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Published: July 27th 2021
It’s one of those weekends when five of my friends and I were restless and wanted to inhale fresh air. Indonesia had announced another lockdown for the umpteenth times. It felt like we were being caged again. The adrenalin call was so strong that I managed to make all the arrangement with a tour guide, who had a team of three, including offroad driver, local guide and photographer.
We took off from Cabinite, a cozy, a newly built cabin compound at Sentul, near Jakarta, at 11 am, and took the land rover ride to reach Cisadon village, a well-known spot among the motortrail riders and mountain bikers. After one-and a-half-hour of bumpy ride on a gravel and muddy road, we arrived at the serene Cisadon village. Lunch was served by the pond where our vehicle parked.
An hour later, after warming up, we took off and were told the distance was only 1.5 km, and the hike would take about one hour and a half. As we continued our hike, we passed an abandoned wooden hut and storage, used by coffee planters during harvest, twice a year. The area is well known for Robusta coffee produce. We even came
across a fresh excrement of luwak, Chivet, on our path, used for processing Luwak Coffee.
As we trekked further up, the path got steeper and narrower, while the forest got denser. Some part of the path was not only narrow, but was also slippery as water was flowing down from the hill. I could not help admiring the beauty of the forest, as were so near from the capital city of Indonesia, yet we were deep in the tropical forest. Our local guide, Dede, led the way with an axe on his hand as he had to clear the path. The last time he was here was four months ago. It didn’t seem anyone was visiting it as plants were covering the path. He was careful in navigating and making sure we didn’t touch any poisonous leaves.
After trekking for about an hour, we got our hopes high as we heard the sound of water from a distance: we must have been near our destination, but from the look of the dense forest covering the valley, our logic was telling us we were no-where near our destination. Remember, sound travel up? Half an hour later, we felt we
were further away from the waterfall as the sound of water was fading away. Once again, we were told we were near our destination. As we continued our trek, it became more challenging as the trail became steeper, both up and down. Some of us didn’t wear proper hiking shoes, including I. The sole of my Palladium shoes could not take the stress and decided to part with me. I was lent a spare pair of beach shoes, not ideal for hiking but better than walking barefoot.
After walking for about two and a half hours, the five ladies ran out of breath as the path seemed to come to an end! In a distance, we could hear the sound of water again. It was nearly 4 pm, and we had to make a decision of risking ourselves by continuing the trek or heading back. None of the guides brought flashlight with them! The thought of spending a night in this dense forest was daunting. Deciding to continue, we were relieved to reach the waterfall by 4 pm. As soon as we saw the natural plunge pool, we could not help dipping into it. In a moment, we could
feel the cool water penetrated our skin, flesh and bone, just like a new energy being poured on our body. All the tired muscle and leg sore were instantly melted away. We had regained our energy! If time was not a constraint, I could spend hours in this beautiful waterfall. Surprisingly, it didn’t have a name either as it was hardly visited by anyone! We called it Cisadon Curug or Cisadon Waterfall.
The return trek felt easier; perhaps, everyone was focused on getting back to the village before it turned dark. As the sunlight faded, the forest got darker, while fog started to covering the tree canopy at our eye level. It created a creepy yet peaceful feeling. My imagination ran wild. Walking ahead of the group alone, I froze by the sight of silhouette of a four-legged animal, approaching me which turned out to be a hunting dog, accompanying a group of hunters from a nearby village. Our guide, Dede explained the people of Cisadon Village never not harmed any animal or plants in this forest, which was once belonged to his deceased grandfather. Does it sound familiar? It reminded me of Avatar.
The last leg of
the returning trek was challenging as we had to take the narrow and slippery path while downpour. As soon as I heard the call of prayers (Azan) from a distance, I was relieved to know I was near Cisadon Village. Arriving, we were surprised to see the distance, it was not 1 km as told, but it was 5 km, so in total we had hiked up and down for 10 km in the past five hours. In hindsight, the tour guide should have informed us of the level of difficulty as well as being equipped with the proper hiking gears. Each hiking destination should have been classified by level of difficulty. As for me, the lesson learned is to always bring flashlight while hiking.
Check out the journey https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1luJ88RjGwRuajbMYgfeb6cJln-eiOJOn?usp=sharing
Tot: 0.211s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 27; qc: 128; dbt: 0.055s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.7mb