Monday, 19 January 2015

Indonesia, Bandung (Kawah Putih)

Good morning Bandung!! 

I was already up at about 5.30 am, right after I heard the call for morning prayers from a nearby mosque. It was a delightful morning for me as I was able to witness the stunning sunrise. Peering through the ceiling high window of my hotel room, I could also see the volcanic mountains surrounding the city. 

Our itinerary on our second day was Kawah Putih. It had taken us 2 hrs to reach our destination. Kawah Putih in English means the white crater, and it is located at Mount Patuha. So far, there has not been any record of volcanic activity in Kawah Putih.

While on the road, we observed large groups of teenagers, milling about idly along the pavements. Some even looked liked they had slept on the street the entire night. 

We soon found out from our driver that these teenagers were here to watch a concert by Slank, an Indonesian rock band. The band will perform that night and some of these teenagers came from far, probably outside Bandung. I've never heard of this band before but it seemed to have a huge fan base.

Just look at the creative banners made by its die-hard fans. The banners were hung all along the entire stretch of the road. It's quite a sight, especially when you see so much effort and sacrifice they had gone through to attend the concert.

From the main road, we veered through smaller roads that led us into local villages. And here, we could see the locals going about their daily activities. I managed to snap a photo of a huge pile of durians, freshly picked and ready to be transported into the truck. Gosh... I think my uncle would have stopped and bought one or two durians if he could. He is the king of durian, and he could easily make my dad his durian buddy!!

Here's the entrance of Kawah Putih. The smell of sulphur is intoxicating and sharp. For a moment, I wondered whether breathing would be difficult if I were to go down to the crater. My throat was already hurting at that point of time.

Amazingly, as I went down the staircase, the smell subsided. I guess it's because my nose had already become desensitised to the smell and it felt a bit numbed to me. 

I could eventually see the turquoise water of the crater by the time I was halfway down. My excitement went up a notch as the colour of the crater really makes you want to go nearer to it.

The lake at the crater is highly acidic so don't even think of putting your finger into the water. You could see the white greenish powder along the water bank, which further proved its acidity. The atmosphere around the crater, however, was cool and foggy.

I wondered how Tangkuban Prahu would be like. Tangkuban Prahu is another dormant volcano near Bandung. Unlike Kawah Putih, its last eruption was in 1983, which is actually quite recent. It should also be noted here that Tangkuban Prahu had erupted 15 times based on geological records, more so than Kawah Putih. 

Oh well, there's actually many other volcanoes on the island of Java itself. But I'm totally glad that I had a chance to visit one of them.

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