Monday, 14th July 2014
We woke up early again for a trip to Kawah Putih & Ciwidey. I think most of my friends didn’t visit Kawah Putih. I read plenty of reviews on Kawah Putih and it was said, we shouldn’t miss visiting this crater above the mountain. It was a long journey. The usual 2 hours journey turned into 3 hours journey instead. We lost track of time as we were stuck in terrible jams. However, we managed to experience the daily life of the commuters here in Ciwidey or Soreang area.
There are horse carts, cheapest form of transportation, which go short distance. For those who wish to travel further distance would opt for Angkut – which is like a van modified to be like a minibus. Eventhough the jam was rather horrendous, there was not much honking. People just slowly moved on with the traffic and waiting patiently in their vehicles.
Once we reached the foot of the hill towards Kawah Putih, we stopped for a short toilet break. Then, it’s some 10-15 minutes ride in the car uphill. For those who traveled by bus here will have to get down and get onto the mini vans provided at the foot of the hill, after you purchased tickets to enter.
When we got down our car, the driver told us to walk to the Kawah Putih. I was praying hard that it wouldn’t take too strenuous exercise just to get there! Lucky for me, it was just a short staircase leading to the very beautiful murky white, aquamarine colored lake! Before getting there, a vendor at the site told me to read the signboard – it was mentioned, we shouldn’t spend more than 15 minutes there as the lake emits highly acidic gas. If we feel nauseous even before 15 minutes is up, we have to get out of there!
We got really excited once we saw the murky white water! The wind was really blowing hard and we thanked God that we wore jackets. Contrary to yesterday’s weather of gloomy and overcast skies, we were blessed with really sunny and clear blue skies, dotted with occasional clouds. It was really beautiful. I was thinking this could be a place mistakenly for one of the heaven’s lakes. It was breathtaking… but the air smells of sulphur, so don’t even bother taking deep breaths!
I tried to take some photos but the glaring sun was too bright and I couldn’t even view my handphone! Lucky thing I got my SLR with me, so I snapped away. Bring your sunglasses and hats too! After about 15 minutes, I started to feel my lungs is filled with smog so I quickly ran to the top to get away from the lake, and then, admired it from far. No words could explained the ecstasy I feel, being so close to a volcano lake!
You can hear the wind sing at the lake in this video!
After spending about 45 minutes loitering the area and going uphill a little to catch the panorama view of the beautiful white crater, we got into our car to get to the bottom of the hill. It seems the tickets purchased to enter the premise comes with a welcome drink of either hot tea, lemon tea or strawberry shake – I think you have to pay additional for strawberry shake. We had our drinks and excitedly chatting about the lake and looking forward to visit another lake at Situ Patenggang.
We went on our journey towards Situ Patenggang and were greeted with endless view of tea plantation in Ciwidey. Unlike Cameron Highlands, which have their tea plantation in secluded spots, at Ciwidey, you basically get to see them at the sides of the road all throughout your journey. There’s no eye sore erosion of soil like Cameron Highlands.
Before reaching Situ Patenggang, our driver stopped for awhile to let us see the view of the lake from the top. It was almost serene! Once we got there, the place was kinda deserted. I guess due to the fasting month, the lake was not bustled with activities. We saw boat owners mending and painting their boats. If you like to, you could hire a boat to take you to the tiny island in the middle of the lake. It’s called Pulau Cinta, if not mistaken. I guess many lovers would take a boat there for an afternoon rendezvous.
We didn’t take a boat so we hung out a bit taking photos of the place. On our way home, we stopped by a place at Jalan Rancabali for Luwak coffee. There are two pet civet cats in the coffee shop compound. We were rather surprised that the civet cats actually smell like pandan! And the poo that came out together with the coffee beans do not stink at all! And yes, we did take a very “close” look at the poo and it didn’t stink! After having our coffee at Rp100,000 per cup (RM27.60), we went to have our lunch at a restaurant nearby.
On our way back to Bandung town, we got stuck in a massive jam. It was a good thing that we were not that hungry so we took our time to look for our restaurant for dinner. We stopped by Braga Permai along Jalan Braga for a Western & Chinese meal as it was a nice change other than Sundanese food! Too much chilli!
I would end my posts on Bandung here as the next day, we went shopping everywhere the whole day that I find it even more tiring than waking up early to visit the volcano craters! Shopping is just not for me!