Monthly Archives: September 2012

A place with three waterfalls side by side

The place is located in the southern part of Sukabumi district, around 6 to 7 hours drive from Jakarta, but it is only around 25 kilometers from Ujung Genteng. The waterfalls are known as Curug Cikaso (“curug” is a Sundanese term for waterfall) because the waterfalls are actually a part of Cikaso river stream that flows from its spring on the hill to the estuary in the Indian Ocean.

Since the waterfalls are part of the stream, people can reach the waterfalls by “sampan” operated by the locals. It will not take long to cruise in the river, just around 10 minutes. For them who do not want to go by “sampan” can also reach the waterfalls on foot.

The height of the waterfalls is approximately 80 meters with a deep jade colored pond at the bases. Unfortunately the beauty of the waterfalls was contaminated by litters and leftovers, at least that was what I saw when I visited the waterfalls.

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Daily routine of a coconut sugar maker

On my visit to Ujung Genteng, a small village in the southern part of West Java, I got a chance to visit a humble family that traditionally make coconut sugar for their living. Fortunately the family allowed me to watch their work in making the coconut sugar traditionally.

Coconut sugar is a natural sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of a coconut tree. The process begins in the morning with people climbing the coconut trees to cut coconut flower buds in order to get the sweet sap which they collected in some plastic or bamboo containers. An expert sap collector can climb up and down at more than 10 coconut trees in less than one hour without any modern tools to help in the process.

Climb up a coconut tree in the morning

Cutting the flower buds to get the sap

Bringing the sap to be boiled

The sap will immediately be boiled in a big wok in their house, or else it will be fermented and turn to be alcoholic. Local people usually also consume the fermented sap which they call “tuak”.

Boiling the sap on a simple stove

The boiled sap will become thick syrup-like substance as the water in the sap evaporates, and the color change into brown. Then this is the time to pour the substance to casts made of cut bamboo tree.

The casts made of cut bamboo trees

Already been poured into casts and waiting to be hard

There the substance will coagulate further and become solid after some time. When it’s already hard enough, the solid blocks will be removed from the casts and ready to be packed.

Removing the sugar blocks out of the casts

The coconut sugar blocks ready to be packed

As it traditionally made, the taste, size and color of the blocks sugar are varies from batch to batch.

Coconut sugar tastes more like brown sugar, but with a slight caramel like taste. Nowadays, coconut sugar is gaining more popularity among the diabetic community since it is considered safe as a substitute of the regular white sugar.

Categories: Pictures of Life | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

One morning at Amandaratu Beach

To be honest, I don’t think that Amandaratu Beach is the real name of the beach. Since the beach is located in a resort called Amandaratu, however, I simply call it Amandaratu beach  :).

The resort is located a few kilometers from Ujung Genteng. It is on a hill that framed an estuary of a small river, facing the Indian Ocean with its big swells. Amandaratu Beach is not a sandy beach; it is a beach full of sharp coral instead. More than that, the waves are also very strong, so people cannot swim at the beach like that in Pangumbahan or in Cibuaya which has soft sandy beach even-though located not too far from Amandaratu Beach..

At the place where the tide meets the river, just below the resort area, there is a small rock island that has a big resemblance with the famous Tanah Lot in Bali, only the one in here doesn’t has a temple on it. That is why people call the small island as Tanahlot Amandaratu.

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