Thursday, February 13, 2014

Gua Jomblang - In Eternal Darkness, You'll Find Light

The hell Jard, why does your blog's title sounds so cryptic? - monologue

I didn't had a good rest the night before. The guestroom I slept in was a simple bare room with two metal double decker bunk beds, a wooden drawer, air purifier and an adjoining bathroom. There wasn't much decorations in the room as it was newly furbished with the simple furniture it holds. I shared it with two other guys and a girl. (Yeah, here's my first, sleeping in mixed dormitories!) My night was restless because the sounds of the rounded belly white guy who slept across me, going to the bathroom kept me up.

But hey no worries, I got to wake up early to hop on the pre-booked ojek (or also known as taxi-like motorist) to Giwangan Bus Station, located 15 minutes away. My friend from Jombang will be waiting for me there as we'll be heading to the outskirts of Yogyakarta to a district named Wonosari via bus. It is here where I'll experience my first time caving!

This caving trip involves two caves. the Jomblang cave which is a vertical cave with a forest manifestation covering a diameter of 60 meters and the Grubug cave where in eternal darkness you get to see rays of light. Read on to understand what I mean.

Giwangan Bus Station. These are inter-cities buses. You can catch a bus to any part of East Jawa here. 
The day wasn't exactly a clear beautiful day. It was cloudy with signs of rainfall. We waited for another friend to join before we boarded the mini bus to our destination. The ride costed us Rp10,000 each, a cheaper method of going there compared to renting a whole car which would cost us Rp450,000 (excluding fuel).

Our Jomblang guide, Pak Cahyo Alkananta told us which spot to get off. Alid was our middle man between the guide and us. So after roughly 2 hours of bus-ride, we stopped and waited at a junction called Perempatan Munggi to be picked up by Pak Cahyo. It was raining.

We expected that a jeep will pick us up, but boy were we wrong! Three uncles on motorcycles came through the rain and stopped right near our waiting place. The bumpy, adrenaline pumping motorcycle ride that ensues after we hopped on was hard to forget. The uncles rode their bikes on rocky, muddy roads, deep into a rural area and I was holding to dear life's sake at the back. My butt keeps skidding off the seat every-time my driver relentless rode over big muddy holes in the roads. Mud eventually splashed across my back and bag.

We reached our destination, 20 minutes later. And hot tea was served.
I kinda dig this tea set. And mind you, those brown sugar cubes were hard to disperse in my tea.
I was impressed by the facilities provided at Jomblang resort. For paying caving customers like us, we had this whole open place to ourselves complete with seating furniture, tiled bathrooms and showers. Thankfully, a local (whom I met the night before) has advised me to bring extra pair of clothes. So let's get dirty! 

Lara Croft wannabe, all geared up!
We had to ascend 60 meters into the hole. It wasn't a dark hole that I originally pictured it was. It was rather a u-shaped steep canyon and this is what you call the Jomblang cave.
The boys ready to be lowered into the hole. 
While the boys did it tandem style. I had to go down alone. T___T

Forever alone. #eh. Picture credit to Chocky
It would have been a very frightening 60 meter drop if it wasn't for the safety precautions and professional way the cave operators handled this.  After having everyone down, we then threaded our way through a 300 meter alley with its beautiful natural ornament to the edge of Gua Grubug (Grubug Cave), a place where you can see light from heaven.

Mud, mud, mud. It was EVERYWHERE!
There were a Pakistani family comprising the parents with three kids from the UK and two other girls who were in our group. I was told that only 25 people were allowed into the cave per any given day and it was handled by several other operators too. Our small group that day had 9 people.

Finally, we're in the cave!
Once in the cave, we had to step on stoned stabs in the mud, an artificial trail into Grubug. If we missed, we'd be slipping and falling all over the place. There was nothing to hold onto if we did fall. I sure can't depend on my travel mates. They'd have a laughing fit before helping me up. :(

Countless careful steps later, we reached the highlight of our trip. The rays of heaven!
Usually, if we reached the bottom of Grubug around mid-day, the views of the sun through the eternal darkness at the bottom of the cave would have been amazing. Unfortunately, the day was gloomy and only little rays of light came through. Not to be disheartened by this, we still enjoyed the experience. It only makes me want to come back for more!
Stalactites and stalagmites in the middle of Grubug.
Sunlight broke into the mouth of Grubug cave and I noticed in the middle of Grubug, there are two large boulders. These boulders were formed by rain water that dripped over it for thousands of years. In scientific terms, they were developed from the soluble limestone of rainwater which then creates white bone-colored calcite minerals. Those minerals were transported and underwent a lithification process, creating a wavy structure in the surface and pillar structures on the side as seen in the not so clear picture above.

After enjoying the rain under the heavenly rays of light, we soon headed back to where we entered. Here's a video clip I created while waiting for my flight from Yogyakarta to Kuala Lumpur.

What I didn't catch on my camera was this. The men power behind us getting out of the cave safely. Hehehe

It took this many men to pull me up. I must be really HEAVY! Picture credit to Alidabdul
I want to this again. The guide told me the best times to catch the rays are from June till August. Will see how. *devious grin*

- Jomblang Caving Package includes tea, lunch and all the necessary equipment and costs Rp450,000 per person.
- Contact Pak Cahyo to book your tour today! - +62 811 117 010


Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

Terminal Giwangan not Giliwangan and our bus from Yogya to Wonosari is aircon btw :p

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ alid... serius? didn't feel like it had aircond. huhu *bus terminal corrected*

Unknown said... [Reply]

Baru buka, terbaca opening.

The hell Jard, why does your blog's title sounds so cryptic? - monologue

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ ivan chan.. komen apakah ini? hahaha -__-

aaron setiawan said... [Reply]

Wah dari Jomblang ya? Hehehe. Saya punya teman yang bisa memberi harga lebih murah dari itu. *kabur*

glokaladventure said... [Reply]

Can i follow u in any one of your next trip? I've never travel before but feel like want to start one!

glokaladventure said... [Reply]

Mind if i join u in any one of your next trip? I want to start travelling but no companion though...:)

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ aaron... seriussssssss?? mau ikutttttttt..

@ glokaladventure... I have no idea who you are. haha. an introduction wud be nice before I agree in inviting you on one of my trips.

aaron setiawan said... [Reply]

@JARD : serius dong. :D

hcvvorld of Travels, Lifestyle and Photography said... [Reply]

wow!!! this one looks like the movie 'Descend' minus the creepy blind human creatures inside..hehehe...

hlga said... [Reply]

mahal juga ya.. mungkin karena emang lumayan susah buat masuk ke goanya itu kak. hehehe

finally gua jomblang mission passed! :p

Arieon said... [Reply]

Aik.. dah tukar theme pulak...
btw, gua ni sebelah mana ni? Dekat-dekat area mana

Wilson Ng said... [Reply]

Not a big fan of caving but this sure looks awesome!


Khai said... [Reply]

Nampak scary sebab tak ada tempat nak pegang masa masuk gua tu, but at the same time it looks fun and amazing. Aku memang suka buat benda2 macam ni and this looks good!!

cranes for sale said... [Reply]

beautiful project....

Catia Hasan said... [Reply]

Hai, mau nanya 450rb itu ada minimal berapa orang yang ikut ga ya? thank you

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ catia hasan... minimal dua orang kak. :)

Patrick said... [Reply]

Hey there,

Were you able to get the bus back to Yogyakarta on the same day or did you need to spend the night in Wonosari? Just want to know if I can do the trip and cave all in a day.



Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ patrick..

hey.. yes we did manage to catch a bus from the road side into jogja. And it is possible to do a day trip here.

hope this info helps.

Happy travelling!