Thursday, June 25, 2015

Indonesia-Penang Trip XV

2 June 2014

Tangkuban Perahu West Jawa Crater and Domas Crater

After the morning walk in the town and a satisfying lunch, we head to one of the highlights of the trip, a crater. In my case, it would be my first time visiting one, so I should feel excited - though I did fall asleep during the journey. When the vehicle drove to a halt, what I saw was people, people, stalls, people, smog, some stairs, and more people. The place we started was a popular viewing site for the crater and it was unfortunate for that day it was particularly smoky.

The weather was so cooling and comfortable that I was too happy to take photos, even when it meant taking unglam photos. Who cares if I look like a sleephead now!

Unfortunately, as you would have notice from those photos above, that day's smog was way too thick to even observe any inch of the crater. All we could capture or even view, were signs and people. To convey the message about the foggy part more clearly, this is the proof! Look at how we posed with all the signage? The crater was just behind it, and all you can see is greyish background. Still, we took quite a few photos with the signage, to show how high up we went, just because.

At this very moment, we were very lucky to have Lucky, our tour guide. He suggested us to go an extra distance to visit another crator. That, according to Lucky, was not very well known and hence lesser visitor. We agreed to go for it and hence the start of our journey into the woods...

Perhaps due to the soil and geographical difference, the trees in the woods were quite different from what we had in tropical rainforest. The ground was covered in moss.

To some extent, even though it was quite a distance, I rather enjoyed the walk, because of what was surrounding me, nature. The weather was just nice, cooling and humid, feeling small with all the trees too!

Even the staircases looked stunning. The experience of walking between moss-carpeted staircase was extraordinary.

If you're not convinced, look at this!

I realized there were two kinds of moss covering the surface.

I know most of the touring places would be against picking, talking or destroying local habitat. However, the mountain guide (is that what they're called?) cut out a few small piece of moss carpet for us to bring back (I lost it few days later, which was not cool because I planned to plant it back in Singapore). This is me showing off, not knowing I will miss it soon after...

Photos were taken even when this was just a walk in the woods. I especially took a special interest in the wood texture. Look at how elegant they are! Trees are time machine. It accumulates the records along the years...

I was too fat to squeeze into that hole properly, obviously. So, here is me standing halfway. Cool!

But, even when the journey was exciting, we do start to wonder when will this end. And sure enough, we were outside the said crater: Domas Crater.

Eventually, we did arrive at the said crater. Since it was more secluded and not visited by many, it was significantly peaceful and the whole picture of crater or smog-filled landscape could be adsorbed slowly and enjoyed to its max.

There was even a viewpoint before we enter the crater to take photo, to show how big is the place.

According to the locals, this is the hottest pool among the allowed-pool. There's no doubt it was true because look at the water splashing out? When we looked closer, the water was boiling in it. And that was this place that we could boil the eggs, for fun or for consumption.

Other than that hot pool, we walked downhill for cooler pool. Sulphur-coated rocks could be observed around every corner, especially those with water or geyser(is it big enough to be called that?) oozing out if of the earth surface. Amazing huh, how nature works?

We found a not-so-hot-but-still-quite-hot pool and put our feet in. As predicted, I was the last to put in and I can't take the heat. It was too much for me!

We hopped out of that and went to a slightly cooler pool after that for longer immersion (hell yeah, immersion). This is when we are comfortable enough to stay put and chat and even take photos. Thanks for the local guide to help us take really good photos. He looked enthusiastic.

Sitting on rocks, cooking my leg in warm water with suphuric smell, I looked upon this scenery. It was awesome and peaceful. I could sit there whole day with a book propped open on my knees, feeling the peace.

In case you wonder what the water looked like. THIS! I know, I was thinking what was in it the whole time.

Soon after, we started to clean up and walk our way out of the wood to the other pick-up site. This is the guide who had brought us all the way.

My personal milestone was also achieved. I was wearing this Japanese flip-flop throughout the whole walk in the woods. That's given that, this was my first time wearing a Japanese flip-flop. It was not a very pleasant experience, but hey, I did it!

So, here is some souvenir we've got... stack of moss - or rather, I called it "Moss Burger".

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