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Lelogama, The Million Stars Hill in Kupang

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Our last stop was at Kupang. After a whole week travelling from one destination to another, in between both islands – Timor and Flores, I must say that that night when we checked in to our hotel at Kupang, I felt a little bit at ease. However, there was one more destination we planned to go on the following day before we flew back the morning after that.

As per flight requirements, we needed to take a PCR test to enter Jakarta and Bali, where most of us are residing. This can be tricky if the last stop or town we are at cannot get the PCR test result out within 24 hours after the specimen is taken. Fortunately, in Kupang, several medical centres can do that. So, the first thing in the morning was to line up for the test, and then off we headed to Lelogama!

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Lelogama, One of the Nominations in the Ecotourism Category of API Awards 2021

Lelogama at Mount Timau area is one of the ten nominations that makes it to the list in the Ecotourism Category of API Awards 2021. That is also the reason why we must visit here. There must be something good that it was selected to be one of the nominations.

As exotic as the place’s name sounds, one of my friends told me that it is a hilly area. And around there, soon, the biggest observatory in South East Asia will be built. I even heard, at night, the sky is so clear that we can see stars, and if we are lucky, Milky Way is even visible with our naked eyes. Doesn’t it sound exciting?

peekholidays-lelogama-apiawards2021

[ Read: Liman Beach at Semau Island ]

The journey that was longer than we expected.

I remember I checked on the time shown on my phone as we left the medical centre. It was almost 10 am. Someone told us that it would take about two hours to get to Lelogama. So we decided to settle our lunch at some eateries that we could find along the way to the destination.

We were on the last turn into the road heading to Lelogama when our friends who drove us there told us that when he went to Lelogama a few years back, it took at least another two and half hours from this point because of the terrible road condition. We calculated that means it was close to five hours in total to get there.

I wondered what happened with the two hours that we were told about? Our friend was also unsure whether the road had been improved much since then either. If it was still the same, then a few more hours our butts needed to sit still.

We had our quick lunch at a small eatery that served mixed rice and also meatball soup where the locals usually call it Bakso. Not many choices were available around the area. We left the eatery as soon as we finished, thinking that it was still a long journey ahead. A few minutes over 12 noon, the clock showed.

I was sitting in the middle row of the car. Just did what passengers did – relax and look around through the window. It would be different if I was sitting next to the driver, I would be more alert. My bad, I didn’t check on the Google map and just listen to whatever that being told to me until one of our friends that didn’t come along with us to Lelogama, saying in the group chat that we should have already near to Lelogama by now.

Then I opened up the Google Map to check our position, and it turned out that he was right; we were only 7 km away. The even better news, it wasn’t even an hour yet. At some point, when we were driving through on the well-paved road, I thought that dreamy road was going to be ended after a few km long. But truth to be told, there was still some uneven rocky path at some sections. However, how if I tell you more than 85% of the road has already been taken good care of?

The road is winding but smooth | Photo Credit: @disgiovery

When things turned out to be better than we thought.

We stopped on the side of the road next to a small shop. Along that road is also where the usual weekend market is. As we were there on Thursday, there were no market activities. We went to the hill on the opposite of the market that seems to be higher than any others. We supposed that where the viewing point is.

I saw several cows laying on the side of the path when we walked up to the top. They were curiously watching us pass by. Although we came during the time when the sun was on top of our head, the wind blowing was still chill. The sun wasn’t scorching hot but just shining so bright that I squinted my eyes several times.

Once I got to the top that was only a few minutes walk, I felt like I was on top of the high mountain – an unblocked view with the sky and clouds that seemed so close to us. No wonder they say this is a good place for stargazing. I was standing on a huge green grassland that turned brown due to dry season, leading to the valley where I saw some horses were feeding on the grasses.

peekholidays-lelogama-warung-weekend market
The weekend market happening along this road | Photo Credit: @disgiovery

Far ahead of me, a view of mountains. So serene and beautiful despite it was so windy that day. Perhaps, the best time to be here is in the early morning for the view. While at night, set up a camp for stargazing, it will definitely be a great idea.

It has been a while since I see a view with mountains and valleys, I didn’t expect to see it that day at Lelogama. I think the journey that was longer than I expected was paid off. I also think that sometimes letting myself have some surprises in the trip by not doing heavy research about the place that I am going to is good, too. It is more exciting!

At a glance, the view looks similar to the Baliem Valley except there is no winding road in Baliem but a river that cut through the valley. Oh, how I miss mountains and trekking. I wish we could stay overnight here for stargazing one day. Though I think must be going to be very cold at night.

From the photo below, you can also see how windy it was that day. I find that my tee from @loisindonesia that I was wearing is still comfortable under such windy conditions. And also, the denim tote bag from @loisindonesia also had been a great help! I could literally dump anything I need to bring into that bag. It is spacious, nice, and durable. It kept my stuff in place despite the windy day.

• • •

You are standing on top of the hill with unblocked view where sky just look so close above you. The wind blowing strong, almost moves you. In front of you, there is a valley with horses feeding on the grasses, and also mountains. Lelogama – the hill with million stars is the place.

We stayed for at least two hours just on Lelogama Hill, taking photos. It was fun and turned out to be much better than I expected. Should we have more time, we might have explored further the area. The Mount Timau complex is huge and we only have explored a tiny part of it.

Down the road, another two hours, it will get us to the observatory and another site called Batu Susun. I hope, the next time I visit Lelogama, the observatory has already been completed. I would love to visit and I am so looking forward to it.

And orh, so in all, it only took us less than three hours to Lelogama from the Kupang City.

I have been there. When will you?


Tracy Chonghttps://about.me/chongtracy
I love nature and I wish to swim with whales one day. If I am not exploring and working in front of my laptop, most likely I will spend the day trying out new recipes or spending time with family or friends.

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