25-26 September 2012

Glossary provided below (for italic words) | please kindly ask for Bahasa Indonesia translation if you like

Last month, one of my friends told me about Couchsurfing website. I always love traveling and Couchsurfing (CS) offers something more than just travelers/backpackers community. It’s couchsurfers (CSers) community. If you met the right strangers, you found brothers and sisters. That’s what I thought after I met CS members of my hometown.

On 23rd, CS Purwokerto had an unofficial gathering. The attendees were Yuyun (CS Purwokerto former moderator), Isro (our new moderator), and me. I was so excited, yet curious what they would be like. Stilty? Humorous? Awkward? Well…. they’re unbelivably warm! It was like meeting family members you’d never met before. We talked about new agenda for CS Purwokerto since Yuyun will be leaving Indonesia to study abroad soon.

The day after, I picked up Nardo, from CS Jogja, with Reza (another CS Purwokerto member) at the train station. Reza and I are still newbies on CS, so Nardo shared a lot about CS and some backpackers communities while we were enjoying our dinner: soto Haji Loso, jl. Bank. One thing in common (traveling) grew to be many things in common. We planned tomorrow’s trip because Nardo wanted to see around. I contacted Isro, the master of CS Purwokerto, for help.

25 September 2012

Nardo and I were off to Sokaraja at 9am to meet Isro. Then, we visited Museum Wayang Banyumas, the batik Banyumasan Factory and outlet, and Boen Tek Bio temple before we ate the famous yummy tahu gejrot Banyumas. We proceeded our journey along side the Serayu river, straight to Museum Bank BRI, the first bank in Indonesia, established in 1895 by Patih Aria Wirjaatmadja.

It’s always interesting to know the history of your own hometown, isn’t it? Moreover, I’m almost a stranger to my own hometown. Shame on me…

Other recommended culinary spot: Es Duren Kombinasi. In front of GOR Satria (Purwokerto sport stadium).

We went to Jenderal Soedirman Museum, but it was already closed. And shockingly, people made the yard as night market and kind of circus show tents all over. I think it’s a total humiliation for a monument of a national hero.

Near sunset, we visited Kalibacin hotspring area, but it was also closed. We passed a cultural village behind the hill, then went to Bendung Gerak Serayu (a dam). It’s so peaceful and if you like fishing, you should bring your fishing equipments and stay there all day long… or maybe camp there.

On the evening, we finally held CS Purwokerto official gathering at my place. There were 5 attendees, including Reza and Anis (also a new member). We hope that it’s a great start for CS Purwokerto. After the gathering, Nardo, Reza, and I went to Baturraden to let Nardo tasting mendoan. Mendoan is Purwokerto specialty, but I think the place we went serves the best mendoan, with sambal kecap. Got puncture on my motorbike tyre, but thankfully there was a bike shop open.

mendoan (a bit overcooked)

26 September 2012

We gathered at my place in the morning (minus Reza) to explore another parts of our hometown. Isro is the expert to guide you out of tourism tracks. He’s a true adventurer!

We started with Batur Agung river. On the way there, we met a nira keeper. We begged him that we could buy the nira to drink. Kinda old memories😀 it had been a long while since the last time we drank nira. You’ll see beautifully arranged rice fields around.

We entered a forest to see curug Gomblang. Found some wild raspberries🙂

I got some “pretty” scars because of wrong dress code. Worth it though. I saw heaven-like view! Curug Gomblang was so stunning. Shady green cliff, pristine cool water, wind blowing… You can feel the mist touch your skin. It’s a perfect escape. The work load, the stress, the boredom from daily routines seems can be washed away easily. I felt refreshed. I wish I could stay there longer, but our next waterfalls were waiting!

Curug Gede is one of famous waterfalls in Purwokerto. Gede means big or huge in Javanese, but this waterfall rebels from its destiny. It’s fairly NOT big at all. Starving, we chose Warung Koboi to have lunch at. A homey place with menu that you can only find in villages. They’ve been maintaining the original style of Warung Koboi. Brought back old memories, just like when we drank nira. FYI, as time goes by, Warung Koboi has become famous and the visitors are mostly upper middle class, so don’t be surprised with the price.

Isro led us to the next waterfall: curug Belot. Another wonderful scenery I’d never known existed in my hometown! Double shame on me! Lucky, some local children joined us. I can’t describe the joy I felt that moment. Isro found some unique fish (kind of electric eel), Anis got into the water (not as planned before), Nardo jumped from the cliff for the first time, I conquered my phobia of fish and we even had swimming race.

We exchanged our captures and finally… farewell time came. It’s not the end. It’s just another beginning of our new unforgettable adventures. Rare opportunity, priceless experiences, better friendship. Long live, CS Purwokerto!😀

 

Glossary:

Soto: traditional spicy (not hot) chicken soup, with meat, vegetables, and ketupat (compressed rice cut into small cakes). Our soto has ground nuts sauce as the characteristic.

Wayang: puppet, mostly shadow puppets in this museum.

Tahu gejrot: deep fried traditional tofu, sliced cabbage, mung bean sprouts, with sweet and spicy sauce made of light tamarind solution + chili, garlic and palm sugar pounded on stone mortar. You should enjoy it with kerupuk mie, the yellow crackers.

Es duren (kombinasi): durian, coconut milk, evaporated milk, chocolate paste, caramel, shaved ice.

Mendoan: tempeh, covered with flour dough + leeks, deep fried. Usually not to crispy. The crispy one is keripik tempe. Also famous traditional food of Purwokerto.

Sambal kecap: chili in sweet soy sauce.

Nira: coconut flower extract.

Curug: waterfall.

Warung Koboi: literally means “cowboy stall” in Javanese. Usually used to describe a small restaurant with traditional food and beverage in villages or on sidewalks of some cities.

 

Check this out:

www.couchsurfing.org

Don’t forget to contact me there. My ID: ivalda. My beloved CS  group: Purwokerto.

Follow us on Twitter: @couchsurfingPWT

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