One of the best experiences or our Indonesia trip was undoubtedly our two days spent at the Seloliman Nature Reserve. An educational facility, the reserve is most often frequented by school groups and isn’t open for individuals, but it is a regular stop on the Intrepid tour.

All the food they serve at their restaurant is grown locally, most of it on the reserve itself. Nestled into the jungle amongst the mountains and volcanos, we really felt fully immersed in the Indonesian nature.

Our host took us out for an afternoon jungle walk, where we learned all about their local plants, met some pretty huge spiders, and found lots of trees and pods of this cottony material – what would be filling our mattresses that night.

Our jungle walk ended at a small water temple, with pure water coming from the mountains. People congregate there to cool off, purify themselves in the fountains, and fill their water jugs with the refreshing water.

After an early evening in our private cabins, sleeping under the much-needed mosquito netting, we were off the next day for a tour of the nature reserve’s gardens and an introduction to all the amazing things they grow on site. I saw peanut plants for the first time, and my personal favourite spice – cardamom, amongst so much more.

We then headed into the nearby village to visit the lovely and friendly Sufina, who at over 90 years old is still supporting herself by grinding coffee and selling it locally. She is up every morning to serve coffee to the farmers before they head off to work and says the only thing that causes her stress is when she can’t remember where she left her pummel.

 Javanese coffee is made by mixing hot water in the mug directly with finely ground coffee. Give it a good stir and then let it settle; then most locals will drink it with a good helping of sugar.

Javanese coffee is made by mixing hot water in the mug directly with finely ground coffee. Give it a good stir and then let it settle; then most locals will drink it with a good helping of sugar.

After our final meal at the nature reserve, our host made us some traditional Java Royal tea, from black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, lemon grass, cardamom, cloves, and temulawak (Javanese ginger). It’s suppose to have a whole host of healing benefits, so we all drank up before heading off for our next Indonesian adventure.

 Garlicky water spinach with fried tempeh for lunch, one of my favourite meals of the trip.

Garlicky water spinach with fried tempeh for lunch, one of my favourite meals of the trip.

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