Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Princess Treatment at Castle Inn Cappadocia

I first came to know of this "castle-like" accommodation from another travel blogger and decided to give it a try. Initially I wanted to stay at the highly tourist dense town of Goreme to be close to the UNESCO listed Goreme Open Museum but at the very last minute decided to check Ortahisar instead Well, after reading the short details on Castle Inn as read below on Booking.com with an impressive 9.4 score in reviews, you'd too would have a change of heart!

9.4 guys!!! 

"Located in the heart of Ortahisar district, Castle Inn Cappadocia has a unique architecture with a stone-built structure. The property offers a terrace with views over the town, and arched or cave rooms with authentic interiors and modern amenities. The rooms of Castle Inn Cappadocia are equipped with orthopaedic beds and pillows. They all have a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, free Wi-Fi, a minibar, free table PC, a phone with free local calls, and an electric kettle with complimentary coffee, black herbal tea. All rooms have a fireplace and some rooms offer a private spa bath. Daily breakfast is served as an open buffet with local products. You can enjoy your breakfast in the authentic breakfast room with an arched ceiling. 

Goreme Open Air Museum is within 2 km. Nevsehir Cappadocia Airport is 40 km away"

Friday, July 10, 2015

Talang, My First Volcano - Part 2

Continuing from where I left off from here....

I woke up several times that morning. A little after 3am.. tried hearing noises from the other tent. None.

Then woke up again at 4:30am... and heard some rustling next door. I yelped a cry-out but no response. So I decided to go out. Sure enough, I spotted Yayan scrambling in the dark, trying to heat some water. Haha. I lent him my lamp and awaited inside their tent as he makes hot tea. Syahrial was still snoozing beside me.

We started our ascend after our subuh prayers. It was still dark, but rays of the morning sun was creeping upon us. Yayan told me that it takes one hour to reach the peak. Yeah okayyyyy... with my speed, it might take us twice that long. Hehe. I brought with me a headlamp, a light pack of snacks and the lads brought hot tea and water.

Not at the peak yet, but the best views from the top were here where you can see all the three lakes; Danau Di Atas, Danau Di Bawah and Danau Talang. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Talang, My First Volcano - Part 1

Rising 2567 meters above sea level, Mt. Talang is one of the many volcanoes on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which includes Indonesia. That said, the volcanoes in Indonesia (estimated to have 150 volcanoes) are also among the most active with some notable for the eruptions.

After being seduced to the natural beauty found at the mountain by my good friend Yayan, a mountain lover who resides in Padang,  two hours away from Solok in which resides Mt Talang, I decided to climb it. "This will be the first volcano for Jard the Great!" He beamed, He failed to mention that it was also going to be my first time on back of a motorcycle for two hours with a 55L backpack on my back.

I was told that the mountain was a beginner's favorite. An easy trek up within two hours to Lembah Kasih, the main camping site before summit attack the next morning. Yayan also told me that even though the sunrise and sunsets were not that spectacular compared to other mountains, but the view on top is just as beautiful.

I wasn't in the best physical form when I decided to climb Talang as three weeks before I was in and out of hotels, eating five times a day as would any conference package provides, and doing nearly zero exercise. Hahaha. I figured that since Mt Talang was a beginner's mountain, it'd be a walk in a park.

Boy was I  dead wrong!

Do be reminded that a beginner's trail as presumed by Yayan is actually a non-ending upward trail through wide trails of MUD until you reach Lembah Kasih. But before the mud trail, you'd be walking through a scenic tea plantation. Thankfully, I changed my hiking shoes to my mountain sandals before embarking this torturous hike through mud. Else my shoes would be buried in mud and it will take weeks to wash it off! :P

"Jard, when you meet other hikers on the trail, greet them with "pak" or "ibuk"', Yayan advised me as we started our trip. We were accompanied by his best friend, Syahrial who helped carry my 3kg tent. Hehe. My bag was lighter among the three, filled with my own personal wear, some rations, food and water. I sometimes feel guilty just thinking about it.

Our bags during toilet run and before our ascend. 
En route to Lembah Kasih...