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.

the journey of breaking the heart

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You know, i call travelling –especially to a new exotic place, a journey of breaking the heart. It is because everytime i go places i’d fall in love with them! And by the time i try to get to know the place deeper, it is also the time i must go.

So for me it is like a vicious cycle of breaking my heart purposedly –you come to a place, you fall in love, you go away, you break your heart!

And the worse is, you’d get a post-travel blues, and it’d be hard for you to move on, unless.. yes, unless you go to other place, to a new place. And then you go there, fall in love again (forget the previous one.. haha), and get your heart broken again, and the cycle continues.

Once you really realize that the world is not as small as a moringa leave, travelling becomes an urgency. You get yourself addicted. And it can only be eased by doing another travelling.

When asked whether I am a beach-type or a mountain-type, I can’t really answer. I thought I was a beach type. But once I got to know hiking in 2011, I have become addicted to it. I am like a kind of crazy newbie in this thing — like a friend said.

Well, definitely I will not stop. Like I always said to myself and to anybody else I know, do everything that the world has to offer, if you are able, at least once in your life time.

May the universe bless my wish. Aamiin.

rinjani day 3: menuju segara anak

Meninggalkan puncak Anjani, matahari sudah tinggi dan hari sudah terang, walaupun hari masih pagi. Saat itu sekitar jam 09:00 waktu setempat. Walaupun ketika aku naik kulihat orang begitu mudahnya berseluncur turun dari puncak, aku tak begitu saja kemudian mengikuti cara mereka. Ketakutanku hanya satu, bagaimana kalau aku meluncur kebablasan terus sampai ke jurang? Hii..ngeri membayangkannya. Maka, kugunakan tongkat batang pohonku untuk menahan laju seluncuranku. Yah, mau nggak mau memang kita harus menapak sambil berseluncur. Jadi mirip-mirip berseluncur di salju, tapi di sini debu akan mengebul jika kita berseluncur terlalu kencang. Sambil berjalan, aku menikmati pemandangan yang tersaji di depanku. Lagi-lagi aku bergidik. Megah sekali Anjani ini. Dan betapa ngerinya penampakan “Trek E” yang kulalui sejak sepertiga akhir malam itu.

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Dan bulan Agustus ini, kuncup-kuncup Edelweiss mulai bermunculan –mungil, cantik, nampak tak berdosa. Namun betapa tangguhnya, tumbuh di antara bebatuan dan di ketinggian yang membekukan.

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Singkat kata, sesampainya aku di camp kami di Pelawangan Sembalun hari sudah jam 12:00. Lama juga perjalananku meluncur dari atas. Oh ya, perlu juga kusampaikan bahwa sebaiknya kita tidak sendirian saja turun dari atas. Walaupun jalurnya terlihat straight forward, tak urung aku sempat tersasar dan keluar dari jalur. Saat itu aku turun sendirian, dan memang kuakui, saat itu pikiranku sempat ke mana-mana. Padahal aku hanya berpikir, betapa indahnya, betapa damainya, betapa tak ada pikirannya, betapa kecilnya aku ini. Dan “untungnya” aku diselamatkan oleh adanya tanda-tanda kehidupan manusia, semacam tissue bekas, feses manusia, dan botol minuman bekas yang berserakan sehingga aku bisa mengira-ngira ke arah jalur yang sebenarnya. Ironis ya, sampah yang dibuang sembarangan lah yang membawaku pulang. Hiks…

Setibanya di camp, ternyata Ahmad dan Hamzan, dua kawanku itu belum tiba. Ya aku memang meninggalkan mereka di atas karena mereka sibuk membantu orang-orang yang kepayahan mau naik ke puncak. Baik hati memang mereka. Tak kuasa lagi, aku langsung rebahan saking capeknya, juga minum air sampai puas, karena praktis dari atas aku tidak minum sama sekali. Tapi istirahatku kali ini tak lama. Sekitar jam 15:00 kami sudah harus bergerak untuk menuju Danau Segara Anak. Kawan-kawan bilang jalurnya menurun. Yeiiyyy!! Begitu memang responku saat itu. Dan setelah mengalami jalur menurun itu, nyesel rasanya sudah bergirang hati.

Yah, yang namanya jalur menurun dari Pelawangan Sembalun menuju Danau Segara Anak itu bukanlah perjalanan menuruni punggung gunung. Perjalanan ini adalah perjalanan menuruni tebing nyaris 90 derajat dengan jalur memutar dan jalur berbatu-batu yang terjal. Huhuhuhuuuu… Sungguh mau nangis rasanya!!! Dan jalur ini benar-benar konsisten turunnya, hampir nggak ada jalur bonus yang rata. Jika pendakian menuju Pelawangan Sembalun dikenal dengan Tanjakan Penyesalan, maka perjalanan turun dari Pelawangan Sembalun ini kusebut Turunan Penyiksaan. Seperti halnya tanjakan yang tak ada habisnya, turunan ini pun tak ada habisnya. Beberapa kali kami bertemu masyarakat lokal yang baru pulang memancing dari danau. Mereka selalu “menghibur” dan bilang, danaunya ada di balik jembatan, nggak jauh lagi. Oke, tapi where the hell is the jembatan???? Helloooooo???

Sesungguhnya perjalanan menurun ini pun pemandangannya cukup oke, tapi sungguh aku sudah nggak berselera lagi mengabadikannya di kamera. Betisku tegang dan lututku kaku dan terasa sakit jika ditekuk, akibat menahan beban berat badan yang lebih berat jika menurun. Sebenarnya akan lebih enak jika kita tidak menahan badan, dan menggunakan momentum berat itu untuk turun dengan setengah berlari. Namun, jalur yang sempit berliku dan sudut yang curam membuat ngeri, khawatir kebablasan malah nyungsep masuk ke jurang di depan.

Dan ketika akhirnya berjumpa dengan jembatan yang disebutkan penduduk lokal tadi, betapa senang hatiku. Yeiiyy… Dan jalur pun sudah tidak terlalu terjal lagi. Saat itu hari sudah mulai gelap. Tapi aku optimis kami akan sampai sebelum malam, karena kan danaunya ada di balik jembatan. Namun apa mau dikata, ternyata itu hanya harapan hampa. Danau Segara Anak ini tak jua menunjukkan mukanya. Di mana dikau, wahai Danau? Dan ternyata lagi, setelah berjalan dengan suntuk karena seolah tak sampai-sampai, di depan terlihat ada jembatan lagi. Omaygaaaaaatt… jadi ada berapa jembataaaaan??? Jangan-jangan jembatannya ada banyak dan jarak yang satu dengan yang lainnya sebegitu jauhnya pula. Oh no!!!

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Dan ketika wajah danau akhirnya terlihat, aku menghela nafas panjang. Akhirnya nampak juga, walaupun aku tak tahu masih berapa jauh aku akan sampai ke danau itu. Dan menjelang senja itu, suasana sekitar lumayan indah, dan semangatku muncul lagi untuk segera sampai ke sana. Setelah ambil beberapa foto, kupaksa kaki ini berjalan cepat. Walau di setiap langkahnya yang kurasakan hanya nyeri dan ngilu saja. Hiks what the hell!!

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Setibanya di danau sudah malam, dan Astaghfirullaah… ternyata suasananya sungguh crowded dan macam pasar. Tenda-tenda bersesakan di mana-mana, dan orang-orang sedang sibuk memasak untuk makan malam. Tim Advance dari grupku sudah tiba sedari tadi, dan ketika aku sampai, tenda-tenda kami sudah didirikan. Aku langsung terkapar di tenda, tak dapat menahan kelelahan. Setelah berganti kaos yang sudah basah kuyup oleh keringat, aku langsung tertidur. Aku terbangun ketika Farhan, seorang anggota grupku membangunkanku untuk makan malam. Setelah makan malam, aku tak kuasa untuk ngobrol-ngobrol dengan kawan-kawan seperti malam-malam sebelumnya. Langsung aku tertidur dengan pulas, sampai pagi.