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Published: April 25th 2016
We were off at 8.00 with a guide for something called a 'village walk'. We took a bus to the rural area outside Cianjur and began with a language lesson from our guide who taught us how to say hello in the local dialect (pandun) which would go down well with people we met. The start of the walk began in a padi fields which were all neatly terraced and planted. Our path took us through a collection of very small villages, at times the path was very slippery. There were lots of large spiders hanging in the trees and a great array of spices were grown, ranging from trees of paprika, nutmeg, lime leaf and cloves (the young buds made your tongue tingle), to small plants of saffron, lemongrass. There was also fruit trees such as papaya, limes and pomegranates. It was lush and fertile and the rice here is known as being among the best in Java. The sounds of the countryside are diverse: always running water because of the padi fields, birds, crickets and other noisy bugs. We saw people in the traditional bamboo sampan hats cutting, threshing and drying rice.
The path continued up through bamboo forests
and this was where a wasp got me in the finger and the top of my head. The latter was quite saw and it took a all day for the stinging feeling to subside.
We took a rest at a local home for jasmine tea. It was dilapidated, worn and in need of work, yet it was seen as wealthy and modern by local standards.
We pushed on upwards and the path switched back and forth between a trail and walking in the irrigation canals. We were now in jungle proper and the noises were much greater. We passed a group of monkeys and saw an astonishing diversity of butterflies; metallic blues and greens, yellow and black and an amazing moth which looked like a tapestry was as big as my hand. The irrigation canal led us to a proper jungle waterfall and we were now very hit and soaked through with sweat. We stripped off and had a great time cooling off, splashing about and trying the brave the. Wry powerful waterfall (which almost swept your shorts and pants off).
Suitably refreshed, we returned to the village home for lunch. The terrain became more open and the hills were
covered in bright yellow flowers. The traditional meal was amazing in its diversity of flavours, with 8 or so different dishes. We ate on the floor in the house and it was a good opportunity for Ed and Hat to see how other people live.
The final descent was easy and we finished in a tea plantation.
On the way back to the homestay we stopped off at a supermarket to restock up on drinks and snacks.
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