Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poor widow

Prior experience with Indonesia’s waterfalls gives a mixed picture. Some are well-known and despite the natural beauty they are often trashed beyond recognition. Others, less well-known, are pristine and exude the expected beauty.

Air Terjun Cubanrondo (or Cuban Rondo / Coban Rondo) lies on the well-trodden route surrounding Batu town, located just over 30 km west of Malang. Located above Malang and squished between 2 volcanoes, the landscape and cooler climate lead to a great many tourists coming here, though mostly Indonesian nationals.
As said very few foreigners make it here, most stick to the big attractions on Java: Bromo volcano and Borobodur.

That does not imply the rest of the island is not interesting. Quite the opposite. And having an extremely dense population rate, combined with increasing prosperity discovering Java is quite easy.

However that easiness might not apply here. Eventually we made it to this waterfall on the backs of motorcycles for a hefty sum. Best accessed from the main Malang to Kediri highway, Cuban Rondo is found by taking the first turn left once over the pass beyond Batu.

After 1 km on this road, one is required to pay the entrance fee of 10,000 INR (~ 1,10$US) and one continues for another 5 km through park like surroundings. Camping grounds, possibilities to hike and cycle are all possible. The car park is definitely geared to swarms of visitors though even on a Saturday there are only 20 plus vehicles.

From the car park it’s a short stroll along the stream to the waterfall proper, which drops about 60m (source), though a wikitravel entry cuts that height by 50%. No pool underneath, though the stream has a couple. Water is very cold though. Alas, due to the influx of tourists the direct surroundings from the car park to waterfall are in desperate need of a clean up.

From internet are many blog entries, some though come with some additional info.
‘In the past, there was a beautiful princess who were married to an ordinary man. Their marriage was not blessed by the princess' parents and they run away. On the way of their trip, they met a man who also fell in love to this princess. The princess' husband and that man fought for days and nights. The princess was hidden by her husband behind a waterfall and he asked her to stay there and wait for him. However, her husband and the man were both killed on their battle. The princess did not know. She stayed and sat on a rock behind the waterfall. She waited for her husband faithfully until she died. That is why the locals named the waterfall as 'Cuban Rondo'. Cuban (in Javanese) means waterfall and Rondo (in Javanese) means Widow. So this waterfall is not recommended for couple who are not married yet. There is a belief that you will break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend after the visit’.
That explains the naming of the falls.
Worthwhile destinations in the area are Songgoriti hot springs and a outlook point from which one can view Batu valley and take a tandem dive down.

Video's from internet. Cobanrundo from Eastjava.com.

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