The 5 of us were (too) used to gadgets, even when traveling. I already warned my friends that we were going to a secluded place where there are no electricity, and they were all up for the challenge. Finding the place was difficult since Ikbal purposely didn't put any sign on the main road. We drove all the way to the Lembah Harau Nature Reserve before realizing we were lost, plus the cellphone reception there was very bad. Fortunately, we were able to make a call then one of Ikbal relatives came and pick us up.
Our first reaction when arriving was: WOW. All of us are lost for words. The peaceful serenity of the place, the gigantic valley behind us, soft sounds of waterfall from the distance, crickets and toads singing, and endless sky with thousands of stars above our heads. Ricky prepared a bonfire and we ended the night eating barbecued corn while chit-chatting around the bonfire. Before coming here, our first plan was only to stay the night and leave after breakfast. But all of us were sold, and we decided to stay longer.
In the morning, we explored the area while waiting for breakfast to be served. We took a short walk to the small waterfall and the rice paddies. After breakfast, we asked Ricky to accompany us to the big waterfalls. It was a fun 2 hours walk, and the secluded waterfall is truly amazing. Finally, we had to leave Abdi Homestay around 2pm with much regret for not being able to stay longer.
Our only complain is that they don't put price on anything. When asked, Ricky only advise us to pay with what we think was worth, even for the additional room *facepalm*. I'm sure Ikbal and the family are far from materialistic, but it got us to think whether we paid too little or too much.
Also, you can ask Ikbal's family to charge your gadget on the main house (not very near). Most of the houses there do have electricity, but the homestay don't, to maintain its "back to nature" concept. But we ended up not touching our gadgets the whole time (except when we look at the stars, we use astronomy apps to see which constellation is which).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With the earnings of my homestay I also help the people of my village, I buy uniforms and books for the kids going to school. I also support the older people in my village. Me and my people clean the surroundings of the village. If you stay at my homestay you will also support the local community! ... more less