late. I slept and was bothered by the street singers and sellers. The ride was okay and we arrived in Bandung around 4 AM. We walked to Maria’s place and slept for another couple hours before we walked to school. Sad in Salatiga, got bug bites and rash caused itch for a week, my phone wet and broken but it was great to catch up with Liz…

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Tribute To Buti

IMG-20160617-WA0037After school days were over, it was perfect time to do farewell trip for Buti. On 14th June morning, Pam’s driver drove us to Bandung train station.  We took Argo Wilis at 8.20 and arrived Banjar at noon. A car waited for us to drive us to Pangandaran beach. Driver shared about one abandon water park where you could see beautiful sea from the cliff named Lembah Putri. It closed down because the society did not give permission for them to build it. Two hours passed and we arrived in east beach, we stopped at Gloria cafe. I had coconut and watched waves while waiting for my friends had their late lunch.

We headed to Laut Biru hotel and checked in. They have water boom! Sondy and i went there and swam. It felt so good. I couldnt stand with the heat but this cool swimming pool cool me down. We tried the slide as well. We saw two families with their boys were enjoying themselves too. They had big bucket, once it fulled with water it would fall down. It was fun to wait under it.

We were craving for ice cream so we took quick shower and met other friends who shared bad news that they ran out of ice cream. We chilled IMG_0320out in our room balcony and enjoyed the sea. I walked down to the beach and read my book. i met chinese lady who shared her story went body rafting at citumang. Some of my friends wanted to go there tomorrow but i guessed lembah putri sounded more exciting to explore.

Too bad it was cloudy and i couldnt see sunset. We walked to fish market and ordered dinner. We had prawn, fish, calamary and some vegetables. We were full and it was good time to walk back to hotel. I told stories about this beach, my father’s favorite place to spend family holiday. It changes now, so many big hotels but it just strange because few tourist were around since it was fasting month.

We walked around kidang pananjung street and looked for some cute beach dresses. I promised myself to not buy any new dress since i attended the environmental seminar. So i enjoyed window shopping. We went back to hotel and looked for lembah putri information.

IMG_0288In the morning, Pam and i walked to east beach and waited for sunrise. We saw fishermen did their job and suddenly Pam had this idea. We asked one fisherman to take us with him. Mr fisherman agreed and let us joined his boat. He was with other guy and his son in law. They took us to the middle of sea and spread their nets traditionally and dropped us back in the dock.

We were satisfied with this spontaneous trip. We saw another fishermen and family were pulling the nets in the shore. We ran there and bought some fresh fish. We looked for someone who could help us to cook it at the beach. We met our friend’s family who were hanging out there and watched their son  doodling, scribbling on the sand. We agreed to meet again at 10 am to go to lembah putri together.

Yeah for ride! We ate breakfast and swam for a little while. We dressed up and took our fried fish and rice plus soy sauce chili. We drove to lembah putri and it written closed for public. We parked there and started to hike. It was so steep, the little boy gave up and we cheered him up and ourselves cause we did not have any idea how long we had to hike.

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We found stair steps and went up there and realized Pam was not there. We called her over and over again and arrived at mini china walls. We could see the sea from here but we lost one of our friend. Julius, the one who drove us found another stairs to get down. At first, we were hestitate to go there because Pam was not found yet and his son was crying. Several minutes later, Pam came smiling and told us there was another path but she stopped after she heard us.

We relieved to see her again and headed to the stairs. We walked down and met one guy who brought big bag, he pointed to the sea and said keep going to the small mosque. We found the abandon small mosque and found another stairs covered with plants. We sat on the stairs and watched the deep blue sea with an awe. Our sweat made our shirts wet but our smiles got wider after we saw this.

I decided to have picnic here. We opened up the fish and rice, we shared this lunch for Julius family, Bex and Zippo, Julya, Pam and Buti. She was the reason why we were here, soon she will move to Japan with her husband. Everyone was happy and enjoyed this lunch. We walked up and found way to parking lot. There was another road to take, our courageous friends took that. Bex and i were not sure about this so we walked at the very back, as if it was dead end, we did not have to walk back to the right path :p

The more we walk, the clueless we got. Finally we saw slides from abandon water park. It was cool where you could swim there as well as enjoyed the beach. Too bad the society banned this idea. We kept walking and zippo cried and asked for piggy back ride to his dad. Julius looked tired but he did that anyway. We walked until pam said yeay,,, i was here when you guys called out my name. It means we were in the right track.

IMG-20160617-WA0009We drove back to hotel and chilled out in our air conditioned room before had ice cream podeng. my favorite friend gave us ride to the clothes store and a cafe owned by foreigner because buti wanted to eat there. Shinta and i walked through the beach to enjoy sunset. Unfortunately, we were late but still enjoying soft sand on my toes.

We arrived in Chinese seafood restaurant and ordered dinner. We talked about our lives and what future brings until we saw Buti and other friends came from the ice cream place. We took one odong-odong (vehicle kind of car but 4 people need to pedal). We got good price and we took turn to pedal. There were six of us, julya, cynthia, buti, yetty, juliani and i. We were so excited and looked so attractive with lights decoration and loud music. We sang along and pedal, when we got tired we took turn. It was really fun and scary when your friend could not drive it well. Buti always got panic when she saw other vehicle in front of us. I was always pedaled so fast and the other got tired and took them to the furthest route. Cynthia was the calmest and slowest and the music always turned to slow music. It was interesting.

We slept so great afterwards. Pam, sondy and i went to the dock and enjoyed sunrise but Mr fisherman was not there. Pam and i decided to watch fishermen who pulled the nets. We bought some fresh fish for lunch and dinner. We found lady who would grilled our fish. We had breakfast and shared how awesome our lunch and dinner would be to julya. I swam alone and joined pam and julya to rent bicycle. I love tandem bicycle. We went to pangandaran sunset sign and accompanied pam to buy some dresses.IMG_0307

We had lunch in hotel lobby and ready for two hours car ride to banjar station. When we arrived there, buti asked me to go find fresh fruit. We walked around a bit and it was so hot. We chilled down in convenient store and walked back to station. We sat on train and had great dinner before we arrived Bandung. Felt so refreshed pam and i continued the journey to meet our friend, Bridget who just lost her mom and tried to comfort her. What a trip 🙂

Wrong Bus Trip

My Indian and Norwegian friends were coming to see me. We planned to go to Merbabu  together. Another friend suggested me to take bus from Bandung to Semarang which is faster, while other guys already in yogya. Right after i paid for Nusantara bus ticket and asked my friend again, he said it took the wrong bus. I was sad cause i thought i got the right direction but i was not. Time to have adventure and get lost, i guess.IMG_2866

He was nice to give me ride to bus station and offered me to call his mom in the town if i got lost. I met different men in the bus who were worried because i was solo traveler and i was about to hike mount merbabu. I told them that i would meet other friends but they said it was dangerous to be around in bus station early in the morning, in addition i was a girl. Yeah, they freak me out for a while.

I hopped on the bus at 6 pm and arrived in semarang around 4 am. I was not alone though, there was a guy who was waiting for other bus to his hometown was waiting with me in the hospital until sunrise. We walked to bus station and hopped on the bus to Boyolali. I arrived in bus station two hours later and did not see my friends. I saw Bandung bus and i wished i was in that bus. There was motorcycle taxi driver offered me ride to first base camp in merbabu. Yeah sure, i came with him because my friends told me they would meet me there.

In the motorcycle, he worried that i had enough preparation (gear and food) to climb because it was going to be super cold in the dawn. I doubt myself. I arrived to small restaurant in Selo and waited there for another two hours. I was thinking i could have hypothermia or other misfortune accident in the mountain and my friends were not there.

When they texted me, it was started to rain. Oh no, i remembered my kinabalu hiking trip, it was horrible in the rain. I thought that i would cancel the trip because of bad weather and stayed in my friend’s house instead. They came after we argued that we supposed to meet in other meeting point. I have told them, we agreed on this and if they still wanted to go, we should hike right away. It was around 1 pm, i didnt want to go to another meeting point and started to hike in dark.

A car that they rented from Jogya dropped us off in Selo base camp. We paid and registered ourselves for 2 days and 1 night trekking. We started to pack and walked. We met some other hikers and saw beautiful rain forest. My friends were having good cameras so they couldnt stand to not take a single picture of nature. I did the same until i found my camera was broken, the lens was not able to get back in. IMG_2865

We were sharing dried dates, nuts and water along the way we hiked. We cheered up one another to keep going. Sometimes it was raining, sometimes fog came and it disappeared. It was interesting in a minute we could not see a thing in front of us, when the fog was gone, we saw the most beautiful scenery of hills and plantation. We took some pictures so quickly and kept going.

They were some challenging rocky path and slippery ones. We could managed it. We helped one another when the trail was so steep and reminded one another to not taking pictures all the time. I was not me, my camera was broken. My favorite spot were all the signs written how long we had been walking. We arrived in the camping site around 5 pm. We walked to the highest point and the temperature kept going down. Sun was set and it was getting darker. We hiked down and met other campers. They were so nice, they gave us hot tea. Yeay for them because we had nothing to drink but water. They also cooked instant noodle for us. We had shared dinner with some strangers who willingly fed us. They offered us to stay in their tent too but i carried tent from Bandung, such a waste to not use it.

IMG-20160415-WA0000My 2 fellows were trying to build that, it was not successful so one of our new friend helped them. I had no idea why they could not figure it out, finally i showed them how to do it. I wished i did that earlier. I thought they could make it independently. We shared tent and started to think what best way to shared single sleeping mat and sleeping bag. It was not really comfortable but at  least all of us had room to be inside.

The weather was getting colder and our Indian friend was started to freeze. He could not sleep well so we should give him all things to make him warmer. In the end we didnt able to sleep cause we need to comfort him. In the morning, the other tent was busy making breakfast and of course they asked us to join them. We always said yes for free meals. It was good thing to have hot breakfast than having cold sandwich. Glad we met them.

Right after breakfast they hiked down. We were waiting for Indian guy to wake up and enjoyed the morning fog. Once Indian guy woke up and ready to hike down, it was time to Norwegian guy caught beauty from the summit. It was slippery to hike down and we fell down. My backpack rain cover was lost and i did not want to look for it. We met some cool volunteers who regularly cleaned the volcano.

We met other hikers and rested and awe the scenery. Indian guy shared his working experience and in the middle of our rest, Norwegian guy ran to us brought my backpack rain cover. Hooray to not lose thing J we traded stories and we arrived to the first base camp. We showered, had some soup and hot tea. We rented a car and drove to Solo. I met my friend, Shinta who hosted us there.

She took us to a place where we could taste Solo culinary and walked around the city. It was cool to try lesehan and gudeg while we listened to Javanese lady who sang for us. It was hot night and my friends tried wedang means hot beverages. In the next day, we had huge breakfast before we bought train/bus tickets for our next trip. We went to Shinta’s pre wedding place, it was a park where we could see deer and shades. Solo was so hot. It was really great to enjoy the breeze before lunch. We had lunch and i had selat solo which was delicious.

We went back to Shinta’s place and pack our bags. Indian guy, Rifaye went to IMG-20160415-WA0002Lawu mountain. Norwegian guy, Paul was waiting for his train to Surabaya at 10 PM while i needed to catch my bus to Bandung at 7 PM. We paid for waiting room and i tried nasi kucing costs Rp 3,000 for dinner. I was doubted i missed my bus because it never came. The guy who worked there called the bus company and informed me that they were late. Finally it was arrived at 8 PM. Good thing that Paul was there with me. Our journey was over but my night bus was horrible. The driver drove really fast and i felt insecure and couldnt able to sleep. I really wished i could arrive to Bandung as soon as possible.

Morning came and sun rose, i felt exhausted but knew i almost there. I promised to myself to not take night bus, not this company Pahala Kencana. They dropped me off at Riau street. I walked to get public transportation and waited for my mom who picked me up at school.

 

Volunteer Day Trip

It was started when i went to City Hall for South American food festival. I enjoyed watching capoeira and tried Brazil traditional instrument. My friends and i were joined zumba conducted with Latino instructure. I heard some music from a far. It was brass ensemble and saw some volunteer booth. I visited one of them. A group who educate society to be more aware of road signs cause we tend to break the rules.

Eko, the leader of the group added me to his whats app group and another group named Cool Volunteer. I joined one of event called Kid’s celebration in Car Free Day. It was parade from schools and children met Ridwan Kamil, Bandung mayor and shared their needs. It was cool when the mayor said children have to balance in learning, playing and praying. That’s why he builds so many playground and public space since he was voted. I was his volunteer too.

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Early Sunday, 4th September, Yudha who goes to the same university with me texted me that volunteer group would go to Cipanas. Since there were seats available so i joined in. I thought i was late, i came at 7.15 and had kupat tahu at cikapundung riverside with other volunteers. We played uno game and i won that. We went to luxury bus where our leader, Momsky already waited us there. we were waiting until around 10 PM then we left. Rico, the most energetic guy in the group was late, as usual.

                We  knew that would be traffic everywhere but still we had good time in the bus by playing cards, reading books, listened to jokes and watched Rico’s performances as dangdut singers. We arrived at Cibodas not Cipanas at 2 PM. It was raining and it was stopped. we took public transportation from bus parking lot to the main entrance but since it was hundreds of people walked in front of us, we couldnt go further.

                We walked to national park Cibodas and hoping we could swim cause it was said that way. We were confused where we would swim. There was no swimming pool. There was lake but it was yucky to swim there. Apparently, Momsky wanted us to go to waterfall and we could swim  there. We misunderstood the plan and we brought wrong clothes there. we supposed to bring extra clothes not swimsuit. Anyways, we still had good time to walk around the park and it was so beautiful. It was my first time to go there.

                There were variety of plants and we had to stop when we realized that one guy was left behind and he was carrying mineral water for us. We splitted the group, the group who walked to waterfall, group who changed clothes and the one who waited. I was in the second group, we had fun taking pictures along the path we walked and dipped our feet in the watery bridge. We caught up with the goup who was waited but never met the first group.

                Momsky started to worry when the sky was getting darker and she thought it was bad idea to go to waterfall. She said i just another 1 kilometer but it started to rain. We decided to keep going because we were in the bus for 4 hours for this. The hiking trail was okay and we saw some landslide warning sign. Hopefully we would be okay. Finally we arrived and we saw so many tourists were there. Our hiking was paid off. One by one took picture with waterfall and some started to have snack.

                When we wondered where was the first group, then they came in sweat. They were lost so they were walking around looking for the right way to get here. The leader said the road was closed since it was landslide. Good thing we were together now. We started to take group pictures, finished our snacks and packed our things after hanging out for a while.

                We walked and it started to rain. We were waiting on the side, hoping big trees would hide us from the rain. We saw one foreigner kept running and waved bye to us. Then pouring rain came as our fellow came who brought huge banner. I got an idea, to use the banner as our huge umbrella. Ten of us got under it and started to walk like lion dance in Chinese tradition. It was tricky to walk in the group, sometimes it was too fast, too slow and someone stepped on other slippers and so on. Once i lost one of my slipper like Cinderella did. I shouted, my sandal, stop. They kept walking until somebody said stop, stop.

                My friend took my sandal and we walked again. We met some tourists who were waiting for the rain to stop in security guard office. We offered them to walk together with us. They were excited to join us. We had bigger banner and more people now, wished somebody could take picture of us. But none wanted to have wet phone, especially me with my brand new phone cause last time i got my phone wet and broken. It was good thing to learn to bring plastic bag everywhere and saved others phones too.

                Rain was almost stopped, one by one left the banner and the rest who was holding the banner felt it was getting heavier. They 20160904_153633were gone, they did not want to walk together or at least tidied up the banner. It was sad. There were 2 guys who were helping though. We kept walking until the main entrance and some of the participants were not in good shape and wanted to have rest. They couldn’t make it to the end. I kept saying, little bit more before we can get meatball soup. Every time i said that  they were laughing because all meatball soup seller already closed down.

                In main entrance we were confused where was Momsky. We were worried that she still stayed back near waterfall. Some security guards helped us to find her but she was not there. Some of us decided to walk in the train to bus parking lot to find her. Some stayed in main entrance, some got in public transportation. We were the one who walked could find the bus faster than the one in public transportation. Momsky was there, she chose one place for us to take shower and had dinner.

                Some of lucky friends could wear clean and dry clothes that Momsky prepared for us.I bought i love cibodas shirt and batik trousers since i had no extra clothes and had my swimsuit and my underwear. It costs me Rp 50,000 it was good price for both.I bought some cheap meatball soup and had shower then had amazing instant noodle that always tasted like heaven in this poor condition.

                We headed to Bandung and turned our bus to disco bus, they had disco light in it with (again) dangdut songs. I couldn’t sleep until somebody played movie and i watched that until i felt asleep. We arrived at Bandung around 9.30 PM and took public transportation home. It was 10 PM and it was so tiring but it was fun. One fine day with fun people.

Camping at Papandayan

IMG_1584Easter 2014, my friend and I were looking forward to an adventure. We packed our bags and picked up some food at the grocery store. A pair of flip flops would be needed this trip. I grabbed brown a pair of spirit sandals. We hopped on green public transportation and headed to Cicaheum bus terminal. It was quiet and empty at 9ish when we arrived. We chose Garut bus and paid Rp 20,000 each. My hairdresser who is originally from Garut told me it takes 2 hours to get there. That Friday was different. It was the Good Friday holiday weekend and everyone seemed to be heading out on vacation. We waited until the bus was full and ready to go. We could see a long line in the road. We could also see the mountains we would be hiking in the distance.

IMG_1538Papandayan Mountain was our destination. Two hours passed and we were still on the bus with everyone else. We could see green trees and rice fields on the way. Most of the time I slept. Finally we arrived in Garut bus station at noon. I bought rice and fried chicken before we got into small van that was going to take us to Papandayan gate. We met 5 geology students there who were going to the same place as us. It took us another hour and cost us Rp 15,000 each. When we reached to gate, there were many people who offered us ride to go to the trailhead. They said it would take us 2 hours hiking and gave us two alternate choices if that was too long. If we chose pick up truck, it cost Rp 200,00 for all of us. If we chose motorbike, it cost Rp 50,000/each. We chose car. We tried to bargain it down some more but they wouldn’t lower the price.

IMG_1536The road was not really smooth, we were shaking in the truck for the first twenty minutes and then the truck broke down. It just couldn’t move, the driver had no idea what was wrong. He checked the engines, tires, everything. He tried some tricks to make it go but nothing worked. Then he called his friend to come and we waited on the side of the road watching the river and wished that it wasn’t taking us so long to get to our destination. We saw other hikers passing by as we sat there.

Finally the driver’s friend showed up and fixed the truck so and we could get going again. Once at the gate we had to show our ID cards and write how long we would stay on the mountain. They made sure that we would camp in their official campsite. We paid and got ready to hike. People said Papandayan is an easy mountain to hike. It takes 2 hours to get to summit. We saw really beautiful crater and smelled sulfur after we went through forest. The weather was perfect. The geology students were so excited to see rocks and tried to make connection with lessons they had been learning in class.

IMG_1542We met some hikers who took pictures and shared their experiences at the summit. They told about us a short cut to go to the top. The were two routes. The first went to the official campsite and the other had a sign marked “Dangerous.” Other hikers suggested going to dangerous one and we decided that sounded fun. It was steep and we could see small trees 1 meter height around us. We kept walking straight. It was just seven of us who took this path. I was wondered whether we were lost. Apparently we were on the right track. We arrived in Death Forest around 4 and we could see the city. We saw two camps and decided to set up our tents too.

The sun was setting and we were ready to cook dinner. Our geologist friends needed some help setting up their tent. They didn’t bring any hook and string so they took off their shoe laces. It was dark when we were cooking dinner. We started a fire and boiled water for our instants noodles. Out geologist friends shared their rice and food can with us because we helped them build their tent and cooked for them. They told us it was last minute trip for them so they were unprepared.

IMG_1565We went to bed early because wanted to wake up in the morning for sunrise. It was windy that night because we camped on the ground without any trees to protect us. We tried to ignore coldness and closed our eyes to sleep. In the middle of the night, I woke up since I could feel something really bright. I opened my eyes, trying to find out who turned on the light in the room. I forgot I did outdoor camp. I saw moon, it looked so close, so big, so bright and thousands star around it. it was great to wake up to see the clear sky.

We went back to sleep and woke up because people were so noisy in the morning. Oh no, we almost missed sunrise. Sky was so clear that morning, it was so pretty. Orange sky, sun rose slowly and we were on the right spot. Great! Male hikers brought papers saying “i love you, ______ his girlfriend’s name!” it was cute to see how they made it to Papandayan and told the world about it. At least they loved ones.

IMG_1559We had green tea latte while people watched the sun rise. We gathered with the 5 geologist students and hiked to summit. We saw tons of tents in the official campsite, good thinking to camp at Death Forest. Most of trees looked so dry, we hiked to thicker forest for one hour and arrived at Tega Alun. We saw edelwiss, we walked a bit to see a river. Many hikers dipped themselves into it while we were there. There was another place we could see but we decided to go down the mountain instead.

As always going down was harder than climbing up especially since we needed to give space for motor cross riders who were trying to go to the campsites. Unfortunately, there was no rent car to go down or hitch hike. Most other hikers used motorbikes. There was a group of boys who looked so sad. I asked whether they could give us ride. They shared their stories that they lost their money on lending all their camping stuff. We agreed on giving them Rp 50,000 as they asked if they drove us to the main gate. They did.

We had lunch and met another hikers once we arrived there. It was cloudy and started to rain then we took a bus to get to Bandung. It was nice to hike in Papandayan, cant wait to hike another mountain 🙂

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