Excursion to pine forest is something that seems to be reserved for those who are rich enough to own a summerhouse near one or simply an activity that one can only dream of when residing in Jakarta. But pine forest may be closer to Jakarta than most Jakartans thought it would be and certainly not merely a product of fantasy.
Residing nearby Sentul City, the said pine forest is roughly one and a half hour ride away from Jakarta during the weekend. Still, getting there is definitely not a walk in the park. The wide road eventually gives way to a narrow dirt road that leads up the hill where the forest awaits.
Upon entering the forest, one is immediately dwarfed by the glorious pine trees that line along the gentle slope. There, sunlight is filtered into strips of light that slowly warm up the visitors’ bodies as they make their ascension. A clearing, a stone throw away from the entrance, makes for a perfect spot for, say, picnic or a brief yoga session under the nature. A family camping spot can be found in this forest too, allowing parents a chance to show their kid(s) the charm of nature.
The real magic of this pine forest lies in the fresh air and tranquility that it provides. Here, the sun comes across as warm and forgiving, basking the area in delightful yellow glow. Occasionally, during weekend, children from nearby settlement hike up to the forest for a game or two, such as tag and hide and seek. Every now and then, they will park quietly behind the tree and peek at visitors’ clumsy, and even ridiculous, attempts at acquiring a decent selfie.
The existence of pine forest effectively gives Jakartans no reason to whine at the lack of nature excursion. One may complain at the duration and hassle that it takes to reach the forest. But once there, those complains are overshadowed and rendered trivial by the presence of the forest. And of course, in pine forest, the importance of cleaning up after oneself can’t be stressed enough.