Puncak Pass & Bogor

Trip Start Aug 07, 2008
Trip End Aug 11, 2010

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For some reason I was told there was no sleeper train to Bandung. However, I wanted to save time so put up even with an eight hour overnight seating with squeezed legs. Train was on time and the next day in the morning I walked through Bandung in order to take an angkot (minivan) to the bus station and from there a public bus to Cibodas. These a few tens of kilometres took incredible 3.5 hours stopping at every possible village and driving through every possible road no matter how narrow it was.
At noon I finally arrived in my destination, where my main target was a climb up Gunung Gede. Although it's of easy difficulty level, probably due to profit making, a guide is required. I shared a guide with Ben, an English student, the only other climbing enthusiast for the day. It was again a night affair so I didn't even look for a hotel, only took a nap at guide's place and we set off at midnight sharp. It was an 4.5 hour steady ascent with many steep passages. We reached the summit a bit too early so had to wait for sunrise around an hour. There were only about 10 people on top, so finally an intimate atmosphere. However clouds prevented us from seeing sun over horizon. Overall views were also a bit behind other volcanoes, but at least it was a physical challenge. On the way back we plunged into a hot spring for a while and walked through a jungle to see gibbons, weren't successful though.
Returning back before noon allowed me to move on. Prior to that I visited botanical gardens, but was forced to make it short by some stomach problems, which I started to encounter more often probably thanks to generally spicy Indonesian cuisine.
Angkot drive to Cisarua was pretty short. I got a room by a busy and extremely noisy road, which didn't matter as I was dead tired and managed to get some good sleep even in afternoon hours.
Next day I visited Cisarua's highlight – black tea plantations. I spent several hours just strolling around. Unfortunately I missed observation of tea making process in tea factory, from where for example Pickwick and Twinings are exported.
In the afternoon I walked to Curug Cilember waterfall, but wouldn't spend $3 on it again.
Cisarua gets busy at weekends when locals fill it up. There are many accommodation facilities along the main road, in fact whole place is located along the highway. They probably never heard here about sidewalks and shoulders, so walking though the village as well as crossing a road is from early morning to late evening hours a nightmare.
Both Cibodas and Cisarua are located around Puncak Pass and are visited only by a few foreigners, so it's a suitable region to avoid the hordes.
After second night in Cisarua I moved again a bit closer to Jakarta and stopped for a day in Bogor. It's a town surrounding large botanical garden, which is its only attraction. At lunch time my plan for the evening was also set as at a food stall I met this elderly man who handed me over a leaflet about “Ngaliwet” festival held in nearby village only one night per year. What a coincidence, obviously it would be a pity to miss it. I was welcomed there by the same man, who turned out to be the chief of this village of 17k people. Up to 10 foreign visitors including me were seated in VIP rows by the stage. Main part of the event was eating, but a puppet show and several speeches were also presented. The chief arranged for us a van/moto lift back home. It was a pleasant escape from a city and insight to villagers habits.

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falih satjadibrata on

Pasar puncak gn bogor

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