It’s been ages ago since I am doing my fieldwork. Last time I went to the forest last September and I am still looking for new adventure after that. Instead going nowhere and “sakau” (Bahasa Indonesia slang for sick and addicted to drugs) for holiday at home, I am backpacking to some exotic place called Mount Papandayan with some new friends I met through Facebook and Goodreads.
It was great adventure for me since I am always traveling during work outside Java. Then I met this incredible and marvelous friends and also lovely place. Mount Papandayan, located 25 Km from Garut city has been known as Vulcanotourism place still have active volcanoes. This mountain in local languange (Bahasa Sunda) means “forger”. We need about 2 hours to reach the camping ground and another 2 hours to reach one of the peak mountain. Well let’s say that the track quite civilised even for kids and old people. Not many difficult terrains has made this place so attractive for many domestic and foreign tourist. Moreover, the scenery is so impressive but also hypnotising especially in the morning.
Van Steenis, a famous Dutch botanist, which known to be the first person who studies plants at this place also had some cabin around the camping ground “Pondok Saladah” (which unluckily didn’t I visit, a friend of mine told me that a week after the trip). Apart from Van Steenis studies and floristically very rich, there has been no major scientific study in Mount Papandayan.
Bird survey by Hoogerwerf (1948) revealed that Mount Papandayan was an important area for bird conservation, given the numbers and presence of several protected species (115 species belonging to 35 families). Birdlife International (2005) also declared Mount Papandayan was an Important Bird Area (IBA) judged by the presence of 2 endangered species (EN) Javan Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus bartelsi) and Blue-tailed trogon (Harpactes reinwardtii). Some of you probably don’t know about them, here I’ve attached both species photos which I’ve found through the web (photo credits in rollover boxes). I will tell you later about story about Javan Hawk Eagle though since this charismatic bird is very famous and also known to be icon for Indonesia.
Since I was there for hiking and birdwatching there are so much things to see and do. I recommend this place if you want to go to see active volcano besides Mount Tangkuban Parahu (which I will tell you again later).