Living with Baduy Dalam People

@Day 1, Jakarta – Baduy Dalam

Us@Baduy luar area
Us@Baduy luar area

Among travellers, Baduy is quite familiar. Baduy are a traditional community living in Banten province near Rangkasbitung, which is about 3 hours by train from Jakarta. They live in a traditional way, wearing a special custom, specific wooden house and others specific things. We come here to see their way of life and get united with the nature. The Baduy are divided into two sub-groups; the Baduy Dalam  and the Baduy Luar. No foreigners were allowed to meet the Baduy Dalam , though the Outer Baduy do foster some limited contacts with the outside world.

Baduy luar
Baduy luar

We depart at 7.50am from Jakarta with a large group of peoples and in 2.5 hours we arrive at Rangkasbitung to transfer to Ciboleger by Elf which is take about 1.5 hours. Ciboleger is like a gate to the Baduy village, we start our trekking from this place. Our destination  is Cibeo Village, part of Baduy Dalam but to reach there we have to do trekking from Ciboleger for about 4-5 hours and will pass some Baduy luar village.

the downhill footpath
the downhill footpath
The footpath
The footpath
A narrow bamboo bridge
A narrow bamboo bridge

The footpath is narrow and winding, also uphill and downhill so we have to be careful as it is a bit slippery after raining the day before and for that we are advised to bring a raincoat as the rain is always fall almost every afternoon. We pass by many rice field, durian, banana and many other fruits along the way. We met some other travellers too, but in contrary direction with us, they are heading out while we are heading in and they give us a support as our way stil long to go. Along the way we encounter some local peoples too, carrying some durian and banana to sell at Ciboleger. Our guide told us, it is normal for them to travel in and out with those stuff and it takes only 1.5 hours for them to travel from Baduy Dalam to Ciboleger. Wooow, it almost 3 times our record.

With the Baduy Dalam peoples
With the Baduy Dalam peoples

As in prediction, heavy rain is fall so everyone get dressed in raincoat and we have to more carefull to step if we don’t want fall down, but it really hard to do with our backpack, winding foothpath and  in the middle of heavy rain so some of friends fell down :(. As we travel with numbers of people, automaticly we travel in small small group as the speed of everyone is diffrent. Some friends who has a good stamina can walk a bit fast but others with less fit stamina need more time, so here we are, the last small group in the team as some of our member not in their good stamina. The guide walk a bit fast with others groups, left us behind with the comittee of this trip, so we are a bit confidence as they came before but with the cloudy weather and heavy rain, we end up nowhere, yeah.. we got lost. We did ask some local when we encounter with them, using their direction we back on track but everytime we find more than 1 footpath, we got lost again. We encountered more than 4 times take a wrong direction and most of them after we walk quite far. Can you imagine how exhausted we are? Rain is never stop and sky is getting dark, it is still 6pm, but it is dark already as we are in forest. We should arrive 1.5 hours ago at Cibeo, but here we are, still struggle to find the way.

When we about to get lost again, a local people who sit in front of their house, give us a direction. Afraid that we will get lost again, we asked him to guide us and he feel pity to us, he agreed to do so. It is about 1.5 hours more for us to arrive but the footpath is getting more difficult, we have to climb an almost 90″ uphill footpath in the dark…, it is really something.

We walk in the dark with some headlamp help and just about to arrive our guide pick us up as they wonder why we have not arrive yet and after 1.5 hours struggling at the dark, finally we arrive at Cibeo, meet with others friends who has arrive first. Tired, hungry everything become one. So after some chit chat with others and get dinner we get to get some sleep.

Drinks from waterhole
Drinks from waterhole

@Day 2, Baduy Dalam – Jakarta

Baduy Dalam people wake up so early, I think it is about 4.00am when I heard some activity has been started. It is still 5am when we go to go river nearby but it is sooo bright, it is like on 6.30 am at Jakarta, maybe because it is at East side. The river is so nice and fresh, so we decide to take a bath here. But one thing to remember here, that soap and toothpaste is not allowed here, so we take a batah in the river without soap but still it is freshen us up. After get some breakfast, we get ready to go home but another 4 hours trekking have to do first but we will take different direction than yesteday. We don’t have any pic at Baduy dalam as taking picture is not allowed. They believe we we break the rule, something bad will happen so we have to respect their rule if we wanna feel welcomed here.

We will stop over at “Jembatan Akar”, one of the most interesting spot to visit. It is a naturely bridge built by roots of tree. But the journey to here a bit sheer, we really need to be carefull especially after the rain yesterday. We do the trek about 2 hours before arrive at Jembatan Akar, it is magnificient view. From the Jembatan akar we have to climb uphill again, so you could imagine the effort to go to this Jembatan Akar, but worth to visit.

Jembatan akar
Jembatan akar

After about 3 hours, we arrive at  Danang village. This village is not part of Baduy anymore, it is like other normal village. And after another 1 hours finally we arrive at the meeting point with Elf, which bring us to Rangasbitung, the train station to Jakarta. Goodbye Baduy, maybe one day I will come to visit again.

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