|Purwodadi Botanical Garden|
A man who has lived in Surabaya for around 24 years does tours of different parts of East Java on weekends. They are just day trips. I signed up for the Discover East Java Tour that took place on Sunday, November 25, 2012. We assembled at the meeting place and got on a small bus. There were a few people from my school that went on the tour and several from two other International schools that are close by. There was a little over 20 of us. A few people were sick and so they were unable to make it, but it was a nice number of people.
|Purwodadi Botanical Garden|
|Wonosai Tea Plantation|
|Chart that explains process|
The lady did open up the plant for us and did explain each step, but since I am a visual person it would have been nice to see the actual process. At the end of our tour we got to sample some of their tea and then buy tea. I love tea, so it was great. I learned that the older tea leaves that are lower quality are what they use for tea bags and the process that they use for them is that they make tea quickly and dark. I learned that the new leaves are the best quality and make tea that is lighter in color and takes a bit longer to seep. They also had white tea leaves, but I passed on buying any of them. They were expensive and I wasn't sure if I would like the flavor. I like my tea very strong and with no sugar, milk or anything else.
After the Tea plantation we traveled to Kaliandra Sejati Foundation. I think this was my favorite part of the trip. We pulled up to this beautiful house. It is the owner's childhood dream house. The foundation was founded by Atmadja Tjiptobiantoro. It is to help improve the welfare of the people of Kaliandra, preserve Javanese culture, and help with reforestation of Mount Arjuna. His gardens are incredible. He has several peacocks and what look like deer. Plus, a few other birds I was not sure what they were.
|Looking back on the main house|
They do organic farming and bring the vegetables to Surabaya to sell in some of the grocery stores, they even will deliver to a person's home. I was able to buy actual lettuce and have been able to eat salads again. After having a snack we toured the grounds. People can stay at Kaliandra. They have rooms in the main house where people have stayed. They have bungalows that are accomodations for groups of up to six people. I loved the layout of them. They had an outdoor bathtub and shower as well as an indoor shower.
|One of many beautiful buildings|
They have cottages for up to 12-15 people. They also had dorm style cottages for up to 70 people. One of the upper elementary grades at my school stays here for their camp week. One of the other schools has some of their students stay there as well. They had a villa that had a private pool for honeymooning couples. Since this is located on a mountain we were told it can get cool at night. They also had huge mosquitoes. I could see if I were to get married while I lived in East Java I would stay there are part of my honeymoon. We walked up to their restaurant. The food was pretty good. Next to it was a roofed but open sided area that had the Gamelan musical instruments.
|Looking from back of main house|
Another features was a plunge pool surrounded by Hindu deities. We were also told they do massages. Before we even got to the main house we saw they have a ropes course that they use with different groups for leadership and team building. They also have packages for activities for people staying there: hikes, cultral experiences, tours, golfing, etc. It is also looks like they do quite a bit to help the people and the community to help them be successful.
We were told at the end of the day that sometime in the spring of 2013 there will be another tour to different sights and places. I am looking forward to going.