Beautiful Gunung Kidul landscapes challenge courage

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The stretch of white sand with blue waves and also Duras trees growing shady beautify the natural scenery on the beach of Pok Tunggal. (photo: Pramitha Hendra)

IO – In this decade, one of the districts in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, Gunungkidul is popular with domestic tourists and even foreign visitors. Nature tourism in the form of underground rivers and various forms of caves, as well as charming waterfalls adorn Gunungkidul’s charm. Not only that, the stretch of beach has become the main magnet to attract admirers.  

Who would have thought a thousand cave areas that were once barren and dry have now become the most hunted areas by tourists? For adventurers who love history and natural beauty, Gunungkidul is an epic place to spend vacation time in Jogja. 

Lebaran holidays then became a routine as I set foot in the Gunungkidul area to stay in touch with my parents. It is a blessing to have a hometown that is the number one tourist destination in the Student City. 

Pok Tunggal
Uncharacteristically cold air started to ache to the bone. A smooth road and morning dew accompanied my trip at that time. The sun’s rays were still peering from the slits of the tree branches. The coastal beach was my first destination when I started adventuring in Gunungkidul. 

It only took me an hour to arrive in the coastal area. Time still showed just 6:00 a.m. but the queue of vehicles has been snaking for 1 km. “Taking shortcuts,” I thought. Only 50 meters away I slammed the steering wheel to the left, the road was narrow and winding, the travel time felt even further. I moved slowly along the road 2 kilometers. Instantly the adrenaline rippled, as it passed through a steep reef above its head. 

Apart from a thrilling journey, a beautiful sight is presented before the eyes. The stretch of white sand with blue waves is the antidote to fear. It was seen that only a few tourists were playing on the beach while posing for selfies. A durian tree grows shady to beautify the landscape around Pok Tunggal Beach. 

But the real charm of Pok Tunggal is a row of coral cliffs that stand proudly like a fortress that protects this beach from the outside world. The cliffs that are perpendicular like a coral wall as high as 50 meters can be a great potential to be developed as a sports arena such as extreme sports like rock climbing. Of course, it takes great courage and skill to climb the rock because, until now, there are no climbing routes made by local residents or the local government. Hopefully soon there will be a big valiant climber who can conquer this cliff and open the path.

In the coastal cliffs there are still wild primates. When I visited, it could be seen that a herd of wild monkeys were jumping from behind the cliff to the east. Strangely on this beach there are also freshwater springs, most likely originating from underground rivers typical of the karst region. It is this source of water that meets the needs of public food stalls and bathrooms produced by local communities.

Enjoying the beauty of Pok Tunggal beach will not be complete if you do not take a moment to wait for the sun to set behind the horizon. I even met a group of foreign tourists carrying large backpacks; it seems they will camp on this beach. It’s fun to spend the night in a tent while enjoying the beach breeze and the waves after enjoying the sunset. If you don’t bring a tent, you can rent a tent dome for the locals. But if you decide to go home at night, you must be extra careful. The narrow and rocky road once again challenges your courage because it was not equipped with lights at all.

Jomblang Goa (Cave) 
Jomblang Cave is a vertical cave that has a dense primeval forest at its base. Jomblang Cave of Gunungkidul has an attractive natural charm, especially for those of you who like adventure or challenges. Jomblang cave tourism is able to challenge you in an experienced tour which surely drives adrenaline.

The main attraction is the barrenness of the Gunungkidul karst, which is to search, see and capture the heavenly light that descends perpendicularly into the darkness of the cave.

In basins around 50 meters in diameter, primeval forests are very green. Obviously this is in contrast to the dry and hot surface conditions typical of karst hills. Various ferns, mosses, shrubs, and large trees grow tightly and dense around Jomblang Cave.

Forests whose vegetation is far different from the conditions on the surface are often called by other names – primeval forests. This vegetation continues to multiply and lives to this day, so the atmosphere in Luweng Jomblang will feel so cool and fresh.

Jomblang Cave is actually a package with the attractions of Grubug Cave. In Grubug Cave, what is known as “heavenly light” or Rays of Light descend from a cave hole covered with trees that overwrites white coordinates from water droplets in the cave ceiling for thousands of years. You can enjoy this heavenly light perfectly when the sun is shining brightly between 10.00-13.00 WIB.

The search doesn’t stop here, because next you will browse to Luweng Grubug by entering a cave mouth. Jomblang and Grubug are connected by a 300 meter long hallway. And inside you can see various beautiful ornaments that adorn this hallway. (Pramitha Hendra)