mount prau: another love story

This post is long overdue. I should have written it a couple of months ago, but you know, there have always been more urgent things to do, or in my case, more “urgent” things to share. Yeah, this is how my scattered mind works –always jumping from one thing to another. Anyway.

This trip was from last August. My friend and I have planned it long before. We wanted to go to Dieng to see the famous Dieng Festival –a cultural events celebrated by the highland people who live in Dieng Plateau in Central Java. Every year they conduct a kind of celebration during which people give offerings to their gods with hopes to be given back good harvests and fortune year.

Too bad we can not get the tickets to enter the festival, they have been sold out long before the date of the festival! So, we decided to just go hiking to a nearby mountain, Mount Prau. This time my friend took me to a backpacking trip. We joined an open-group trip organized by my friend’s friend. There were about 20 of us joining this trip.

From Jakarta, we took an economy-class train. Nowadays, economy train is as good as the higher-class train –with air condition, and proper seats. It is just the seat is not as comfortable as the executive class. Compared to 5 years ago, when the seat was not prearranged, and whenever the train stopped at any station, food sellers and basically anybody can get on the train making the trip uncomfortable and unsecured. The trip was from Kota Station in Jakarta to Purwekerto –a small town in Cetral Java. The trip took about 12 hours.

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Around 9 AM, we arrived in Purwokerto. To go to Dieng we took a bus ride for about 3-4 hours.

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By the time we arrived in Dieng, the area had been already full with people who would see the festival. Traffic jam was everywhere. We stayed at a home stay. It was a nice house owned by a very nice lady. All people in our group stayed there. After having lunch, we went to the Danau Warna. It is a beautiful lake –still had a strong sulphuric smell, and so many caves. This place is considered as a sacred place, where people doing meditation and seek for enlightenment.

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After visiting the lake area and having dinner, we came back to the home stay and took a rest. Some people went out to see the festival, but I preferred to get some sleep because we would start our hiking trip at 2 AM in the morning.

At 2 AM, we started our trip to Mount Prau. It was freezing cold, but fortunately the track was not so hard, although still, since it was quite a high mountain, the trip was also tiring. Because it was dark we couldn’t really see what was around us, or how the track was. At around 5 AM, we arrived at the place where we can see the beautiful sunrise. The location was near the tower of a phone provider. From here we saw how the sun slowly rose and replace the darkness with its golden light. Such a beauty! At first I thought this place was the peak of Mount Prau, but then I realized it was just half of the trip going to the real peak!

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When the sun fully shone, we continued our hiking trip to Mount Prau. We have to go up and down some hills. People called the track and the hills ‘The Teletubbies Hills’. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know, until now. The special things about hiking to Mt. Prau is that we can see the view of 5 different mountains that surround the Dieng Plateu. At one peak of a hill, we can see down the whole Dieng Plateu. And afar, we can see the peak of Mt. Slamet. At the time I was there, Mt. Slamet had been “coughing” a bit. Thank God, it didn’t affect the situation in Dieng and Mt. Prau.

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After several more hills, we arrived at the peak of Mt. Prau! It was signed with a plackard, showing its altitude. Too bad that people who camped in the area littered so much. My friends had planned that we would also do scavenging –took as much garbages as we could and brought them down from the mountain. It was really a pitty that many of us only wanted to just enjoy themselves of the beautiful view but too ignorance and stupid to litter, hence destroyed the beauty.

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And just like my feeling towards other mountains, there, again, I feel in love. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay longer there. One thing I promised myself, I must come there again next time; not only for scavenging, but really stay and camp up there.

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