Do you like adventurous activities and happen to be in Indonesian East Java’s capital city of Surabaya? You may hear about Mount Bromo that is famous for its gorgeous crater. You may have been to Mount Penanggungan, famous for its remnants of Buddhist shrines. However, these places are about hiking. What about water activities such as rafting? Where can you find such a place for rafting if you happen to be in Surabaya area? Go to Kromong river in Pacet hill (Mojokerto regency), 2-hour drive from Surabaya.
Beautiful Kromong river
Pacet is located on the slope of Mount Welirang and there is a small winding downhill river named Kromong. This river is shallow (about 1 meter deep), narrow and rocky. With strong currents and multiple drops (1-3 meters high), this river is perfect for rafting.
One of the activity organizers is Obech, where the basecamp is located in Kawasan Wisata Bandulan (Bandulan Recreational Area), Pacet. You need to call them prior to your arrival and tell them how many people are participating (minimum 4 people, 8-years old children to adults younger than 51 years old can participate) so that they can prepare the rafts, life jackets, helmets etc. and arrange everything needed for the rafting.
Before heading to the starting point for the activity, there is a briefing in the basecamp. Basically, the instructor talks about the raft’s mechanism and some safety rules. He will also share common scenarios like the raft will turn 360 degrees when dropping and one should not panic as well as solutions to such situations. After the briefing, a shuttle car will take your group to the starting point. The trip from the basecamp down to the river area takes 15 minutes and you need to walk for another 10 minutes to the water.
Surrounded by greenery, the river comprises several waterfalls running down the cliffs, where you can see all of these during this trip. At the starting point, you will find a small waterfall. You can spend some time here and have some photo sessions with your waterproof camera before the water adventure.
It's a safe bumpy ride
The raft is around 2.5 meters long and 1.5 meters wide, with the maximum capacity of five passengers, including the instructor.There are some packages to choose (they cost between 11 - 15 USD). Depending on the package you choose, the ride can go from 5 to 12 km long, which take 1 hour to 4 hour for the whole ride. Due to the strong currents with many boulders along the water track, only the instructor carries an oar to balance the raft and to clear the way when a boulder stops the raft to move down the small river. There are some staff guarding along the bank of the river track in case emergency happens, something like the raft gets stuck between rocks.
It starts in the basecamp
If you bring more than 15 people with you, it is a nice idea to arrive at the basecamp in the evening, and go camping in the area before the rafting on the following day. The camping costs 15.50 USD per person (includes dinner and breakfast). Let the management know how many tents you need (some people may want less people in the tent, extra charge may apply if a tent has less than 4 occupants) and will provide everything needed for the night stay (e.g. mattresses, lights, pillows and sleeping bags).
Be a soldier
Do you want another adventurous activity? There some game activities in the basecamp, organised by the same organiser (Obech). If you have at least 9 other people with you, you can do a soldier game named ‘paintball and airsoft gun’. It is a war simulation game using paintballs as the bullets. This is the only one in East Java, organized by the organizer and costs 10 USD per person. All of you will get a airsoft gun, uniform and a helmet. There are some war scenarios and one of them is called 'battle game’. All of you will be divided into 2 groups and and each person will receive 15 paintballs. Win a territory by shooting the members of the other group. The bullets will burst into colorful paint once they hit a target and once a member gets 'shot’, he/she has to move out of the firing zone. The winner will be the group with more surviving members in the end of the game, after all the paintballs are spent.
All activities include Indonesian snack (given before an activity) and lunch in the ‘pendopo’ inside the basecamp (pendopo: a wooden house with pointed roof and only pillars to support its structure). One of the snacks you may have is fried cassava and for lunch you may have ’ nasi lodeh’, which is rice that comes with jackfruit and mixed vegetables cooked in creamy coconut milk. If you want a dessert, I have a suggestion, eat durian! Pacet is an area with many durian plantations, hence there are quite many stalls selling durians on the streets (the one closest to the basecamp is less than 3 kilometers away down the road. Before lunch tell your driver to drive you to there to buy several durians from the stalls. Bring them to the pendopo and eat it for dessert. This is good news for durian lovers!
Are there other activities other than rafting and war game? The answer is yes. If rafting and war game is something you don’t prefer to do, this is still a good place for a getaway. There are some other fun but less energy-consuming activities held by the organizers in the basecamp, such as farming education and horse riding around the basecamp area. So pack up your bag and bring your friends or family here for the funs!
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