An Emerald in the West of Jogja
As it seems to be the land where the sun sets, the trip to Kulonprogo is like the journey of chasing the sunset, racing with the horizon that seems to be ready to swallow it anytime. Situated in the farthest West end of Jogja fenced by the mountains of Menoreh, we could likely see the summits covered by thin mists in the dawn and embellished in dim golden shade during dusk.
Kulon Progo is extraordinary for its landscape. Take a look at the Menoreh Mountains, which are far from being barren despite the fact that they are, indeed, limestone hills; the coat of fertile soil has covered the land with densely grown vegetations. Its greenish summits resembling a palace tapestry are the dwelling of gods and goddesses, decorated with the lines of rivers delivering water to a pond where the heavenly princesses would bathe while the Southern sea is protecting them with its terrifying wave.
Suroloyo Peak (www.yogyes.com/puncak-suroloyo)
Strolling around Kulonprogo can be started from dawn. Let's start the day at the Suroloyo Peak, the highest point of the Menoreh Mountains. Though the trip is a little bit challenging, with all the narrow roads, the uphill and downhill route, and the sharp turns we would have to go through, but all the efforts would then be rewarded with the beautiful view of the shy sunrise. Leisurely, the sun would rise from behind the mountains on the Eastern side, like a fair maiden that appears gorgeous regardless of the fact that she has just woken up from her sleep. As the sky turns brighter, we can see the Borobudur Temple, guarded by four mountains: Sindoro, Sumbing, Merapi, and Merbabu.
Kiskendo Cave (www.yogyes.com/gua-kiskendo)
In the midmorning, we can move on to Kiskendo Cave, a cave with a piece of legend from the Ramayana epic, where the siblings of Lembusuro and Mahesasuro fought against Subali and Sugriwa. Outside, we'll be astonished by the relief carved on the rock cliffs, whereas inside, we'll be stunned by the exquisite ornaments of the cave blending with the story of how Rama and the monkey kingdom formed an alliance to reclaim Shinta back from Rahwana's capture.
Glagah Beach (www.yogyes.com/glagah)
It is not recommended to leave Kulonprogo before dusk as it is the home to where the sun would return. There are three popular places with remarkable views of sunset that, unfortunately, can't be visited all at once. Therefore, you may choose one of them. For you who adore beaches, you can visit Glagah Beach as the best place to enjoy sunset view. The sound of the Southern sea waves colliding with hundreds of tetra pods will be the background sound for the drama where the bright blue sky turns into golden orange. We could also relax by canoeing on a quiet lagoon, cycling, playing in the dragon fruit orchard, and fishing.
Sermo Reservoir (www.yogyes.com/waduk-sermo)
The second place is Sermo Reservoir, a man-made lake that built by drowning a village, where the sunset view is also dazzling. You can just sit on the shore, on rocks and grass, and you'll be served with a masterpiece as the Almighty paints the universe; the brush of golden bursting with orange color swarming the surrounding and is reflected on the calm surface of the deep water. If you wish to see the lake further, you can rent a boat to take you around. The gentle breeze, cold water, and the dim sky will be a perfect closing for the day.
In addition to them, there is also Kalibiru, a village in Menoreh Mountains that offers you serenity as a relief for of all the noise, tumult, and urban crowds. The mountain air and the soft-blowing breeze turn into spell towards tranquility. You can climb onto the pine trees on the edge of the ravine and sit quietly on the attached board. In the distance we can spot the blue lake similar to the one where the fairies take bath. From this place, we can feel how a sunset in the dusk is a melancholic romantic occasion.
WHAT TO RIDE
Heading to Kulonprogo is not a short trip, therefore this regency is often said as adoh ratu, cerak watu (far from the king, close to rocks). But there's no need to worry about it, there are so many vehicle rentals in Jogja you can use to get there. You can come to Bening Transport to rent a motorcycle for IDR 50K per day. If you come with a group of people, it is suggested that you rent a car. There are some car rentals like Rully Transport (☎ 6681972); Toyota All New Avanza, driver not included, can be rented for IDR 300K per 12 hours. If you are clueless about the route, a driver is ready to be your navigator; you can order at Abadi Transport (☎ 2613727). The driver is ready to bring you there for only IDR 400K per 12 hours. For other references, (www.yogyes.com/car-rental)
WHERE TO EAT
Mbah Margo's Goat Satay (www.yogyes.com/sate-kambing-mbah-margo)
After an exhausting exploration, it is recommended that you satiate you hunger at Mbah Margo Goat Satay (☎ 0813 2877 2633). The most well-known goat satay in Kulonprogo, where Gusti Prabu Joyokusumo is a regular customer, is a culinary destination you shouldn't missed. Mbah Margo, who has been selling satay since the founding of the nation, will delightedly chat with the hungry customers who are waiting for the delicious satay in her restaurant.
Text KEN SAVITRIE Photography DANIEL ANTONIUS KRISTANTO Translation WIDIANA MARTININGSIH
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