When staying in Batukaras we had a guy that helped to look over the place. He was called Ajang. He planted plants, fruits and vegetables making sure the garden looked healthy and green. If we needed help with anything he helped us with it without a problem. One day he came and told us “You must come to the hill!” “very nice”. So we told him we would gladly like him to show us the hill. We asked him if he could take us there during the weekend as we knew the surf would be too crowded then. “Tidak apa apa” he replied (no problem).
We had no idea what to expect when he came the following weekend, ready to pick us up. He asked us if we were good bike drivers. We told him that we were ok drivers. He responded with a full minute of laughter followed with a smiling “Lets go!”. He drove us out of the village on a small pavement road. The distance between the houses along the road got longer and longer as the road started to go more and more uphill. The paved road ended with a distinct line, the road was now gravel and rocks. Surrounding us was nothing but jungle. After a few steep sections we finally arrived at the top.
What Ajang had to show us was a small little community. Well it could be a community, but it was empty. No one was there. And in front of us there was these small little huts with the best view in Batukaras. The windows of the huts were facing down the hill with a view over the ocean and the small fishing village.
Ajang told us that we should stay for sunset as this was the best place to view it from.
Ajang sat us down next to a small bonfire and gave us both coffee, it was cold and clearly leftovers from his morning coffee. He told us that he would make us fresh coffee later but that this would have to do for now. While the fresh coffee was boiling on the bonfire he made us pick out bad coffee beans from a fresh un-roasted batch while we waited. It was oddly satisfying and soothing to sit and pick the beans. We sat quietly all three of us while the bonfire sparkled in the middle, while we were soaking in the beautiful surroundings.
The “community” of huts surrounding us looked like a sustainable project someone had started. The huts were surrounded by eatable plants and vegetables of every kind. Ajang picked a green fruit from a bush and gave it to me. The fruit looked like a un-ripe avocado. Green and hard. When Ajang saw the confusion in my eyes he took back the fruit and slammed it to the ground. The fruit barely cracked. He slammed it again and it split up just enough to peel the rest off. He gave it back and told me to eat the inside of the fruit. It tasted like and sour apple, but it was more sweet. The texture of the fruit was like a really hard apple and in the middle there was a large seed with small hard branch like things growing in to the fruit. He told us in Indonesian that the fruit was called “Kodongdong”. We asked if it had an english name, it did not. We asked if it was possible to buy it at the local market, we could not.
As the sunset came around, so did the clouds. The sun settled over the mountains behind the clouds. It would have to do for this time. We got to experience more than we thought we would and had a more than pleasant afternoon with Ajang, we could not be happier with how the evening turned out.
We returned home to freshly cooked potato & onion omelet made by our new roommates.
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