Thursday, 20 July 2017

#alivegurlmudik: Limestones in Madura

Before we all went to visit the grandparents and extended families—my parents and brother to Semarang, my sister and I to Surabaya—my Stepmom expressed her wish to visit some tourist landmarks in Madura—which is actually another island, connected to Surabaya by a bridge. We both recently saw one on TV and we were instantly intrigued. So, when she and my Dad arrived in Surabaya—my brother having come earlier that week—I asked her about it and we started asking our cousins and planning the trip ourselves. We settled with two places, both of which are used to mine limestones for construction. The first one we visited was Bukit Aermata in Arosbaya, a small village in the Bangkalan Regency. It is quite secluded, with only one narrow road leading straight to the landmark area—but as it started to reveal itself, it was breathtaking. The limestones around this part are red, with damn patches everywhere—so be careful not to slip! Consisting of hills and caves, the place certainly offers nooks and crannies that are different from my usual scenery. The guides are rather nice too, giving us as much information on the mining and area as he knows. However, make sure that if you come here, your vehicle is in perfect condition—the roads are pretty rocky—and your wallet is filled with cash. Parking for a car costs IDR 20K and admission ticket costs IDR 5K per person. You will also be able to find a plethora of Rengginang Lorjuk here.

See how green the water is?

Thrifted top + loafers // gifted pants (from Bali) // old boater hat + sunglasses (giveaway!) // hand-me-down purse //

outfit photos by Akita

The second place we visited was the one my Stepmom and I saw on TV: Bukkit Jaddih in the same Regency. From the moment we saw the white rocks marking the area, it was clear that this place was far more popular. When I saw it on TV, I thought it looked like Kawah Putih—which I visited in high school—but it turns out to be much, much less satisfying. First of all, as my Stepmom remarked, it was clearly manmade—because it used to be a mining site—so it isn't as beautiful as if it was naturally carved. Second of all, the advertising is so far from the truth. For example, the Blue Lake doesn't even have blue water—it's more green, like a pool that hasn't been cleaned in some time—and the boat and raft attractions make the water so much less appealing. Last of all, basically anything costs money—just entering the area costs IDR 10K, entering the Blue Lake and a hot spring-like swimming pool costs IDR 5K per person (for each!) and parking costs IDR 10K. The place was far too crowded for my taste, it holds little secret—you can pretty much see it all in one glance—so it gets boring real quickly, and, seriously, the false advertising. If you're curious, you could always visit, but I don't think I'm coming back here again. In this region, you can also find salak in abundance—although my Grandma says Maduranese salak are too sour.

P.S: Props to my Dad, who was fasting the whole day, drove us there and back—with minor albeit frightening difficulties, hiked most of the way and put up with my photo obsessions, but didn't complain one bit. He's a real trooper!

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