Ciwidey is a sulfuric crater located on a highland at West Java. It's just a two-hour drive away from the city of Bandung, which is the capital of West Java province. It's a great spot for landscape photography and a favorite spot for pre-nuptial photo shoots.
After a great Friday night out, I woke up at 5:22 in the morning. I needed to get ready for this photo hunting trip with my friends from Lomonesia (a Lomography community in Indonesia). My friend and I got to the meeting place at the Lomography Embassy Store at 6.30am. There were already other people there as our meeting time was actually at 6:00am, with the departure set at 7am. We headed to registration, signed our names and our twitter accounts (Was this really necessary? Although I wrote in mine anyway.:p ) and we got our name tags that say, “HELLO, My name is: (fill in the blanks)” since some of us just met for the first time.
Then the clock struck 7 and we were all ready to go. Our bags are packed, our cameras are all loaded so off we went to our location.
We took a bus which was quite nice. It was air conditioned, has a toilet in it, and even has a smoking section at the front (which is separated by a glass door). We are about to pick up our friends in Bandung first, before heading off to our main destination which is a good two hours away from the city of Bandung. Kawah Putih, a popular tourist spot, is a sulfuric crater up in the mountain in the Ciwidey area, West Java.
The traffic was quite bad, we arrived in Bandung at 9.30am – 30 minutes later than we expected. Fourteen people got in, along with our lunch (I’m already starving at that time as I only had a small breakfast), adding up to a total of 38 people in the bus.
We then proceeded to our destination, moving along through Kopo, then up the hills, and that’s when something came up. Just our luck, the bus suddenly stopped, apparently it broke down. Eventually, things got sorted out though. We just had to wait for a while on the broken down bus. So we ate our lunch and were waiting for the substitute bus to come when it started to rain.
After an hour of waiting, the second bus finally came and we were able to continue on with our journey. We were just a short distance away from (but it was a hell ride of sorts, like a roller-coaster-near-death-experience ride; the driver was crazy, twisting and turning the bus like it was a mini car) the Kawah Putih nature tourism spot.
Turns out that we have to pay for the ticket and the small cars to get to the Crater (26k Rupiah). Oh and two of our friends joined in with a private car, so there’s 40 of us now. So up we went, the rain had stopped but it was foggy. I felt sort of a mixture of awe and eerie along the way up with the fog, mist, and all. Six kilometers up, and we were finally there.
We entered the facility, up the steps, and into the crater. It was already 3pm. It was vast, with a sulfuric smell which ran throughout the crater, poking our nasal cavity. It wasn’t too crowded nor was it deserted either.
The place is a favorite spot for pre-nuptial photo shoots and is a local and international tourist attraction just outside Bandung, capital city of West Java.
We started taking pictures with our analog plastic cameras. Flash, normal, bulb, landscapes, human interest, trees, rock, water, and everything else. It was fun, we took pictures of all of us together and also got a couple of digital cameras to document the event while we shot with analogues to our hearts’ content.
We stayed in the crater for quite a while. The air was chilly, the wind’s cold, and after one-and-a-half hour or so, it started to rain.
It was late, so after another group picture, we went down and walked back to our new bus (the first one broke down, remember?).
It’s already late in the afternoon and we were extra famished. So we went to the nearest food stalls, ordering food like instant noodles, meatballs, grilled sweet corn, chocolate coated strawberries, and a local cuisine called ’batagor".
The first bus was better than this one, but well, I can’t really complain, since it was just an unfortunate circumstance, at least we were still able to get to our destination and were now on our way home safely. The road back though was still foggy.
We dropped off our friends from Bandung and went straight back to Jakarta. Back to our first meeting point at the Lomography Embassy Store in Jalan Bumi No. 19, Mayestik, South Jakarta.
Hard rain welcomed us as we arrived in Jakarta, it was already 10.30pm. Tired but content, we went home.
I will be waiting for our next trip. :)