Gardeners paradise

Cibodas Travel Blog

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Julia on a bridge near the botanical gardens

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia)

Walking up to Cibodas we passed many small houses, all with beautiful displays of flowers outside and began to get excited about what the botanical gardens must look like. It was already approaching 4pm, so we decided to check into Freddies Homestay and save the gardens for the following day. Freddie was an interesting character to say the least. After showing us around and shaking his hand, he informed us we could go downstairs to look at the menu, but he was going to have to take a shower. Nothing too odd so far. After a quick walk around the area, we came back to the hostel and were getting pretty hungry, so we decided to order some food.

A view of Gunung Gede from the botanical gardens
Freddie took our order, then informed us it would be ready in around 90 mins. We said we were really hungry and we thought it would be better to eat somewhere else. As i gave him the menu back, slightly touching his hand in the process, he said that he would get his daughter to cook for us, as his wife was out and thus it would be ready pronto. Freddie then informed us that he was off to take another shower and i began to wonder what the hell was going on.

Time ticked by and we were getting hungrier and hungrier and we were eventually joined by a Dutch couple, who had also ordered food. Nearly 2 hours later it arrived, just as we were planning to eat the dog. Freddie started chattering away and we were left bemused as he was actually speaking Dutch and even though he knew we weren't Dutch and the other couple were, he expected us to also know what was going on.

Inside the botanical gardens
The Dutch people said it was nice that someone could speak Dutch, but they were also a little bewildered by some of his behaviour. After collecting our empty plates, having also got our orders wrong, he gave Julia another helping of Dutch and she just looked at him startled. He patted her on the back, said it slower and after a similar expression on Julia's face, reverted back to English. Once the question was asked, he informed us he was going for another shower! The only reason i can think he had this cleanliness trend was that he always showered after any contact with us, which i found really annoying. If its his religion to be so bigoted against others, then thats pretty sad in my opinion and he really shouldn't be running a hostel for foreigners, as it left me feeling really uncomfortable after this.
Some flowers in the botanical gardens
The other feasible explanation was that the guy just seemed to be losing his marbles.

The following day we set out for the Botanical Gardens and decided to detour to a nearby waterfall first. We walked for around 15 minutes until we encountered a small ticket office informing us that entry was $2.50. We thought that a little steep as the Dutch couple had told us that it really wasn't anything impressive and made our way around to the gardens instead. After paying our 50cent admission fee we also received a map, which informed us we could go to the waterfall for free within the park! Cheeky buggers. We spent a couple of hours wandering through the large gardens and although very scenic, i much prefered the gardens in Bogor.

A waterfall in the botanical gardens

After grabbing some lunch we caught a bemo back to the main road, where we connected with a bus to Bandung... or so we thought. We asked the driver once and ticket collector several times 'Bandung, Bandung' and were assured and even sold a ticket with Bandung written on it. As our bus went on what we expected to be a 2 hour journey, we were soon joined by the usual hop on, hop off charcters selling food and drinks. One mandarin seller however decided to hop on, but not off again. For 2 hours he pestered the passengers, with a few of the poor devils coming in for special attention. Thankfully he left us pretty much alone, but from his gestures you could see he was trying to strike 'special deals' and chuck in a few extra mandarins here and there.

After 3 hours we were unceremoniously booted off the bus on a freeway and when protesting that this was clearly not Bandung, the guy shrugged his shoulders and the bus spat a load of diesel fumes in our face as it accelerated away. After asking some people where Bandung was, we were told to stand by the road, whilst some inebriated bloke stumbled around trying to flag a bemo down. Eventually we boarded one and 2 hours later arrived in Bandung, some 3 hours later than expected.

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Julia on a bridge near the botanic…
Julia on a bridge near the botani…
A view of Gunung Gede from the bot…
A view of Gunung Gede from the bo…
Inside the botanical gardens
Inside the botanical gardens
Some flowers in the botanical gard…
Some flowers in the botanical gar…
A waterfall in the botanical garde…
A waterfall in the botanical gard…
Botanical gardens
Botanical gardens
Cibodas
photo by: Deats