My First Solo Travelling: Gua Pawon

Back in 2010, I remembered my first solo travelling. Actually it was a spontaneous trip after I saw an awesome picture in KAA Museum. In one of its alley, the museum displayed and explained about the Bandung in pre-history era. It said Bandung was originally a big lake and its ancestors lived in a cave near the lake. Right now, people call that cave: Gua Pawon.

Stone Garden.
Gua Pawon (gua means cave) said exist from 9000 years ago. Archeologist already did an excavation in here and found many man bones, shards of ceramic, pottery, jewelry made from leftover animal teeth and tooth fish, and mollusks that indicated this cave was a place to live. Because of its histories, this old cave was protected under Archeological and Historical Department of West Java Province as historical heritage.

Gua Pawon
 I started my trip from Bandung. After asked google and my friend I decided to go there by train. A little bit surprised because it only took two thousand rupiahs to Padalarang (now became West Bandung), where Gua Pawon located. From the nearest station I continued with angkot, local transportation to Gunung Masigit Village, Kecamatan Cipatat Region, with the same price as train ticket. And then took ojek, a motorbike transportation, to Gua Pawon location because it was about 5 km from the road. The road itself was slippery and uphill.

Gua Pawon Nameplate.
When I came, there no one except me. So I enjoy the cave by my self. I probably thought I went to the wrong place if I didn’t see the cave  name placed infront of the cave. The entrance of this old cave was quit small, not as big as I thought. Lot of guamo in the base made me to close my nose with my handkerchief.

The size of the cave made me thought how many people could this cave capable to live in. As I read in related article I knew that the cave men lived in here from many different era. So maybe in thousand years ago the size of Gua Pawon hundred times bigger than right now. Maybe.

Gua Pawon.
Entrance of Gua Pawon.
Stone Garden
In the top of the hill which Gua Pawon lay down, there were hundreds of stones all over the hill. The stones coloured in white and grey. Around the stones  were green grass, so the combination of grey stones and the green grass made an awesome view. The size of it ranged from size of an apple until three times the height of me.  Standing in the middle of these hundreds ofstone, alone, I felt so strange.

Locals call this hill as Taman Batu (Stone Garden). Maybe it got this name because of the stones covered the hill like a tree that come out from the ground. It was actually an micro-karst forming phenomenon that protrude stone from the ground which makes this hill top like that.

Stone Garden with Valley in the Background.
Stone Garden from Top.
What made me would always remember this place was the momment I walked from Gua Pawon to the Stone Garden. I didn’t know the way, so I just cross the grass and corn fields. And in the way I walked, I fainted until twice. I didn’t know why I could faint. That was the first time I faint while trekking. Many many times I had been trekking and only in Gua Pawon I fainted. Lucky me I’d gotten first aid training, so when I found my self felt faint symptoms, on with it I layed down and put my foods higher than my head. I didn’t know how long I fainted. But after I woke up, I walked again continue my trip.

Lime Hill digging.
From the hill we could see the whole valley. As I seen was green scenery until the horizon. A wide rice fields with a few house near it and lot of trees around the village. But unfortunetly in a back left of the Pawon Cave, there lot of bulldozer dig the hill to get its minerals. Yeah, a cave always located in karst area, and karst contains lime mineral which where the main material for cement factory.

After satisfied enjoyed Gua Pawon, at three in the afternoon I headed back to Bandung. It was only a short-spontaneous trip, but I would always remember this trip as my first solo travelling. (dm 170813)


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