View a gallery of one of the photographers landscape my favourite, Ansel Adams, feels like I’m drifting from place and time to his home in Yosemite Valley, California, one of the most photographed views of the earth by man.
Yosemite has always been a dream destination for landscape photography enthusiasts around the world — including me. However, when I visited West Sumatra last time, I thought I was in the valley where the peak of El capitan is. Turns out I was wrong. I’m still in Indonesia, in the Harau Valley to be exact!
The journey of about an hour through the winding roads typical of Sumatra still makes my stomach shake. However, the scenery makes me unable to stop pressing shutter camera. Especially when our car passed the steep cliffs of the Sianok Gorge with a height of more than 100 meters.
“These canyons emerged from Australia there,” said Prince, the uda pilot of our car.
“Well, how come, da?” ask me.
“I also don’t know, that’s what the people I brought with me said,” he said.
Maybe we find it difficult to imagine how the “fault” of the earth’s plates. In the cyanok canyon, the shadow will instantly turn into a visual. These faults also shape the Bukit Barisan which extends from Aceh to Lampung. However, the process of forming the fault eventually resulted in a fertile area with a beautiful panorama.
Finally my car entered Payakumbuh, Fifty cities district. And when I entered the Harau Valley area, it felt like I was entering a large concrete fence that was clawing at the sky.
In my opinion, this harau valley is perfect for relaxing and unwinding. Imagine, panoramic views of rural rice fields plus steep brown cliffs interspersed with waterfalls with green forest waiting below. No significant noise. There are only sounds of nature plus the sound of echoes bouncing on the valley walls adding to the impression of peace and serenity. Ah!
I was there on Sunday, many Payakumbuh residents picnic here, especially around the waterfall. Children can be seen jumping into a waterfall that has been turned into a pond (unfortunately). But there are still many waterfalls here that we can visit without having to compete with these children.
The roads in the Harau Valley are narrow, quiet, and smooth. Very suitable for cycling. And I do intend to bike there! Unfortunately, there is no place to rent a bicycle there. I had to rent a bicycle from the city of Padang which was certainly more expensive.
In addition to a healthy sport, cycling also makes me more enjoy the valley of harau. We can at will where we want to take pictures. In fact, I was forced to stop every tens of meters. Yes, it can’t be helped, all of them are cute!
For lodging, the most favorite here is Lembah Echo Homestay. It is located right in front of the Echo Stone where if we scream, the echo will follow us a few moments later. And this homestay is really cheap! For small rooms, it starts at around 90 thousand per room, and for “rumah gadang” it is around 300-400 thousand rupiah.
Harau Valley is not Yosemite. But they are both beautiful. Harau feels more beautiful because he is in the archipelago. Maybe this is mini Yosemite, a universe game to prepare us for where Ansel Adams is. Let’s say aaaaaainnnnn together!
And for me, Harau valley is still the most perfect escape gateway in West Sumatra.
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