Last minute trips are usually the best ones! At least, for my family, they are.. :-D
My husband and I both love nature and open space to have a refreshing family time. However, we have slightly different ideas on the type of 'nice' camping for the family..
I grew up a girl guide, so, anyone can guess that I love sleeping in a tent, somewhere in the forest, up on the mountain..
While my husband, enjoyed a nice holiday, close enough to nature to enjoy it, and close enough to necessities, to ensure comfort..
Both of us believe that there are always a midway for us, the question is.. Where???
It happens that, one of my husband's good friends from high school married a guy who used to be a boy scout. They are pretty much the opposite of us. The husband loved outdoor activities -he even loves the things that I don't dare try, such as paragliding-. While the wife (my husband's friend from high school), is pretty much like my husband.. Well, friends are bound to be alike.. :-D
So far, we have gone on vacation trips together, and our kids get along well together, so, we try to get together every once in a while. The funny thing is, every time we try to make a well-planned trip, weeks ahead.. The trip just doesn't come true..
On the other hand, every time we made a plan in the spirit of the moment, about three days ahead of the planned departure.. just like that, the trip comes true! So far, we have gone to Anyer (a beach about four hours away from Jakarta), Ciwidey (strawberry plantation near Bandung, about 3 hours away from Jakarta), and several night outs around Jakarta..
To cut the story short..
On Thursday, my husband told me that we were going to the mountainside with his friend's family.
My husband only said that it was at the peak of the mountain. Not a well-known place, but our friends' kids always have a good time there. So, I was looking forward to it!
We left home a little bit after 7.00 in the morning, in the hope to beat the traffic. We rounded up at the rest area just outside the inner city toll road, before entering the outer city toll road. We bought snacks and other little things there, then we headed to the mountainside.
Yess.. Some fresh air.. Away from the city!!
The kids were full from big breakfast at home, and they were calm and happy in the car. Ariq kept asking "Can we open the window for cool breeze yet?"
My husband and I kept saying, "Not yet! It's still the toll road."
There were slow traffic at several places, but nothing significant. We arrived at the spring at around 10.30.
The surprise was, the place was very crowded! Apparently, a group of school students were using the place for their study tour. The spring staff told us that the group were checking out around noon, so, we could go for a walk around the tea plantation, or go to the higher ground for paragliding watching.
We chose to watch the paragliding practice.
The air was calm with no rough wind, so, people could have a nice time gliding. The gliders were going round and round in the air, higher and higher as the warm air took them up. Some of them went past each other, as if they were sailing in the ocean.. It was a very relaxing sight. I'm sure the people who were gliding were feeling very relaxed too..
The boys were excited too see the gliders take off and started flying, but more than that, they were just too happy to be in an open space.. Well, I was feeling very happy and free to be in an open space..
After watching a few gliders take off, suddenly, Kyra was watching the next glider with a very intense look in her eyes. I saw her nodding a few times, while saying to herself, "Bisa! (can do).. Bisa!" Then, she started counting, "1.. 2.. 3.. Terbang (fly)."
We were grinning for a second, then we shouted and ran, as we realised what she was doing next. She was running towards the edge of the cliff, to imitate the glider!!
Our friend (the husband), saw Kyra running past him, and caught her. Following that, my husband who had caught up, picked Kyra up and swung her around above his head, "There.. you are flying..!"
Kyra was excited and laughing happily. Of course she didn't realise, that paragliding needs a parachute.. She thought that she could just jump off the cliff and fly around in midair..
The good thing was, we were not standing too close to the edge. At first, we backed away from the cliff, because the boys got carried away watching the gliders and a couple of times, they didn't realise that they were in the gliders' way during take off.
We just didn't think that it was Kyra, who would actually run to the cliff to 'practice' paragliding..
We had a good time watching the paragliding practice, and we also took some nice pictures around the area.. ;-)
At around 11.30, everyone started to feel hungry. There was a little snack shop nearby, selling instant noodle and drinks. So, we sat down there and had something to eat before the 'real' lunch. We were planning to have rice and fried fish for lunch at the spring.
The little snack shop had a low wall, so we were sitting on a bench, leaning on a wall/table, and watching the scenery at the same time.. It felt like having a picnic!
After snack, we headed back to the spring, right when the school students were checking out. Then, the spring was quiet.. A few families were still there, but much less busy than the morning.
We ordered lunch, and while waiting, Ariq, Aza and Kyra went swimming in the spring. While our friends's kids stayed at the cottage with their mum and me.
My husband called me to have a look at the kids, and I took several nice pictures of them..
I didn't prepare swimming equipment for the kids, as I didn't think that we would be staying the whole day.. My bad.. :-D .. I still brought a couple of change clothes for each of them though, so, problem is solved!
The water flow of the spring was quite hard. There were four pools, forming a row. The first and the last ones are the fish ponds. The ponds are so clear and the fishes are very big and beautiful. When I was looking at them, one of them looked back at me, and the others were swimming around, close to me..
The middle pools are the swimming pools, with a bridge separating the two pools. These ones are where people swim and play. Despite the fact that these two pools are positioned in the middle of two fish ponds, there is no fishy smell at all. The water flows heavily from the first fish pond, passing the two swimming pools, to the last pond, and out to the gutter, which was also very clean and clear.. It was just a beautiful sight, watching clean and clear water runs that fast..
When I went back to the cottage, our lunch was already there. Freshly cooked rice, fried fish, freshly picked vegetables and freshly ground traditional chilli sauce (sambal terasi). One bite of the fried fish, dipped in the chilli sauce, and I couldn't stop eating.. It had been too long since we had a traditional meal, in the mountainside.. It reminded me of Ciamis, my mother's village in the West Java..
Not long after, the kids came back. They had showers, changed into clean-dry clothes, and then lunch..
Along with the kids, my husband also came back from the spring. He was all wet, when he was not planning to go into the water!
It turned out that there was a little child (about Kyra's age), who wandered away from his parents, and went swimming by himself. The spring pool was quite deep for children that age, so the child was drowning.. and my husband jumped into the water to get him..
My husband completely forgot that he had his Blackberry in his jeans pocket and his Ipad in his sling bag. Fortunately, the sling bag was waterproof, so the Ipad was safe.. The Blackberry was a different story, though.. It was soaking wet!! He couldn't use it for the rest of the trip..
I'm just glad that Ariq is always ready to accompany Kyra.. including taking her around the spring pool on his float.. :-)
Anyway.. After lunch, the kids went to the paragliding landing area, to watch the gliders make their landing.
Our friend (the husband) was practicing grounding. He is in the paragliding club and he goes there, with his family, to practice every Sunday. When the other kids went back to the cottage, Ariq stayed with our friend until the end of practice.
When they came back, the kids played around the cottage, while the adults were packing up to go home. -well, the adults minus my husband-.. because he was turned into a carrousel pony by the kids.. :-D
Suddenly it started raining very hard, and Kyra quietly walked to the balcony.. As expected, she was quietly enjoying the rain..
Then, Aza said that he was hungry. So, we decided to let the kids have early dinner before we head home.
We left the spring at 5.30. It was really good that the kids had their dinner. Not long after we left the spring, Ariq and Aza were already fast asleep in the car. Kyra followed them to the dreamland about an hour after. Traffic was slow, and we arrived home at 08.45
We came home tired and sleepy, but still, it was another great outdoor weekend for us..
Can't wait for another one.. ;-)