I’m working in Bandung, Indonesia at the moment. It’s a large city about three hours from Jakarta. I’ve really been enjoying myself- the food is great and the people are wonderful. The skinny city streets can become quite crowded during the busy hours. But if you can manage to make it outside the city, you’ll find a very lush and exotic landscape.
Indonesia is at the beginning of their rainy season. And rain, it does! I get the impression that everyone here is used to being wet for a good part of the year. Fortunately there are moments in the morning hours when the rain isn’t as bad. But fog still rolls through, giving the mountains a misty, otherworldly appearance.
We heard about a beautiful tea plantation in Lembang- around 30 minutes north of Bandung.
It’s open for people to stop along the road and take photos. Anyone can wonder through the fields, and the workers seem used to having visitors around. I saw many young couples pull over for a quick picture, and families taking a break to let the kids stretch their legs.
The workers harvest the tiny new tea leaves at the top of the plant using a device that looks like a giant electric shaver that they hold above the rows of tea plants. As the three men walk along, the machine collects the leaves in a bag like a vacuum cleaner.
Near the plantation is the volcano Tangkuban Perahu. It is mostly dormant and last erupted in 1983. But there has been volcanic activity the past year. The park was closed for a few months because of recent activity. It just reopened a few days ago, but unfortunately I didn’t see much. The clouds moved in again and mixed with the steam coming out of the crater lake. I saw it for about 45 seconds before it disappeared in a thick haze. Below is an eerie photo of the market that is set up near the top of the crater.