A Random Blog of Everything I like
It’s another hiking diary 😉
I went to Mount Rakutak (1922 metres above the sea level) in Bandung on January 31 to February 1. The mountain wasn’t as high as my previous mountains but it sure had a lot of story to share.
Despite the fact that I just went Mount Rinjani a month before, when my friend told me about the trip to Mount Rakutak with one of my favorite hiking group, Jelajah, I immediately said yes. I have gone with several hiking group and the one that I like the most is Jelajah because somehow being with them feel like being with people I have known for long even though the truth is I just met them. The first time I went hiking with them was when I went to Mount Salak, Mount Rakutak was my second and on April 2 I will go with them again to Mount Ciremai 🙂
We gathered at Jelajah’s Base camp on Friday, January 30. I arrived there around 9 pm but we had to wait for the others to come. We left the Jelajah’s base camp around midnight. There were 6 women and more than 20 men. We couldn’t get much sleep because some of the men were so noisy. We arrived at Nagrak, Bandung around 4 am. We stayed at someone’s house and slept till around 6 am. Had breakfast and got ready till around 8 am.
We started our hike to Mount Rakutak not long after 9 am. Hiking at that hour was both fun and tiring. Fun because I got to see the stunning view around me, I love seeing all the paddy and vegetables field. The human-made landscape was gorgeous. Tiring because it was so hot, the heat sometime made me decided to take cover for few minutes. The thirst also made it worst.
At first we all walked close to each other but due to the length of rest needed by some people, we slowly broke apart into smaller groups. I didn’t realize that I was the only women in my small group till we reached the last warung (small shop) in the feet of Mount Rakutak. I think there were about 7 men with me at that time. We had a long rest there, about an hour. It was nice to drink hot tea after walking for few hours.
I think it was half an hour later when the rest of the group started catching up. Before all of them gathered on that warung, we decided to walk again because it was getting cold. Before reaching the warung, the trek was like a walk in the park. After the warung, the trek was full of tall grass (ilalang). I tried covering me hands because the grass made my skin itch. The men were also trying to cover their skin to avoid the itch.
When the grass field was over, we faced the stairs of roots. Some were short, some were high. The trek reminded me Mount Cikurai. I didn’t take a lot of pictures because both my hands were busy. On the trek like this, we needed our hands to lift our body.
I recorded two videos to show our trek:
Around 11 am, we reached Tegal Alun. There was an open space there; people often used it for camping. I was still the only women along with 5 men. We waited for the other. The second small group (around 4 men) came and decided to find the water source.
Here comes the first fun story: The sign on the picture below said Sumber Air (water source), above that sign there was a small wooden sign saying Air Jauh (The water is far). There men went down to find the water source. Waldi (someone who had visited the mountain before) encouraged them to find the water source but once they left us he smiled because he knew that the water was sooo far. We waited for them for about half an hour and then they came looking so pissed off. They said they couldn’t find the water, I know it’s cruel but we were all laughing at them. One of them told us that he thought he heard the sound of water stream but it turned out that one of them was peeing. He was so annoyed with the sign saying water source and decided to take it off because the sign had fooled him.
More people came after that and just like when were in Warung, we started moving again. The trek that awaited us after Tegal Alun was the dreaded Sirathol Mustaqim (Sirathol Mustaqim is Islam is the thin bridge – thinner than human hair – that we must pass through to go to heaven, if we have a lot of sin we will fell down to hell. To a people with strong faith the thin bridge seems wide). In Mount Rakutak, Sirathol Mustaqim is a name given to this narrow path heading to the top of mount Rakutak. On both sides of the track were steep ravines. Wrong step could cause our life.
The trek was not as narrow as Tali Jiwo at Mount Salak but it was sooo long. I have a height phobia and all the way through Sirathol Mustaqim, all I could do was praying…at some point I even said that “what am I doing here?”. Fortunately, I was with several men who were eager to help. There was this big rock in the middle of that narrow path and I wasn’t sure I can pass through, Riswan help me got through the rock. You can see the path here (the picture was taken the next day because when we passed it the mist was so thick)
Here are some pictures taken by my friend, I had no nerve anymore to take any picture. I tried my best to smile while holding to Riswan’s backpack.
We finally reached our camping ground around 1 pm. Our hiking group was divided into two because there wasn’t enough space. On my area, there were 3 women and 12 men. One of the reasons why I love hiking with this group is because they look after the women. We didn’t have to set the tent, they did it all for us. We didn’t have to cook. We, the women, didn’t even bring stove and cooking set, we brought food but they cooked everything for us 😉
We didn’t do much on our camping site, we ate, chatted, and took pictures…basically bonding with everyone. Near sunset, we when to the other camping site to have a better picture of sunset and the city below the mountain.
I love every moment I had on this first day. Camping on the mountain was always blissful for me; time seemed to go so fast.
Day 2, where we got lost is coming soon 😉