Capital Corner


    One With Nature

      1-1-2017
     

    One With Nature

    One With Nature

    Don't go chasing the waterfalls, jump into it instead!

    One With Nature

    One of the lodges at Ekologika Lodges at Portibi Farms.

    One With Nature

    One With Nature

    One With Nature

    One With Nature
    Don't go chasing the waterfalls, jump into it instead!

    One With Nature
    One of the lodges at Ekologika Lodges at Portibi Farms.

    One With Nature

    One With Nature

    Our contributor Edna Tarigan visits a farm in a satellite city of Jakarta for a weekend getaway...

    Living in Jakarta doesn’t mean that you can’t go back to nature on a short getaway, although you might have to go a little bit outside of the city to find the perfect destination. Located in Cicurug in the Sukabumi area of West Java, Portibi Farms is the place to be for nature-lovers like me who want to escape from the city’s hustle and bustle and get closer to Mother Nature. How did I find this place? It was actually a photo of the Citaman Waterfall captured by a good friend of mine that first stole my heart. I was drawn to visit the waterfall and so I searched the internet for a place to stay around the area, and found that the Ekologika Lodges on Portibi Farms was one of the nearest lodges to the waterfall. Just one look at the farm site on its website I knew that that was the destination I was looking for.

    Chasing Waterfalls
    Together with a friend of mine I took a train from Jakarta to Bogor Station, then on the Bogor-Sukabumi track and finally stopping at the Cicurug Station. Then we continued our journey by taking a local ojek (motorcycle taxi) to go straight to the farm.

    Trekking to the waterfall was my first reason to go there. But when an American volunteer with bare feet welcomed us at the entrance, I knew that this place would take me closer to the earth through their other fun activities. After all, “Portibi” in the language of my Batak ancestors from Sumatra actually means earth.

    The first activity we did was trekking to the Citaman Waterfall with a local guide from the farm leading the way. After a one-hour hike we didn’t waste a second and plunged into the clear fresh pond at the base of the waterfall. The waterfall was so quiet – there was only our group and one other visiting the waterfall on that Saturday afternoon, and it made us feel like the waterfall was ours alone.

    Wooden House
    The Portibi Farms sits on 14-hectares of land close to the foot of Mount Salak. They have a number of lodges for guests to stay in at the Ekologika Lodges, making the area look like a private compound. I stayed at the Imah Guru Lodge where the magnificent view of two other mountains, Mount Gede and Mount Pangrango, greeted me in the morning.

    Imah Guru is one of the most romantic spots at the Ekologika Lodges. This one-bedroom bungalow is actually a wooden house that was originally built about 60 years ago in the Wonosari area of Central Java, and the Ekologika Lodges’ team relocated the materials and rebuilt the house here. The Imah Guru Lodge is nestled around 100 meters downhill from the main building, and that was perfect for me as I was looking for a secluded place, yet my mobile never lost reception so I could call the main lounge just in case I needed some assistance.

    The other lodges are just as interesting. There are a number of rice barns that they turned into the Leuit Houses, with bunk beds for single travelers and backpackers. The main building and the Leuit Houses were crafted by master craftsmen from Kasepuhan Ciptagelar, a kingdom in the southern part of Mount Halimun (which stands not far from Mount Salak), with a design that combines the owners’ visions. Jocean Bowler brought his vision and designs to the farm and the lodges, while his wife Ayu worked on the details and the interiors when they began building the Ekologika Lodges on Portibi Farms back in 2004. The building’s designs are influenced by old Sundanese Wiwitan architecture and a little bit of Californian mountain lodge thrown in. Most of the wood is recycled timber from old deconstructed buildings.

    No Strangers
    Another highlight is the fact that the lodges use solar power as the source of electricity. There is limited access for charging gadgets though, but who needs a gadget when there are a lot of fun activities to join in with the people around you? Ekologika Lodges on Portibi Farms invites us to see that there is something that is just as important as loving the earth. It is the relation and interaction among humans.

    Aside from the farm tour and vegetable-picking every morning or afternoon, another fun activity at Ekologika Lodges on Portibi Farms is actually mealtime. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served buffet style, so guests can enjoy their meals on a long communal table together with other visitors. This instantly became one of my favorite parts of the day, as I got to make new friends. And when it comes to the food, Portibi Farms serves fresh dishes that are free from artificial flavoring. Most of the vegetables are sourced from the farm and other ingredients are from the local market nearby.

    Without a doubt, a trip to Portibi Farms as well as staying at the Ekologika Lodges, trekking to Citaman Waterfall and experiencing the simple farming life are splendid for a weekend getaway. Please note that reservations for both the accommodation and dining experience at Ekologika Lodges on Portibi Farms is essential so that the team can prepare fresh handpicked vegetables just for you – log on to their website, and don’t forget to choose the fun activities to join in also.

    On my way back to Jakarta on a two-hour journey by train to Manggarai Station, I could feel that my senses were more balanced and my energy was fully recharged. I was ready to go back to the busy city life. Of course, I didn’t forget to bring home a big bag full of vegetables from the farm.


     

     
    Edna Tarigan

       Contributor : Edna Tarigan


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