Heaven & Hell Side By Side
Dieng Travel Blog› entry 20 of 54 › view all entries
I do not know what Heaven will be like.
I know that I may one day get to see the fires of Hell.
With the Dieng Plateau, I think I found both. Coexisting in blissful tender harmony together.
From the drive into the area, we were in awe of the scenery that surrounded us from the rolling hills to the winding mountain roads gripping tightly to the mountain side as we climbed higher. Towns and villages passed us by with impossibly steep streets. Every inch of the moutains and hills was used for farming even in areas that would be hard to imagine along the steepest slopes.
I will admit to expecting to have a load of people awaiting us as the bus stopped to tout us for business, then I remembered where I was.
We managed to hire out two guides and two motorbikes to take us around all the sites as we would only have one day here. The price was very reasonable so there was no need to even haggle. Another great thing about Indonesia so far.
Our first stop was at one of the lakes, Telaga Warna. The lake has the most amazing colour of any lake I have ever seen. It was made up of shades of green and blue that I have only ever dreamt of. It honestly took my breath away. I remember telling Matthew straight away that this was one of the most beautiful spots I had ever seen. There was a nice walkway around the lake including a path leading up to the theatre on the hill top.
Rookie mistake. Here I am in one of the most beautiful spots in my life and my camera battery decided to give out. I forgot to charge it the night before. Luckily I always carry a spare camera since the time I was in Brazil stuck using disposable cameras when my digital decided to die from falling off a mountain....
As a counter balance for the sheer beauty of the lakes and mountains in Dieng, there are several active volcanic craters dotted around the hills like portals to Hell suffocated in sulphuric plumes of smoke. Our next stop would be our introduction to such sights with the Sikidang Crater.
From a distance we could see great plumes of smoke.
Walking away from the crater I turned over a piece of wood to uncover a very small and discreet warning about going beyond that point...cue a great photo opportunity. I passed up another photo opportunity just before we got back to our bikes. A local gentleman with very good English came up and asked if he could take our photo.
After the volcanic fury and our increasing rise to stardom, we set off to see the Bima temple. A large stone Hindu temple that means a lot to the locals. Next stop was the Sileri Crater. This offered a great view deep into a crater with well farmed slopes. In the heart of the crater was another steaming pool. There was a steep set of steps down which we duly followed as close to the crater as we could get.
Next stops were another smaller crater with a very strong green lake or pool inside and then we headed to the hot pools.
At the end of the tour, the owner of a place we ate in, organised transport for us all the way to Yogyakarta, in a mini bus, an air conditioned mini bus that was all but empty.