In Lange Beach, you can indulge yourself in one interesting place where two fountains spout from behind the crags. The spot is famously named Ie Rah Beach, located at Lam Lhom Village, Aceh Besar.
Its hidden beauty reflects the untouched exoticism. Many local backpackers are curious to travel its charm, with paddy field and carvy hills along the way.
In the mid March 2014, Aceh Tourism team traveled to Lange. The journey started from Banda Aceh to Lampuuk and took around 30 minutes for 20 kilometers mileage, or only 15 minutes from the main road Banda Aceh to Lhok Nga.
We passed through the Lampuuk Beach entry gate and rested awhile in Rahmatullah Mosque, to which it had survived the devastating tsunami in 2004, despite located in the shoreline. From that point, we accessed the village road until we arrived Gampong Meunasah Lamgirek intersection.
We passed through Joel’s Bungalow billboard and turned left until we found the signpost to Lange Beach and Lampuuk Mountains. We traveled the lonely forest. Entered the rocky and steepy path. We were guided by Rahmad Taufik who had been there twice. We parked our motorbike in a shack since we have planned to stay overnight there.
The toughest phase was to climb Lampuuk Mountain before reaching Lange. The hiking with the slope of 45 degree had taken an hour, but fortunately there was a hut for us to rest and recollect energy.
Next we walked down the flat winding road. It was a jeep-width road with a breath taking view. Our steps were smoothly walked over the neat small rocks under the tropical rainforest canopy. The afternoon sun emitted light through the crevices of giant rooted trees.
“Just like in the movie Jurassic Park,” the guide said, who apparently was a final year student in Syiah Kuala University.
Half an hour later we finally arrived in the hill where the trip ended. Several big pandan trees beautify the natural scenery. Indian Ocean stretched as far as the eye can see. The perfect rounded sun gracefully set. The shoreline under, clean and pure, turned yellow. Lange Beach was a long canvas ready to be painted in twilight.
Rahmad Taufik took us to Ie Rah Beach, around 500 meters right side of Lange Beach. We descended the hill and walked across the shore. Seemed like walking through the desert had there was no sound of waves.
The pink rayed sun slowly vanishing. We must soon cross a huge 4 meters cliff to reach Ie Rah. There were two options: carefully climb it or took the other side of shore to cross the rock gap. Then we walked by foot across the cliffs like a ant marching across the small rocks in a house yard.
“That’s Ie Rah Beach,” pointed Rahmad Taufik to the two spots of water spout from afar.
The fountains spout from the crags in the shoreline. The height could reach 5 meters. Such a complacent view. The day was soon turned dark. We put up a tent for a quiet overnight. Firewoods were easily found, and it helped our preparation.
Stars twinkled in the sky. Waves smashed the reefs in a soothing rhythm. Aceh Tourism Team along with other six young men decided to enjoy the night.
Ikbal Fanika, a young photographer, practiced one technique named light trail photography. It takes a shot of the light trace in the dark. We wrote “We love Lange” with our handphones screens.
Afterward, we shared stories while drinking coffee. The sound of the waving sea and animals from the forest behind our tent shouted each other. The campfire danced as the night crawled the moment in Ie Rah. Far from city noise, city dwellers, and its burdens.
“The campfire shall not be extinguished when sleeping in the forest, because it may invite wild animals,” said a guy named Fahrijal. We prepared a huge firewood. It was still burning when we woke at 5 am the next morning.
The sun rise didn’t appear in Ie Rah, but the morning remained peaceful. The fountain spouted from the crags. We walked through the smooth flat sand. Cooked breakfast together before heading home.
Prior leaving the location, Rahmad Taufik, also a nature lover, asked us not to leave any prints. Tidy up the tent. Pick up plastic trash and put it in a big sac. He then tied it in his waist, took it home to keep the environment clean.
Enjoying the natural scenery in Lange and Ie Rah is free of charge. If you would like to go there, do not forget to bring logistics and overnight equipments. It takes at least two giant mineral water bottles per person a night. Ask permission to the locals at the nearest village before heading to Lange, and it would be better if they could become the travel companions as well. (Makmur Dimila)