My Overland Story

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My Overland Experience (February 16th • February 24th 2009)
“Indonesien zum Kennenlernen”
Jakarta-Bogor-Bandung-Central Java-Jogjakarta-East Java-Bali 

Senior Guide : Mr. Sodikin Kurdi
Training Guide : Ms. Hesti Rialita
Driver  : Mr.Agus
Crew  : Mr.Dadang
Participants : 8 Pax

The Journey

Monday, February 16th 2009

“Arrival day”

Transfer in-Jakarta City Tour (visiting Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa and Old Batavia)-check in Santika Hotel Jkt
03.30 The Fantastic 4 (Mr. Sodikin, Mr. Agus, Mr. Dadang and Ms. Hesti Rialita) go to Jakarta! We  ride from Bandung to Cengkareng, we should be there at least 08.00, because the Plane will landing at 09.25, thanks God, the way to Airport was quiet ok!
We arrived at the Airport at 07.30, I learned about the pick-up mechanism, the most important thing is time organizing, its better coming before rather than in time or too late, beside that; preparation (itinerary , welcome board, hotel voucher, documents, etc) are also important. last but not least is “self control”.
10.00 The first 2 guest came out from the gate, I felt like frozen in that time, but thanks God! I didn’t lost my tongue, after all the guests were there, Mr. Sodikin gave a little welcoming speech, make sure everything is ok, then he called the bus, led the guests to the bus, loaded all the bags and here the story goes!
(In the bus) I learned how Mr. Sodikin made an introduction, from greeting, introducing himself, driver, crew and me, as the training to the guests. After that he gave overview about Indonesia incl. Jakarta and common things for new comers such as climate, money nominal, social life and advises, then we went to the “Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa”, a famous harbor near to the airport and the old city Batavia, that located near to the main train station, after all the tour for that day was completed, we went to the Santika Hotel in Slipi, check in was accomplished, the guest got their keys and program for tomorrow morning had been discussed. So, that all for this day! Take a rest and be prepare for the next day.

Tuesday, February 17th 2009

“Romantic little village”

Bogor-Botanical Garden-Puncak-Tea Plantation-Bandung-Check in Arion Swiss Hotel Bdg

07.30 We start our journey from Jakarta to Bogor, Mr.Sodikin explained, that Bogor was a resort city for the Hollander in the colonial time, The Governor General Sir Stamford Raflles called Bogor as “a romantic little village”, no doubt about that, because Bogor has cooler climate and beautiful landscape. Actually the real name from Bogor was Buiten Zorg , but the Indonesian can’t  spell it very well, so people call it then Bogor until now, as know also as the city of rain, it has probably the highest rainfall in Java, it has about 800.000 people and its located 60 km from Jakarta and 120 km from Bandung, after we entered Bogor from Jakarta, on the left side of the road we saw the Mt. Salak, our first destination is Botanical Garden, we need approximately 2 hours to go there, in the Botanical Garden there are already a local guide, his name is Mr. Udin or Pak Udin, he explained and showed us around, we walked around for about 1,5 hours in botanical garden, I had learned from him about the history, as well  information about the garden, then we continue our journey to Puncak, we visited tea plantation, Mr. Sodikin explained about tea to the guests. After all the the program for that day accomplished, we had lunch in Sindang Laya restaurant.
We continue the journey to Bandung, all the way Mr.Sodikin was giving explanation about a lot of thing, as we reached Padalarang, I saw the chalk stone mount around the area, it used to be the bottom of the see in the pre-historical time, beside that there are also another evidence about it, the Ciburuy lake was believed as last part of the old pre-historical see, we can see it on the left side of the road.  
Afternoon we entered Bandung through Pasteur. We arrived in Arion Swiss hotel at 17.00, after check-in and talked about program for the next day, we split up and get ready for north Bandung tour.

Wednesday, February 18th 2009
“I love Bandung”

Bandung-Lembang-Cihideung Flower Village-Fruits market-Tangkuban Perahu Vulcano-PTPN Tea Fabric-Ciater Hot Spring- Arion Swiss Hotel Bdg

We went to Lembang at 07.30, on the way up to the north, herr Sodikin gave all explanation about our main destination, Tangkuban Perahu Vulcano. Because the wetter was not so good and probably foggy in the Vulcano, he decided to visit first cihideung village, so instead taking the common road to lembang, we turned left as we reached Ledeng Bus and Angkot Station to Sersan Bajuri Street, then he took us to take a walk along of Cihideung village, he explained the plants and flowers, which being display on the left and right side of the street, finished with the plants. We continued our tour to Tangkuban Parahu, as we reached Lembang Market, we stopped again in the Fruit market, the guest we’re looked very enthusiastic with all the tropical fruits. they tried a various kinds of fruits, such as: mangosteen, banana, hairy fruit, maracuja, Balinese orange, duku, and many more, they even bought them.
At noon we arrived at Tangkuban Perahu, we ride by bus until the parking area, then changed with mini van to the queen crater, after made some picture at the crater rim, we walked to Kawah Upas.
After more or less 1,5 hours, we continued the tour to Ciater Hot Spring, but on the way, the guests want to take a look the tea production first, we went to PTPN Tea Fabric and saw the process of making tea, from the gate we saw the tea picker ladies brought the tea leafs to the central, then all of the tea was being brought to the fabric, in the fabric Mr.Zaenal took us around and gave explanation in English, then Mr.Sodikin translated it into german. First step is the tea leafs being dried, after 12 hours the will be chopped and sent to the hot room, It called hot room, because as we entered this room, we will feel warm and we can smell the tea aroma, after that the tea will being oven, then it will be packed in the packaging room, the tea fabric tour is about 45 minutes, each guest will received a box of tea as a souvenir and at the end of it, we can drink a fresh tea in the cafeteria. All guest we’re pleased with the tour.
13.00 we arrived in ciater, the guests swam in the hot spring water and ate the fruits, that they bought at Lembang market, some of them just relax or ate lunch in the kunang-kunang  restaurant.
At evening we went back to Bandung. 

Thursday, February 19th 2009

“Case study”

Bandung Train Station-Banjar-Wanareja-Majenang-Bumiayu-Ajibarang-Banyumas-Purwokerto-Banjarnegara-Wonosobo-Baturaden

We took the train from Bandung to Banjar at 08.00, our micro bus had already leaving Bandung at night, on the way to Banjar, we saw beautiful scenery, such as: rice fields, highland, rivers, plantation, activities from the locals, etc.
As we arrived banjar, our micro bus, complete with Mr.Agus and Mr.Dadang have been waiting for us in the parking area, we continued our trip by bus to the border between West and Central-Java, on the way Mr. Sodikin told us about the history and facts about Central-Java, the capital city is Semarang and the people called Javanese, the local language is Bahasa Jawa, Plants that are common to be found in this area are Rice, Rubber trees, Jati trees, Cassava, and many more.
At 13.30 we took a rest in Wangon and had Lunch in Wangon Sari Restaurant. We reached Baturaden at 17.00, the guests were exhausted, because of the long trip to the Queen Garden Hotel in Baturaden.
As the discussion for the next day trip, a case comes over the top, actually the program is Dieng plateu and Borobudur, but because of the long distance from Baturraden to Dieng and then must catch the closing time at Borobudur temple make some of the guests upset, some people want to cut one of the program, some other refused to do that. Everyone spoke their argument, it was really a great debate, but with calm Mr.Sodikin Handling all the guest, after a while, Mr.Sodikin decided to made a little bit change, we will go first to Dieng Plateu, and skip the Borobudur for the day after tomorrow, so the guests will have plenty of time to exploring Borobudur, on they way to Yogyakarta, he will take the guest to another little Temple: Pawon and Mendut. Case closed for that day, but the surprise will coming next!
Friday, February 20th 2009

Baturaden-Wonosobo-Dieng Plateu-Pawon Temple-Java House-Mendut Temple-Jogjakarta

Even Baturraden located far away from Dieng, but it was worthy to stayed there, as we had breakfast, we saw mt. Slamet very clearly from Hotel. Mt. Slamet is the second highest active volcano in Java, This volcano still spewing out smokes from its peek until now. 
Its about 3400 meter high above the sea level after Semeru, 3600 meter. which located near to Borobudur.
We leave Baturaden at 07.15, and made 1st stop at Mustika 2, Ceramics and Tegel Workshop, the shop belongs to Ibu Djoeariah, it was already exist since many years, here we can see the process of making clay ceramics, all process were by hand and traditional equipments, after seeing the process, the guests can buy the production in the shop.
At 08.00 we reached Purwanegara and we were Banjarnegara at 09.00, on the way to Wonosobo, we made a Photo-stop.
For reaching Dieng Plateu , we went first to wonosobo, from wonosobo we changed car, because micro bus cannot ride to Dieng, because of the way up was too extreme for a bus.
 We stopped in Surya Asia Hotel in Wonosobo and got a smaller micro bus, the way up to Dieng Plateu its about 1,5 hours, Dieng located 26 km from Wonosobo, 200   

Saturday, February 21st  2009

“The World Wonder: Borobudur Temple”

Jogjakarta-Magelang-Borobudur-Sultan Palace-Prambanan-Kota Gede

At 07.30 we left Hotel and went to Borobudur village, it located in Magelang, the journey took about 1,5 hour from Jogjakarta, on the way there we saw once again the Mendut and Pawon Temple from our bus, first we entered the lobby, that provided for the international tourist, after giving the tickets to the personal, then we went first to the information center, all guests got a leaflet about Borobudur, which written in German language, after giving all the explanation about the temple and the history of Budha, we started to walked to the extraordinary Temple, Mr. Sodikin gave the guests time to make picture, after that we walked around the Temple guided by Mr. Sodikin, he told us the story behind all the relief, after 1 ,5 hour at last we reached the Nirwana, it is the peek from the temple, it was very fascinating.
At 11.10 we left Borobudur and continued our trip to the second destination, it was Sultan Palace, after bought tickets a local guide called mbak Endang brought us to look around the palace, she spoke in German, she told us about everything, it was very interesting.
At 13.20 we went to Prambanan Temple, it was a hindus temple, we can find there the 3 main temples with three gods inside, it were Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu, but pity it still under construction and unfriendly wetter, but anyway we were very lucky, because it was not raining.
The final destination that day was kota gede, some guests shopped there. Kota gede is very famous with it silver blacksmith, we went to a shop called Ansor Silver.
Mission Accomplished!   

Sunday, February 22nd 2009

“The Longest Trip“

Jogjakarta-Klaten-Pasar Gede-Bengawan Solo-Sragen-Bonorejo-Ngawi-Caruban(lunch)-Jombang-Trowulan (old Majapahit kingdom)-Mojokerto-Mojosari-Mt.Pananggungan-Gempol-Puspo(car changed)-Tosari-Bromo Cottage

We Left Jogjakarta early morning, on the way Mr. Sodikin explained about Budha and Hindu religion and  as we reached kartasura he started to give explanation about Surakarta as known as Solo, then we visited Pasar Gede, Mr. Sodikin took us in the traditional market, it seem the sellers there were already used to the tourist, after that we continued our ride, the we saw Bengawan Solo. In Sragen we passed the border between Central java and West java, we stopped in Bonorejo, there we took a rest and saw the handy crafts from the jati wood, as we arrived in Ngawi and have lunch in Tarsan restaurant, after lunch we continued to go to Tosari, we passed Jombang and then Trowulan “the old Majapahit”, after that Mojokerto.
At 16.00 we stopped in Gempol Restaurant, at last at 17.00 we finally reached Puspo village, but the journey has not finish yet, in Puspo we changed car from micro bus to ps car, because the way to Bromo Cottage cannot be reached by bus.
It was already dark, as we came to our Hotel in Tosari, all guests were tired, same with me and also Mr.Sodikin.

Monday, February 23rd 2009

“Amazing Bromo“

Tosari-Cemoro Lawang-Mt.Pananjakan-Bromo-Tosari-Puspo-Jember-Kalibaru-Margo Utomo Plantation-Margo Utomo Resort

The earliest wake up in the morning is on this day, we wake up at 3.00 AM, because we want to see the sunrise in Panajakan, 04.30 we started our journey from hotel with 2 jeeps, on the way to Panjakan we passed through Cemoro Lawang village, most of the people there are hindus.
we reached pananjakan at 04.45, we stood up with a magnificent bild of nature of pananjakan mount, especially as the sun rise up, wow! Unbelievable…I am speechless..
After looking sunrise at Pananjakan, we continued our journey to see Bromo, what for an adventure, we ride through hill then arrive in sand dessert. People can only drive until the parking are, after that we can choose to use a horse to go to Bromo or by walking, in the middle of the way we can find the beautiful temple, for seeing the Bromo crater we must climbed the 260 steps, it was really exhausting, but as we arrived on the top, all hard work got paid. Fascinating view from above is so amazing, I lost my word to describe the beauty of Tengger caldera, we made a lots of beautiful pictures there.
At 10.00 we took a breakfast at the Bromo Cottage restaurant and prepared to continue our trip to Kalibaru, we reached Kalibaru in the afternoon, Mr. Sodikin took us to visit the Margo Utomo plantation, there we can find various kind of plants from vanilla plant, cacao, coffe and many more. In the same place there also butterfly preserve cage with beautiful flower in it.
After all tour program for that day finished, we finally arrive in our beautiful resort in Kalibaru highland, what a wonderful day.

Tuesday, February 24th 2009

“Bali, here we come!“

Kalibaru-Glenmore-Banyuwangi-Ketapang-Gilimanuk (Jembrana-North Bali)-Cekik-Negara-Rambut Siwi Temple-Medewi Surfing Beach(Lunch)-Tabanan-Denpasar-Sanur (Transfer in)-Blanjong-Kuta-Benoa-Nusa Dua (Transfer in Melia Hotel)

Last day of our long trip, at last we will go now to Bali, on the way to Ketapang harbour we visited Glenmore cacao plantation, where we stopped and Mr.Sodikin gave us explanation about cacao. Then we continued our journey to Banyuwangi.
In Ketapang we used ferry to go across. We arrived in Bali in about 40 minutes, the harbour in Bali called Gilimanuk and its located on the north of Bali, on the way we stopped at Rambut Siwi temple and had lunch in Medewi restaurant.
We arrived at noon in Sanur, there are 6 guests, that stayed in Sanur, after check in in saying good bye, we must have to go to nusa dua, because the another 2 guest will stay in Nusa dua, after missin accomplished, we were all relief, especially Mr. Sodikin. What a unforgettable trip, this journey was very valuable for me, I have learned a lot the art of guiding from Mr.Sodikin, hopely in the future I will be able to get an opportunity to bring my own guest in an overland tour. When that day come, I’ll will do my best to do it and be a good tour guide


Coming back to Bandung
Bali-Ost Java-Central Java-Bandung (Salut! For the Mr. Agus “the pro driver”, who drive very well and didn’t sleep until Bandung
Special Thanks:
 Allah SWT; for opening my way to this guiding world and  giving me strength to visit extraordinary places.
 Mr. Sodikin Kurdi; vielen Dank! for giving me an opportunity to join the overland trip and showed me the ways, to be a good tour guide. I really don’t know how can I pay all of this amazing adventure. He is one of the best tour guide ever!
 Mr. Herman R.; for giving me a permission to join this trip and the support.
 The Guests; Frau Kloetzeln, Herr Fichter, Frau Mohr, Frau Bartsch, Herr Walter, Herr Cam, Frau und Herr Kemmerling.
 Mr. Agus and Mr. Dadang; for the safety ridding and made us always felt comfortable in the Bus.
 My family; Mom and Dad for letting your daughter to go for this long trip, even I have not finished yet my study, I promise to get out from the university ASAP
My lovely brothers and sister, Iqbal, Ismail, Fitria, Haykal, Holil; you’re all the reason why I must continue my life, to survive and work hard.
 My friends; HPI 2008, especially my “step mom”mama Yetty, Hady A.K.A Kevin, Opa Made, Bengbeng, “Papih” Pur, Uncle Agah; for all the support, motivation, advice, time, knowledge, that have been given and very useful in this trip.
 Teh Susan “Ucan”; for the information and making the document for the trip.
 All HPI Member; for showing and teaching me the art of guiding.
 All Guides and friendly people that I met, during the trip: Kang Iwan Riswan, Pak Rudi “bloom steen”, Johannes (Ger), Nick(Eng), Zensina, Kang Iwan Parmal, Pak Iwan (Sindanglaya), Mas Andi (Jkt), Pak Bambang (Jkt), Pak Beta(Jkt), Pak made(Bali) , Mas Haris (Jkt), Andrei (Jogja), Mas Mun and Mas Sugih (Jogja), Mas Ram and Mas Budi (the Paspampres), Mbak Rini (Tosari), Pak Alex (Jkt), Mas Damar, Tika (Jogja)and many more…
 My pals: Ncie, Restu, Murni, Iik, Lina, Naris, Mira, Maya, Sandy, Billy, Sovi, Nelson and many more…
 My friends: in UPI, Bandung Korean Community, German Private Course, The Center.
 My international friends: Gwak Seung Geun A.K.A Denis, Judith Barthen, Urs Kuebler, Liz Verheyden, Kyra Schneider, Felix and Karolina, Ole Goebels, Katharina Makowitzki, Ann Christin, Jihana, Lee, Abdu, Danial, Dawan, Esther, Evelyn, Simon, Jennie, Ceci, Qin Dong and Johannes.

P.S.: This Overland tour made me realized, that my country is very rich, unique, and beautiful. From now one I promise to learn more about Indonesia, so I can introduce it to the world. I love Indonesia and I am proud for being Indonesian.




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photo by: Alhen