(Photo: Brilio/Retno Wulandari)
Just because you can't eat, doesn't mean you can't travel.Retno Wulandari 31 May 2017 11:10
Ramadan may not be the ideal month to travel. You’ll be fasting all day so it’s impossible to eat and drink during the day, and of course, there is only a little chance for a culinary tour — most of those travel goals could be missed. However, if you miss the road already, you can consider to have a short getaway to nearby places, where you can enjoy a short trip and reward yourself with a satisfying feast during iftar.
But which destination? For you who live in Jakarta, Bandung, Depok, Bogor and anywhere near Garut, you should consider this one: Talaga Bodas.
Talaga Bodas crater is one of the mountainous tourist attractions in the regency of Garut. It’s a volcanic lake (talaga) formed from the eruption of Mount Talaga Bodas. Bodas means “white”, which explains its characteristics: the lake has pale turquoise water and ashy, plus light gray gravels and rocks on its banks. The crater itself still has volcanic activity, but it’s rather safe to visit.
The panoramic view around Talaga Bodas Crater is breathtaking with its majestic mountain scenery and the surrounding tropical forest. But the main attraction is a natural hot spring located on the north side of the lake, which presents beautiful scenery while you’re enjoying soaking in the warm, natural hot water in the cold breeze. After a long walk from the parking lot to the lake, this hot dip could be a real prize as you’ll walk out fresh afterwards.
How to get to Talaga Bodas
Talaga Bodas lies in Wanaraja, about 28 kilometers from Garut downtown, and is relatively easy to reach by two or four-wheeled vehicles. The damaged main street of Wanaraja, which heading to the destination, has been repaired, so access to this location is so much easier than before.
From the downtown Garut, take the route to the Wanaraja District. You will find Pasar Wanaraja, and about 100 meters away there will be an intersection, then turn right to get to Talaga Bodas. It will be a long way up, and all you have to do is to go up through the route to arrive at the destination. (If you don’t drive your own vehicle, there’s a lot of ojek drivers to take you right to Talaga Bodas at a cost of Rp 120,000 per person)
At the beginning of the road, you’ll pass through the village of Dangdeur, with locals’ residents, tobacco farms and some brick kilns. When you have reached a certain height, the scenery changed into forests, cliffs and valleys, as well as plantations on the hills, including Sadang Hurip Pyramid Mountain. By driving up through this road, you will arrive at Talaga Bodas gate, located on the border of Tasikmalaya.
Tips to enjoy Talaga Bodas during fasting days
Once you arrive at Talaga Bodas area, you must leave your vehicle in the parking lot and continue the journey to the crater by foot. There’s still roughly 750 to 850 meters way up, and around a kilometer to the natural hot spring. Climbing the uphill road during fasting could take a toll on you, but fret not, because with only Rp 10,000 per person, there’s a lot of ojek that will help to get you there. For your information, the ojek journey uphill (and downhill on your way back), crossing a small creek with the motorbike, is also exhilarating.
You may want to spend your afternoon hanging around the Talaga Bodas lake to take photos or take a dip in the natural hot spring. There’s a little mosque near the hot spring, as well as toilet and washrooms, so no need to worry if you need to perform your prayers. But consider going back to the parking lot before 6 pm, because you don’t want to have to pass through the forest after dark (you can ride an ojek to go back instead of walking).
If you want to break the fast, there are plenty of choice in the parking lot. There are a lot of warungs (small shops) with various stuff on the menu. Try the Sundanese signature Nasi Liwet, the spiced steamed rice, with either fried anchovy or fried chicken, veggies and sambal. You can also spoil yourself with the modest, all-time-favorite Indomie with poached egg and cabai rawit (cayenne-like chili) is also available — and it tastes amazing to have a bowl of steaming, hot Indomie in the freezing cold air.
So, are you ready to pack up for your next short getaway?