Today we were at a bit of loose end so we decided to go for our own trek of Cianjur which would take us through the paddy fields and up into the local hills. To begin with the day looked fine but our host did suggest that as the weather could change quite rapidly that we take our raincoats – so duly advised the raincoats were with us.
The walk, originally explained to us as being easy was a bit more difficult than we had been led to believe either that or something had been lost in the translation. However, after a bit of a confusing walk through the back alleys by the side of the main road we actually picked up a bit of a ‘trail’ which was all well and good until the heavens opened and it absolutely bucketed it down. This was the end of Indonesia’s rainy season but the rains were not pushing off just yet and they had a right old go at us whilst we were in the middle of a paddy field. So we hot footed it over this bridge – I say bridge but ‘it’ simply consisted of three/four long bamboos for the bit you walked on and then one for a handrail, very exciting.
The rain would not let up so we stood under a tree by a house for a bit of respite and a couple of butterflies decided that if this shelter was good enough for us then it was good enough for them too, so they parked themselves on my boot and we all waited the rain out. In about half an hour it had finally had enough so we were off again and so were our yellow friends before us.
After a few twists and turns we found ourselves on a lane that led through a couple of villages. The children were already playing outside again and they seemed quite amused to see myself and Liz coming out for a walk after the soaking. The kids would shout ‘Bule Bule’ which I am told means foreigner and some gave me a high five as I went past which they would carry on until we were well on the other side of their village and my hand a bloody slab of meat. I am not entirely sure that all those saying Bule meant it in a nice fashion perhaps some meant it more of an insult but if they were not happy no one actually came outright and said so and the little ones seemed to be having a great laugh trying to ‘high five’ me as hard as they could … lol.
It was really nice just to meander along at our own pace seeing the houses and people – once again waterways were being used as dumping grounds but generally the houses were very nice – as ever the religious buildings, the Mosques, were the most impressive structures in the villages but this is the same everywhere no matter what religion is practised. The villages also had a couple of schools for older children and as we had experienced earlier the girls would giggle and sometimes thrust one of their number forward to give us a ‘Good Morning’ in their best English, whilst the young guys would generally try give us their best surly look!
We had been walking down a road that seemed a bit bigger than most when we actually recognised a shop from when we had set off – we had just about walked past our digs – great explorers eh! Back home we tootled and two new arrivals had turned up, Phillip and Catherine a couple of Germans who were very nice, we told them about the school which they took a trip out to but decided ourselves to have a day off from such hard work so instead the homestay decided to test filling our bellies with a mountain of food which was very nice but very filling.