Sip Hot Coffee in 54 Meters Depth? Why not


Caving. Walking in the dark. See nothing. And sometimes bat's poo smells everywhere. What’s bring the fun of walking in the dark? Spent 4 until 5 hours inside the best cave system, in South East Asia: Buniayu would be something awesome experience for every adventure seekers. And i successfully invited my friends to join this dark adventure.

Where Buniayu LocatedI have some reasons why you have to visit Buniayu and try vertical caving:

1. Short Duration
If you stay in Jakarta City and want try something new, you can reach Sukabumi City only for 3 hours. From Sukabumi to Buniayu, it takes 1 hours drive. I think the trip can be done on weekend, with duration 2 days 1 night, or one day trip. So it won’t reduce your leave allotment. Plus, you can buy the famous culinary from Sukabumi : mochi, during your way back to Jakarta. Mochi is made from rice flour and has delicious peanut filling in the center. Usually peanut flavour or original, and nowadays Sukabumi offers mochi with some flavours like durian, cheese, strawberry, chocolate.
2. The Challenging Trek
The trek isn't a trek back, it's one way route from point A to point B. The trek will pop your adrenalin up from your heart to the top. From walking, climbing, crawling on the rock, walking in the river, walking inside the mud, climbing with mud. For that experience, you should try at least once.
3. Feel the Eternal Darkness

Have you ever feel the eternal darknerss? I did.

The darkest from the dark.
When you can't see everything.
Just black color everywhere.

In the middle of nowhere, the guide will ask us to shut down our head lamp.

Now i know, the essential poin when you go caving is not food. It is not water. It's not a cover all or helmet. It's a light.
You can’t go anywhere without light.
You can’t find a way out without light.
Our guide also said, he had experienced guiding the client who use the eternal darknest moment for proposing her girlfriend. One of his guest proposed his girlfriend inside the cave, in 54 meters depth. After the head lamp turn on, the guy proposed his girlfriend with a ring on his hand.
Is this bring idea to you to propose in the eternal darkness?
4. Play with Mud.
Playing with mud? Why not?
In one point, you will walk with mud surrond you in thigh level.
A minute after that, you will find all your cover all decorated by mud.
We find a little hard to walk because of the mud.
animal-at-buniayu-cave5. Meet Life inside the Cave.
I found there’s a life inside the cave. You can see some animals, they survive to live inside. Every alive animals inside the cave is blind. We found some animals like insect, spider, and bats. At bats paradise spot, stink smell is everywhere. It comes from bats’ poop.
6. Meet Some Magic of Nature
You will see glitter rocks, some unique pattern made from rocks, sparkling stones, underground river, underground lakes, and waterfalls in the cave.
As well as to see the cave with water to form fossil halls and millions ornaments.
Buniayu welcome sign
The name Buniayu was taken from the name of an area located at Kerta Angsana village, Nyalindung, Sukabumi, West Java. Buniayu means perfectly covered beauty. And the fun fact is, “Buniayu” name is given by Dutch. Buniayu offers a new experience that combines elements of adventure and speleotourism.
Vertical caving in Buniayu has its own charms. The track doesn’t lead you back. My suggestion is you should do horizontal caving first, and follow by vertical caving to get maximum satisfaction. Horizontal Cave called Cipicung Cave is a shooting place for Si Buta dari Goa Hantu Movie. Horizontal caving usually has trek back route, it means we will trek back on the same path.
At least, one time in your life you should try vertical caving. You will hang your life on one rope and get down to 18 meters depth. The trek was full of adventures, challenge yourself at some poins, and inside the cave was beyond my imaginations.
Is caving in Buniayu safe? I chose Mr. Ferry's company: BAT. They have international standard for cave rescue and equipment.  They are very concern for safety factors with applying the Standard Operating Procedure according to the standard of HIKESPI/FINSPAC and UIS. I never imagine that caving succesfully left impression in my heart. And the important thing is choose the safetiest operator to do the caving activities.
If i have asthma, could i do caving? I have asthma, and i challenged myself to do the vertical caving. And i successfully passed. The air level condition inside Buniayu Cave is very good, especially around the waterfall, and even we reached 54 meters down the earth..
So, how’s the itinerary?
The standard itinerary will be like written below, but sometimes the itinerary can be changed depends on weather or anything.
We did horizontal and vertical cave in one day, and i feel it possible to do vertical caving in one day trip. You should start early morning from Jakarta, like 3am.
13:00-14:00 Arrive at Buniayu Area . Check in and enjoy welcome drink
14:00-15:00 Presentation and briefing by guide
15:00-16:00 Relax and enjoy the camp and fresh atmosphere
16:00-18:00 Start Horizontal Caving, visit a cave where become shooting place for Si Buta dari Goa Hantu Movie.
18:00-19:00 Back to cave, refreshment
19:00-21:00 Dinner
06:15-07:30 Morning Call
07:30-08:15 Breakfast, grouping, fitting cover all, and stretching
08:15-12:00 Vertical Caving
12:00-13:00 Refreshment inside the cave, have a cup of tea or coffee.
13:00-14:00 Out from the cave, refreshment, pick up for washing at Bibijilan waterfall
14:00-15:00 Wash up at Bibijilan waterfall
15:00-15:15  Transfer from Bibijilan Waterfall to homestay
15:15-16:00 Late Lunch
16:00 Packing and Check out
Or, if you only have one day, you can do the vertical caving in one day. Check this itinerary:
04:00 - 09:00 4-5 hours driving from Jakarta to Buniayu, i suggest to bring breakfast box and eat along the way
09:30 - 13:30 Vertical Caving
13:30-14:00 Out from the cave, refreshment, pick up for washing at Bibijilan waterfall
14:00-15:00 Wash up at Bibijilan waterfall
15:00-15:15  Transfer from Bibijilan Waterfall to homestay
15:15-16:00 Late Lunch
16:00 Packing and Check out
How’s the Homestay?
Basically, the homestay is a clean simple bamboo house without air conditioner and TV. The weather at Buniayu is cold, so you don’t need air conditioner.
The homestay can fit for maximum 15 people with 2 bed rooms and 1 big public room. I chose to sleep together in public room. Bring your sleeping bag also a good idea, since the weather pretty cold.
They provide mattress and pillows.
The homestay has 1 shared bathroom without shower and without seat toilet. The bathroom is located underground, so we take stairs down to the bathroom. And they provide WIFI, extention cable, and nice blanket. The water is very cold and fresh. All i need here is definitely a water heater :))
Horizontal Caving at Cipicung Cave
The horizontal cave is good for introduction to well maintained nature cave. The location only 5 minutes walking from the homestay. There’re stairs. And i found the route was easy. It takes 30 minutes to walk to the end of the cave.
“In 1992 – 1995, this cave is well known as Invisible Cave, or Gua Siluman in Indonesia Language. Most people came here not for tourism or adventure activities. They came here for the lucky number for gambling, asking for soulmate, asking for rich. And in 1996, the name is changed to Buniayu Cave, means hidden beauty. And now people come to the cave is for adventure experience.
theentranceverticalcavingVertical Caving Entrance
After we had fun in horizontal cave, the journey continued to the next level of caving: Buniayu vertical caving! After we got equipped, we walked 5 minutes to the vertical cave. The adventure begins with a rope.
You will hang in a rope, the guide will work with the rope and you slowly go down to 18 meters, from very small hole to enter the cave.  Don’t forget to pose in the middle of the journey for photograph. The guide will caught you when you near the ground. He will take the property off.
“Rope Free!”
You will hear the guide inside the cave shout.
It means: the participant already arrive at the bottom, safe, and the property was taken out.
So the guide located 18 meters upstairs will pull the rope for next participant.
“The minimum weight of the participant is 35kg. If a kid (minimum 8 years old) want to join with weight under 35kg, it will be a join ride, the kid will go together with one guide to make the balance”
Vertical Caving at Kerek Cave
One fun fact is: horizontal cave and vertical cave is connected each other with a little hole and a river. You will meet the river that connect the caves.
 The first 20 minutes, we were busy to hold the camera, taking pictures for every karst and stone. The guide said there’re 3 zones that we will pass: Bright Zone – Dark Zone – and Eternal Dark Zone.
“Basically the vertical cave can be done 1,5 hours direct, without stop and taking photos. The photo session inside makes the duration longer”. And i agreed with this.
On half way, the guide asked us to took a rest, enjoy chocolate bar, hot tea, and hot coffee. They always bring stove, so we can cook some hot water inside. What a cool experience, sip the hot coffee in 54 meters depth!
And we continue the journey. Before entering the mud zone, all of our camera have to be put inside the dry bag for the safety. So we only have a little photograph at mud zone.
The guides really made us feel safety, they lead us and be patience everytime we kept asking in challenging zone, “where i have to put my leg?”.  And for safety, they will search first in every area, and after everything safe, they let us to follow them.
Upon arrival in exit area, we had little celebration and refreshment after climb out the cave: a bottle of cold isotonic drink restored our energy. With pick up car and messy condition, we transfered to Bibijilan Waterfal, to clean up. The waterfall area surrounded by pine trees while feel the fresh air. What a peace atmosphere. This “wash up part” made us forget the time. After all cover up get clean from mud, we still swim and play water.
“Come on guys, let’s have a lunch”
“LUNCH?”  We cleaned up everything and walk to the pick up car and heading to homestay.
And after that, we checked out, say good bye to Mr. Ferry and Belang the dog.
Belang accompanied us walking from homestay to parking area (around 700 meters). Belang always walks to accompany the guests to parking area, that's why Belang gets tons of fans!
What’s the best time to visit Buniayu?
We met Mr. Ferry Saputra, Chief Master Instructor of FINSPAC and UIS in person. So we asked about caving as much as we can.
“Basically caving activity is good all the time, dry season or wet season. The poin is inside the cave, and not depends on the weather. I suggest to do caving in early rainy season and rainy season.
The rain makes the colour of the stone become more bright and mature. There’s a process from the water drop into the upper layer, and absorption to the karst and stone. The process makes the stone change colours, from dark to bright and it’s very nice to see” said Mr. Ferry.
How to get there?
You can drive a car, or rent a car from Jakarta. The plus of drive a car or rent a car, you can make a stop to mochi shop to buy mochi or souvenirs.
Or take a train to Sukabumi from Bogor, and continue with public transportation.
It takes 3 hours driving from Jakarta to Sukabumi.
And from Sukabumi to Buniayu takes 1 hour.
If you want to do day trip with car, better start from Jakarta around 4AM / 5AM.
1) For operator cellular signal, all operator was pretty bad, except Indosat. So the wifi in homestay used Indosat connection.
2) Bring your favourite snack. Since the weather is very cold there, you will find yourself munch for snack.
3) Bring drybag. It will use to keep your camera, handphone, clean shirt during the vertical caving
4) Bring sleeping bag for your quality sleep.
5) For vertical caving, use black shirt or useless shirt. Your white new shirt will turn into brown.
5) Use thick socks during vertical caving. Socks will make your feet comfortable inside the boot.
6) Bring your favourite coffee or tea, you can drink in 54 meters depth.
So are you ready for the adventures?

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