Mt Telemoyo and Mt Ungaran (Central Java)

 photo IMG_3946_zps64a50a2c.jpg
During the dinner with the snake and lizard, my uncle mentions that I should go to Telemoyo because the final 7km (4 miles) is devoid of houses or farms: it is just wild bush. There is an unmaintained single lane road to the top so I can take the motorbike instead of walking. “You want to go to Telemoyo?” asks my cousin’s husband, Gos Rider followed quickly by “When?” and “Maybe I can come with you.” And so it is that I am riding like a madman through the streets of Semarang chasing the Gos Rider as he zips easily between the traffic.
 photo IMG_3949_zpsc4a29c32.jpg
After Salitiga, the landscape opens out and the heavy traffic eases. We are now surrounded by green jungle and banana plantations. I rode here on the first day of my East Java trip and it took me much longer to get here than it did today. Copying Gos Rider as he rides his scooter like it’s a high powered race machine an exhilerating experience.
 photo IMG_3986_zps4ef362db.jpg
We turn off the main road pass through Kopeng where cabbage and lettuce seedlings grow in greenhouses along the road. The climate is cool here by Javanese standards so these temperate weather crops grow in abundance.
 photo IMG_3956_zps54a28926.jpg
After passing through Kopeng we turn up the Gunung Telemoyo road. Now the real adventure begins.
 photo IMG_3960_zps68a2f51c.jpg
Farmers carry grass along the road.
 photo IMG_20141206_065926_zpsan97zn8u.jpg
And load cabbage into trucks. I love the fact that photobombing has made it here to the small rural villages. I saw the guy making dancing movements out of the corner of my eye but he would stop whenever I turned. What a laugh.
 photo IMG_3962_zps19f1c5d5.jpg
The narrow road wound it’s way up Gunung Telemoyo, deteriorating with each bend.
 photo IMG_3963_zps37032e11.jpg
Of course I had to get my first obligatory jumping photo in Indonesia. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long.
 photo IMG_3964_zps5ddc96b5.jpg
Perhaps the jumping angered the weather clouds because no sooner were we back on our bikes than the heavens opened. Cold rain pelted down on us as we rode ever higher.
 photo IMG_20141206_065902_zps7fpzbgl6.jpg
And then the clouds rolled in thickly, blocking any chance of a view and reducing visibility greatly.
 photo IMG_200754613990472_zpsnx5hk3mg.jpeg
But still upwards we rode until the road deteriorated so much that I could go up no more on the slippery rocks.
 photo IMG_178808979790403_zpsqgovxpmv.jpeg
 photo IMG_178812343465780_zpschef6tv7.jpeg
And so we turned back about 2km from the top of the mountain. Now some people would say it is a disappointment not to make it to the top but I think it was a fantastic adventure to still head up the mountain despite the rain (and after having left my wet weather gear at the hotel). Being on the mountain in the clouds was a beautiful experience; the white shroud creating mystique around the landscape.
 photo IMG_178815473476573_zpsafk9ey1y.jpeg
We returned to Kopeng for lunch at a restaurant with a view of the mountain. The ayam goreng with rice was delicous and just what I needed to warm my body after being soaked to the bone. I am just glad my clothes are quick dry.
 photo IMG_4001_zps6352f48c.jpg
After lunch we take a short tour through Kopeng. The town is lovely with narrow roads and many seedling nurseries.

We hear some traditional music being played and stop to look. It’s a group of children playing in a hall. They are unsupervised and play with joy.
 photo IMG_200751285286137_zps6ukwxcxe.jpeg
After listening to the music we head back down the mountain to ride to “Swimming in the Sky” at Mt Ungaran. Along the way we stop to take in the views over the rice paddies to the mountains.
 photo IMG_4020_zps1e19f23d.jpg
The rain starts to fall heavily again as soon as we start to ride up Gunung Ungaran. I guess this is why they call this the rainy season. At least the scenery is beautiful and the riding fun.
 photo IMG_4034_zpsed25756d.jpg
“Swimming in the Sky” is a large rock-lined swimming pool that has been built into Gunung Ungaran’s slopes. It is popular in summer but today the water and rain are too cold for swimming.
 photo IMG_4045_zpse0319d88.jpg
From the pool you can look out over a terraced ridge. It’s exactly the sort of scenery that makes Asia seem so beautiful and exotic.
 photo IMG_4038_zps890455c8.jpg
We press on to the top of the road. From here hikers can “bag the gunung” with a three hour trek to the summit and back. But we are not hiking. Rather, we drink coffee at the new cafe with a view out over Telemoyo, which seems so small set against Gunung Merbubu behind it.
 photo IMG_200728922917584_zpswvgp1kvt.jpeg
It was a brilliant day. And I am so glad Gos Rider came along to show me the way and share many laughs. Actually, I think it was his company that made the day so much better than it would have been.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Mt Telemoyo and Mt Ungaran (Central Java)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s