very very belated entry. To my defense, I have started drafting this entry as soon as we returned from holiday but never got around to finish it due to ART-matters, work deadlines, and zillions other errands. Anyway, happy reading everyone.
To say I enjoyed this (extended) Eid Holiday is an understatement. It’s more like: I had a super wonderful blasting holiday. Whooppiie doooo!!!
Born and bred in Jakarta with my parents family already planted in Jakarta even before my parents met each other, I only had one “mudik Lebaran” experience growing up. I had always felt grateful that I didn’t have to go far and stuck in traffic jam for days to celebrate Eid with my grandparents. I am even more grateful that I can roam around empty J-town, change my intended destination several times within an hour and arrive anywhere in the Big Durian in a blink.
That privilege expired when I got married. Being a blessed Mrs. K, mudik is a Lebaran celebration SOP in Kris’ family. I consider it as my “cultural experiences”, even after all those years. This year, I determined to make a twist and add my personal stamp to the ritual skippin’troupe-style. That is mixing “working” with pleasure.
I arranged a trip to Batu Karas, about 9-hour drive from Bandung, or 2.5-hour drive from Ciamis, a sleepy town where Kris’ family is originated. I took charge as coordinator, doing the accommodation booking and setting itinerary, which I always enjoy to the max. So then… on the third Lebaran day, off we went to a resort by the river, but only 2km away from a beach. There were 11 of us in total including babies.
We had a little transportation challenge when suddenly our car decided to break down in the middle of nowhere. Even though we did take it to a car repair shop prior to the long haul to make sure everything works but thing happens. Fortunately, the car broke less than 1 km away from a car repair shop and after we left the car there, the owner of the shop drove us to our accommodation: Riversider-Batu Karas Resort.
I knew that the trip to get to Batu Karas is a long-ride. But when we kept on driving for hours close to midnight, cutting through long, winding, dark, and empty road, my faith was tested. I was sure that the local who drove us there got lost and had no idea where Batu Karas is. I even told him to turn around and asked someone. The problem was there was no one!
Good thing, our driver ignored my wimp and we finally arrived slightly pass midnight. It is a delightful surprise that there’s quite little commotion in our resort besides security guide and friendly receptionist in that wee hours. There were guests scattered on the semi open-air dining area having some coffee and hot chocolates. A bonfire in a corner.
After quick check-in, we were led to our cabin: Missisipi (yes, I know it’s a mispelling of that river in the USA, but that’s how they spell it there). At Riversider, all cabins are named after a river because the resort sits on a riverbank. The view is bee-uuuu-tea-full!
The Missisipi cabin is a 2-level traditional-looking barn. The top level is the sleeping area and there’s nothing but beds and AC. No TV, no telephone, not even clothing cabinet. Back to basic. I like that. The slightly-above ground level is a bale-bale. We used it for chatting, dining and praying. The outside but private bathrooms (2 are available for use for this cabin only) are a short hop away from the bale-bale.
We stayed one night at Missisipi since we originally planned to stay for 1 night only. Fortunately, the car was still being fixed and so we had to extend our stay. Yipppiiieee! *God is with those who is patient. So true!* :)
For our second night, we had to move to a different cabin. Gladly. I wanted to sleep in as many cabins as I can because each of them is different and each looks so inviting. We moved to Serayu , 1-storey cabin with a coconut tree in the middle of the room. The sleeping area felt more spacious than the other one. I love it better than the Missisipi cabin. Plus, it turns out to be cheaper. Double like!
Overall, I have no regrets staying at Riversider. Although there’s a need for improvement in some areas. For example, the toilets in Missisipi definitely needs to be upgraded. The dining menu, mostly fried rice with various toppings is boring. But the worst part, whatever you order, the taste is bland and makes me to seriously want to enroll the kitchen staff in Restaurant Makeover show.
And their best asset? It’s their staff. Everyone is so friendly, helpful, and welcoming. They really make a point to be nice to the guests, even to the bitchiest ones. No one from our troupe, of course. Maybe they realize that just to get there needs a gigantic effort, so they want the guest to feel homey there. Let me tell you, they succeed with flying colors.