Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Eagle cries

Volcanic or not?
Though one associates volcanoes with hot springs, in reality this is not always the case. On Java, Indonesia, there are many (distinct and active) volcanoes. This though hardly implies there are many hot springs.
That said the hot springs there are, are close to volcanoes, Java virtually being an island of volcanoes.

On the very distant slopes before the Lawu volcano mountain becomes part of the riverine plain surrounding Solo city, lies the hot spring of Bayanan. Coming from the northern plain city of Sragen (itself 30 km from northeast of Solo) after 15 km and just beyond the village of Sambirejo, the paddy fields give way to small hillocks covered in teak.

Located in this area, the hot spring of Bayanan is located 2 km beyond the village of the same name on a recently laid asphalt road. With the parking area also covered with the same new surface, it’s a disappointment to see that whatever constituted the recreation area of this hot spring, it’s features are now clinging on to dear life. Private warungs (shop stalls selling everything and doubling as restaurants) seem ok, but the public facilities for which further up the road 2,000 INR was paid (~0,20 $US), are gradually deteriorating.

Despite this, on this Saturday morning, a number of youthful (and very silent, or were they just shy?) couples were occupying the few and far between seating areas. Two small kids were the only ones active; their efforts were focused on throwing bucketfuls of water to the encaged eagle which had little choice than to accept this fate as just one of those days. It was one of those places.

The soak?
Soaking might have taking place in earlier days in a larger swimming pool, but possibly as this was the drier season, the pool was empty.
Beyond the pool is a cemented enclosure which had to be the source. The small view of it’s interior revealed only a reflection, which has to be attributed to a water surface.
Continuing, thick water pipes lead to a number of bathing cubicles which in contrast to the rest of the area, have been maintained. Inside are a bath tub and enough space to change.
It looks clean, so a soak can be enjoyed, why else come here. After the soak, it’s another 2 hour journey to cover the 50 km back to Solo. In just two hours.

Other sources
local government website of Sragen regency has extensive info on the Bayanan hot spring recreation zone. Which includes all info on how to get here and photo's from better times.
'Through scientific research was known that hot water and the substance that were contained inside it was suspected came from the touch magma (geothermal) that touched the source very deep ground water and to was felt in the surface as the source of hot water. Hot exact water in his source + 44 0 C, and after until the surface in the bath to + 36 0 C, in accordance with the temperature of the human body, so as to will be felt was glad and comfortable to bath. Investigation that was done by the Balai Penyelidikan Dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kegunungapian Yogyakarta showed the existence of many elements/the chemical compound that was contained in the Bayanan Hot Water Bathing Place including the sulphur (Sulphur)'.
Tourists are to be persuaded by this text. A selection:
'Bayanan hot spa is considered to have many advantages in curing many kinds of diseases, such as f rheumatism, itch, and so an. Many visitors coming to this place have proven that the hot spa in Bayanan is really curable. Besides curing several diseases mentioned above, this hot spa can also decrease cholesterol level in blood, revitalize our body and muscles, relieve the tiredness, and keep us young'.
A video perhaps?

Getting there: Sragen is closest major town, conveniently found on the main highway from Solo to Surabaya. Train also passes through here. Getting to Bayanan might mean finding some kind of deal with either a small microbus or an ojek (motorcycle). Bayanan is well known, not far from Sambirejo.
Soaking experience: The water was hot, but not too hot (see above). The bath was clean. The cubicle was dark.
Overall impression: Not really worth all the trouble to get out here. Cheap though.

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