the preceding set; but as it will reveal to you scenes of a rare splendour, I cannot reasonably withold it. It is the trip to the waterfall of Rambut Maja.
The best way to visit it from Tosari is to start for Puspa on horseback rather early, say at five a.m.; by riding not too slowly you can reach the fall in three hours, and often it will be possible to catch the motor-car that passes Puspa at ten on the way back.
Of course you can do the whole trip on horseback or even on foot; but then, mind, it is not an easy affair.
Shortly before you reach the side-way to Puspa Hotel, you see a fingerpost on the left-hand side of the road, saying: aNaar Nongkodjadjara. And almost immediately the enchantment of this region has its grip on you. The path makes a sharp turn to the left in the beginning, and so enters a valley with a magnificent bamboo-vegetation, that cannot be seen from the big road. The turbulent river is arched over by gothic bamboo-crypts, and from the little wooden bridge (the so-called Black Bridge) we enjoy a fascinating view through the dark vaults on the wild, gurgling water, over which the leaves sing in a quaint, faintly-clattering voice.
After this we pass another, more shallow valley and reach a cluster of houses, where the path through the coffee-gardens to Ngadiwana forks off to the left. (By this path too you might return to Tosari.) Next comes a more open part of the road, with leafless, skeleton randoo trees, whose blossoms often lie strewn thickly on the path.
Thus the path remains for a while, with fine panoramas of the plains, climbing but little until we cross the river that comes
down from Rambut Maja. Hence it rises steeply between big, eruptive blocks; on both sides is the never-ceasing thunder of a river; to the left the woods stand on the distant hills: sengon trees and warped, greyish-white stems of anggring with their
exquisite screens of foliage. Higher up the tiny white ribbon of the fall shows through the trees now and then.
We enter another hamlet; the road to Nongkodjadjar continues to the right. (Though I shall not describe it, it is rather worth while; 4 hours to ride there from Puspa.) We take the left branch, and after having climbed the ridge for a short stretch, we gradually descend into the wooded ravine.
How mighty an expression this is of the tropical vegetative power. An army of giant trees crushing the wild undergrowth and the few, old coffee trees beneath their heavy feet; isolated gothic niches of bamboo; and near the ravine-bottom the big-leafed plants of the water-side, like broad, green spear-heads or large, bronze dishes.
Here a spreading bendo arches over the road; there a pasang, the Javanese oak shoots up straight, lifting its small, round crown high above the bush; only to be equalled by the sapen s towering column of copper. And through this confusion of shapes and hues the sun flashes its flitting rays, as the sailing clouds uncover its face.
The origin of all this is the river. From the bottom of the gorge its song of creation resounds, and sometimes it seems to play on the wood as on a Panas reed with many tubes. But then all noises dissolve by degrees into the roar of the fall.
Photograph by G. P. Lewis The ,,Black Bridgea near Puspa.