Jogjakarta, Day 2
I couldn’t tell where we were anymore. The path was narrow and unpaved. If I walked, I’d reach there faster, I thought to myself as our shiny Honda made its careful way to Jomblang Cave.
The Honda suddenly came to a full stop as a man with a hoe came towards our direction, with long leaves collected at his lower back. Soon enough, women with the same tools and backpack, and wearing a headscarf lined up the path and all stared at us as we made our way to the little hut that welcomed the small group of tourists who signed up for today’s cave adventure. Almost everyone had a go pro, some wore it around their heads, some wrapped it around their wrists and the braver ones stuck with their monopods while I regretted not packing the mounts of our Cherry Action Cam for this trip.
Boots were dropped off by men carrying the harnesses and ropes. I slipped my feet into the right pair and went for the cliff. We were immediately surrounded by greens.
I counted our little party and realized there were about 10 of us and 4 of them – currently doing the knots onto a simple metal-plus-tree frame that was supposed to lower us down. Both of us were strapped together, our faces a few inches from each other like a mirror reflecting nervous smiles.
“It’s 60 meters deep“, the guide told him in Bahasa while he checked on our straps. “Push back“, the guide says. After an extended blink and inhale, we were dangling from the pulley. I think time tends to slow down when you are in a middle of an incredible sight, like canopies of different heights, several shades of green and one brave branch sticking out to say hello before tourists like us got to step on solid earth once more.
We were a faint trail of people making their way towards what seemed to be a great hall inside the cave – one side rock and the other a slope down to a gushing river. In place of a chandelier was an opening on top of cave, covered in foliage that beautifully filters the sunlight that passed through.
It came in bright though in bursts. It were these short moments that everyone waited for. Light slices through the cave like ribbons falling down upon a huge rock. I stared for a while and thought that moments like these are what you rappel 60-meters down for, while fading into a silhouette against such a beautiful sight.