Journeys

At that time the station my father travelled a lot and visited through the Priangan region to visit quinine plantations and to do quinine tests and meteorological observations. This involved checking numerous rain-meters. The top of the Malabar mountain was 800 meters above the Pengalen plateau, from where the magnificent view stretched to the north and south coast of Java. These monthly visits increased my father’s love for the beauty of the natural environment and in particular the jungle. It made him able to be the person chosen to select a terrain for a tea plantation which would be attached to the Government Quinine Plantation. So he toured the areas of Goenoeng Tiloe, Papandajan and the Goenoeng Kendeng forest south of the Pengalan plateau. Gounoeng Tilou is uses the Soudanese word ‘tilou’, which means ‘three’. When you look south from Bandoeng, you can clearly see the three steps of the Goenoeng Tilou up to the Pengalengan Plateau.

Bandoeng

Goenoeng

The flanks of the the Goenoeng Tilou has wonderful fields, which would have been fine for the growing of tea, if it wasn’t for the fact that these hills slope into the rivers that supply the rice fields around Bandoeng. My father spend about two weeks there and then moved on to Papandajan, the mountain at the south eastern end of the Pengalengan Plateau.

On the western slope of this mountain there is a road which connects the plantation Sedip Tji Leuleuj and the plantation Ardjouna. It is about 10 km long and lies solitary in the forest. About half-way on this road my father found a cove by the side of the road, where his research group decided to camp. Some sheets were put up, a moveable drawing table, a camp bed and a stool were all the requirements for a surveyor on a field trip. From the villages near Ardjouna, about 20 km from the cove, twenty workmen were found. These created a path into the jungle under my father’s direction. The undergrowth was cut away to enable the creation of a map with surveying equipment. It was important to make sure that only the best pieces of land were assessed. The measurement of 800 hectares took about three weeks. It was disappointing to find out upon return to the plantation that these 800 hectares were planned for extensions of the surrounding plantations.

A third attempt on the north slope of the Gounoeng Kendeng had more success. About 20 km from the Governments Quinine Plantation there was a box factory called Kiara Roa. That means: lots of Kiaras or ‘sacred trees’. These grew behind the factory. This box factory had emptied a small concession of forest of its trees. The Government Quinine Plantation would use this concession and add some additional terrains to achieve 800 hectares.
The first night of this expedition my father stayed by a small river about an hour from the box factory. From there he started his search for additional terrains. After about two weeks he could report back to the management of the Government Quinine Plantation that he had been successful.

He had to stay there for an additional three days, because the director wanted to see the terrains for himself. He used this time to explore the jungle to the south. It was about 100 hectares large and only had small pathways. The trip went over the Sodang Aib mountain, about 1900 meters high. The path then went down a steep slope of about 400 meters to a plateau at 1500 meters, where he found a hidden mountain lake called Litoew Tjirompang. The paths my father used were called by the Indonesians Djalang Goela. These paths were used to carry produce from the forest, in particular sugar and rattan. Goela means sugar in Sudanese. The trip back up the mountain to the camping place at the top took about 3 hours longer than the way down. The path was steep.