Indramayu - Cirebon

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Gunung Putri

Not far from Purwakarta there used to be a place called Gunung Putri, a tea factory where father had stayed for some time. "Ah, Gunung Putri, that lies near Bogor" said everybody we asked. But with the help of some older people we finally found the spot where it probably used to be.

 Way leading to Gunung Putri

View over the rice fields from the cassava plantation

The tea plantations had long ago turned into a  cassava plantation and the name was no longer in use. On the path to the plantation itself are several houses. The plantation lies a bit higher than the surrounding area, with rice fields. Of the old buildings only the foundations had left, making it hard to recognize as the plantation it used to be.

Some women going to work, on the back of a lorry.

Women going to their work by lorry

Tropical shower

In the afternoon we had the usual tropical shower, which occurs everyday at half past three.


Father also stayed some time in Haurgeulis. As they used to live in train wagons, there were no buildings to find. We went to see the station instead.

Haurgeulis station

In the neighbourhood we saw a party for circumcision, just like the one of the Angklung show. The little boy sat on a big bird, and several other children followed him on other birds or lions. In the front there are some people with masks, frightening evil spirits.

Although it is supposed to be a party, most of the children looked very tired. They probably had been carried around for several hours already.

Train at Haurgeulis

Just after we arrived a train stopped. Lots of people poured from the train, bringing lots of stuff. And lots of people  managed to get themselves into the train, which left with the doors still open.



The next stop is Indramayu, where we hoped to find the Protestant church. Fortunately we did, and only little had changed here. There was a book about the history of the church, and it mentioned the name of the preacher from the time father lived here. 

Protestant church at Indramayu

Inside the Protestant church We bought a Durian, also called 'heaven and hell'. It is supposed to smell like hell and taste like heaven. The one we had probably wasn't ripe enough, because the smell was disappointing. But it tasted OK, a bit sweet and very soft.

Durian: heaven and hell

Indonesian woman talking to father

At the market we met this nice lady with her child. We noticed that a lot of adults like us. However, small children think those white people with blue eyes are very frightening.
Mini-onions for your own praying room

Dried fish at the market


On the market you can buy all items you might need, like vegetables, fruit, (dried) fish, chicken and so on. And you can buy flowers to decorate the graves of your ancestors.

You can also buy mini-onions of mini-minarets for your private praying room. Mirjam liked those very much, but finally she never bought one to bring home.


In Cirebon we went to the palace of the sultan. Although he still lives here, you are allowed to see a lot of it. That's better than in Yogyakarta!

Coach with Garuda bird

Delft blue tiles

Entrance of the sultan's palace The palace is decorated with Delft Blue tiles, picturing everyday life in Holland. The brown tiles show Biblical events. As they are mainly used for decoration, there wasn't much attention for the tiles that were put next to each other.

Throne of the sultan

The region of Indramayu and Cirebon is also famous for its batik. In this area the batik has bright colours like red, orange and pink. The best place to shop is in Trusmi, a small village with more batik shops than houses. Before we started shopping we saw the process of making the batik. Wax patterns are put on the cloth. Where there is wax, there will come no colour. In this way you can make complicated patterns by applying several times a different wax-pattern and colour.

 Girl making batik by handBatik cloth before colouring

Stamping batik

Pink batik cloth

The girls who apply the wax by hand can make 4 to 8 cloths a day. The stamping process is a lot faster: one man can stamp 50 cloths a day. Of course, you can also combine this: first stamp the main pattern and after applying the first colour add small details by hand. The more colours and the more complicated the pattern, the more expensive the cloth gets. And of course the material of the cloth also influences the price: cotton or silk.

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