Saturday, January 11, 2014

Revisiting Kusuma Agrowisata, Batu: Dragon Fruit and Apple Picking

This first full week of January 2014 has been a really hectic week for me as I was officially back on WAHM mode as of last Monday. That's why; my blog's kinda abandoned during weekdays.

Here is a late blog post on my fruit picking experience at Kusuma Agrowisata, Batu during my last trip to home town. This was not my first time checking out this place because three years ago I went there with some family from Malaysia for seasonal fruit picking as well. The difference was that back then we plucked oranges because it was not the season to harvest apples; and this time around, we plucked apples and red dragon fruits.

Also, as I read my old blog post about my visit to this place back in 2010, I just realised that the entrance ticket for one person has set to double in three years' time. Inflation, inflation! We spent like Rp. 35.000 for the entrance ticket/pax three years ago and recently we forked out Rp. 60.000 or Rp. 70.000 for each entrance ticket depending on the must-have food we choose that comes together with the experience of fruit picking in the orchards. Last month, the choices of fruits that each visitor could pluck were 2 apples and 2 pink guavas, 2 apples and 2 pink guavas or 2 apples and 1 red dragon fruit. We went for the latter choice.

My sister and brother-in-law took my husband and I to Batu for a short sightseeing on the last day of December 2013. We didn't bring Naomi along because she was not feeling well and my parents assured us that we should go with our plan to Batu and they would be happy to babysit Naomi that day. Actually, we were glad that we didn't bring Naomi along to this place because we left her stroller in Malaysia and it would be rather an intense muscle workout session for us to carry her up and down the orchards at Kusuma Agrowisata.

Back to the main topic again - after we bought our entrance tickets, we arrived to the many orchards available at Kusuma Agrowisata. At first, we intended to pluck some green apples but sadly, we had to queue for a long time as they only allowed certain numbers of visitors plucking apples in their orchard at a certain time.

Let us in, please!

Thus, we decided to walk around and find the red dragon fruit orchard instead.

Hello from Red Dragon Fruit orchard!

I have personally seen dragon fruit orchards in Malaysia from afar many times but never saw them up close let alone plucked any dragon fruit straight from the tree yet. The moment we entered the dragon fruit orchard, one of the staff working at this orchard asked us to walk around and find the biggest dragon fruit that already turn red or reddish we could spot. Once we found the dragon fruit that we'd like to bring home, we ought to call him again for cutting the fruit off the tree for us as visitors are not really allowed to pluck the fruit on their own. We were sort of disappointed when we heard that because we thought we could pluck the dragon fruits with our own hands.

Ripe red dragon fruits lurking around.

Anyway, the staff also advised us to be careful when checking out this thorny orchard. A thorn from one of these dragon fruit trees accidentally poked my sister's arm but the staff told her not to worry about it. He said the torn that went inside my sister's arm would come out by itself in 2-3 days' time. And erm.. speaking of this, I totally forgot asking my sister on whether the thorn did really come out from her arm days after we went to this place.

The four of us showing off our dragon fruits.

Once were done with plucking dragon fruits, we continued our journey back to the apples orchard. It was a a pretty long walk for me. I literally huffed and puffed the hilly roadways to reach the apples orchard up there from the dragon fruit orchard down there. I should have hopped on the buggy ride that was offered to visitors for free.

Fortunately, by the time the 4 sweaty visitors (re: us) arrived to the apples orchard again, we only queued for few minutes before we finally entered to the apples orchard.

Told you, they were tiny!

I can only say that big holiday season like New Year that brought huge crowd to this place left us with nothing but small and not-so-good-looking apples in the orchard to pluck. Those apples that within our range to pluck were really not nice at all. My husband and brother-in-law ended climbing the apple tree to get the somewhat bigger apples high up in the trees. So yeah, the guys got to pluck the apples and the ladies were the ones who catch the apples. No chance for my sister and I to pluck the apples from the trees unless we wanted to bring some tiny with brown spots apples home.

The boys surely went extra mile to pluck the apples.

Shamelessly showing off the apples that my husband passed to me.

To conclude this trip, we claimed the food at their Apple Cafe (Kedai Apel) that was included in the tickets fee before we headed home. I had Apple Fried Rice (yes.. green apple bites in my fried rice!) and my other companions had toasts with apple jam with Apple Juice.

All in all, it was a good experience and I had so much fun and laughter during this visit. Will I go to this place for the third time in the near future? You know... probably, I will.

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