The food, the song, and the smell of Indonesia. The smallest trifle yet always managed to overwhelm me with homesickness.
It was in September this year that I took two weeks off to go back to Indonesia. This time, I came back for the sake of traveling. So, I didn’t stay long in Jakarta. Instead, I visited some places where I had not been before including Jogjakarta, Bali, and Flores.
Well, I guess it’s true that the grass is always greener on the other side and that I always take my own country for granted. Little did I know, that there were tons of gorgeous hidden spots in Indonesia that were definitely worth a visit!
As usual, I’m not the type of a person who plans my travel too far in advance. The thought of having a trip to my country just occurred when my German roommate, Andreas, told me that he would plan a trip to another Asian country before coming back home for good. He was thinking about going to the Philippines at first, but then I was like “Hey, why don’t we go to Indonesia instead?”— and that’s how we ended up buying flight tickets to Indonesia.
A few weeks before my flight schedule, I tried to contact my old friends in Indonesia, Kevin, and Vina. It didn’t take long for me to convince them to get on board. After a while, we finally managed to make our itinerary, though only me and Vina who would stick on the same schedule from the beginning to the end. Kevin would leave earlier in the middle of our trip, while Andreas would stay longer and would take another trip to Banda island on his own.
Andreas and I spent our first day in Jakarta and we stayed at my parents’ house. The next day we met up over dinner with Kevin, Vina, and my other university friends.
Here’s a picture of us that night:
The next morning, the four of us gathered at the airport to catch our flight to Jogjakarta. The flight cost around $26 per person and it took about 1 hour to get there.
Jogjakarta Day 1, Kalibiru National Park
In order to be mobile, we rented a car for 3 days with me and Kevin taking turns for driving. Our first destination was Kalibiru National Park. The location itself is quite remote, and once you arrive at the foot of the mountain, you will have to park your car and take an Ojeg (motorbike) or a Jeep to get to the top.
Once we reached the top, everything was just awesome. The view was just breathtaking. If you’re lucky and the sky is clear, you can even see the majestic Borobudur temple surrounded by four big mountains from there.
We took a small break in the small huts provided in the area. We ordered Indomie Goreng, the famous Indonesian instant noodles to fill our empty stomachs that started throwing a tantrum.
There are several outdoor activities that you can do here. Not to mention taking selfies with a breathtaking background, of course, if you don’t have acrophobia.
Jogjakarta Day 2, Jomblang Cave aka Goa Jomblang
Goa Jomblang is an ancient cave with a dense tropical forest below. Once you get in and reach Grubug cave, you can see the so-called Light of Heaven.
Our agenda for that day was Jomblang Cave aka Goa Jomblang. Goa Jomblang has just become famous recently after its appearance on Amazing Race. For those of you who want to pay a visit, make sure to time your schedule well. There will only be 1 batch per day around 10 am with limited slots. It will cost for about $35 per person for the whole package of the tour including snack and tea.
The location is totally remote, so once you’re in the middle of the road and start to questioning whether it is the correct way or not, do not worry. You’re on the right track.
After dealing with all of the administrations, we had to pick the boots that match our size. Once we’re set, the guide would lead us to some kind of valley where we would be dropped down on a rope. Then, we also needed to pick our helmets and got ready to take turns to go down.
Well, as a person who was afraid of heights, I would say that being dropped down on a rope was such an unforgettable experience. The rope itself was pulled by several people in the background. So, God knows what would happen if somebody had slippery hands. Thank God nothing happened during my turn.
The entrance of the cave was located 60m down. There would be one person who was ready to receive us and take off all our safety belts once we had reached the ground. When a certain number of people had gathered, the guide would then show us the way inside the cave.
On the bottom of the valley, I could feel the extreme level of humidity with all of the tropical greens around me. Once I got in, it was totally dark and slippery. Well, I guess It’s a good time to use that torchlight function from my smartphone.
What makes this cave special was that once you reached Grubug cave, you could see the so-called Light of Heaven. It was actually the rays of sunlight pouring through the hole on the roof of the cave. Simply amazing.
I will post my third day in Jogjakarta on another article! So, stay tuned!