After 18 years…I finally returned to the first mountain I ever Climbed, Mount Gede.
Last week I had a 4 day holiday, from May 14 to 17. The first plan was to go to Mount Sumbing at Central Java. Unfortunately, my friend’s daughter was ill and she wanted her dad to be with her. I found it out a couple of days before the day. I couldn’t imagine how boring life would be to have 4 day holiday without going somewhere and without internet ( my dorm’s internet was not working at that time). To prevent that, I went crazy with google using my mobile’s internet…finding which ever trip that goes to ANY mountain during those dates. Fortunately I found one and they accepted sudden registration.
The destination was Mount Gede. I have been meaning to go there again since I began hiking again but never found the right time yet. I thought I first visited Mount Gede in 2000 but when I looked at my old photo album, I was there in 1997. It was when I was still in college (yup! I am that old 😉 ).
Anyway, the first plan was to go to Mount Pangrango first then Mount Gede, the two mountains are next to each other. From the picture above, Mount Pangrango is the small peak on the left. But, not everyone was strong enough so they cancelled Mount Pangrango and only went to Mount Gede.
We gathered at 10.00pm in Kampung Rambutan Terminal and arrived at Cibodas around 1 am. We didn’t hike straight away. We stayed in a rented house and slept till 4 am. We started our hiking at 5 am. It was still a bit dark but we, Indonesian are used to go to work at that hour.
The system of this hiking trip was called Check Point, where we had to wait for the whole group to arrive at certain point. If we walked fast we had to wait for almost half an hour for the rest to reach the point. For me, it was a troublesome system. I couldn’t walk slow because it tired me down and then to wait for almost half an hour made me cold. I like the system of most hiking trip I had joined before this, just walk at you pace and wait at the final meeting point to set a tent.
I don’t mean to be selfish and leave the slow ones behind but I really think that they should accommodate two kind of hikers equally because the fast ones can’t walk slow and slow ones can’t walk fast. It’s a different thing if one of the members was sick, like when I went to Mount Ciremai, my friend was injured so I walked slower so that I could accompany her.
Let’s put that check point thingy aside for a while.
Just like what remember from the past, the trek on Mount Gede was full of rocks. The local government had put a rock path to the mountain. I am not sure whether my memory fooled me or not, but back in 1997 the rock path was a lot shorter than now. Rock path was really NOT FUN!! The more we walk the more it pierced on our foot. My favorite trek is still soil and root…that’s the best. At the beginning, the rocks were neatly arranged but the more we walked the rocks became more disordered.
When I first went there, we walked at 11 pm so everything was dark. It was fun to have this walk in the morning so I could see the beauty better. We passed through this long bridge of concrete (it was still made of wood back then) because underneath it was swamp. The view on the bridge was great, the bridge itself looked great…even with some holes in it.
We had a long break in a post called Denok 2. Chatted with other members, had a cup of coffee or tea and some snacks. It was fun to get to know some of them (not all of them yet). I think we were there for an hour, maybe more. When we continued our walk, I along with three boys walked on our own pace and turned out to be so far ahead of others. We didn’t intentionally walked fast but it was our pace after all. Since then on, I walked with these three boys ( I called them boys because they were as old my students, they graduated from high school in 2010).
We passed through the famous hot water fall. It was foggy and hard to see through. The fog (or it the steam to be more precised) was quite refreshing…kinda like in sauna 😉 I took few seconds to gathered some pictures so I can give some illustration of what it feels like being there.
We had a little rest near the hot waterfall and took some pictures of the place my friends once set two tents 18 years ago. Someone had set his tent there at that day.
There was nothing much to tell from this point on. We continued walking and enjoying the scenery. The forest was quite thick and looked a bit menacing, in my opinion.
We passed through Kandang Batu and went straight to Kandang Badak because the plan was to set out tent at that place. The boys walking with me didn’t like having long rest (just like me) so we headed to the promised meeting point straight away. During my other hiking, that was what we did, just wait in the designated area.
We arrived at noon, somewhere around 12 o clock…just like the plan in the itinerary. The four of us waited there while buying some food to fill ourselves…Yup there was a shop there!! Mount Gede was not as “quiet” as other mountains. Kandang Badak was so full. We were wondering where to set the tents.
Not long after we reached Kandang Badak, another 4 boys reached Kandang Badak. In the end, there were 8 people there waiting for the rest of the group. Somewhere around 2 we found a spot to properly sit and laid down….still waiting for the others. We were a bit suspicious that they had eaten lunch down there and forgotten about us.
The truth was…they had changed the camping site to Kandang Batu! since we walked ahead of them, we knew nothing about it. I really couldn’t get used to this new (to me) system…because in all my previous trip no matter how late, no matter how tired the last group was…we continued to the designated meeting point. I remember when I went to Mount Cikurai, the latest group reached the camping site around 7 pm and in Mount Rinjani the trip-people had to pick up the last group so that they could walk to the designated camping site. Well, lesson learned: each trip group has different rule…get used to it!
So, the 8 of us had to go down – back to Kampung Batu.
We reached Kandang Batu within half an hour. Got a bit of an advice to not go too fast (I will keep this in mind if I ever go with this hiking trip/group again).
At night, we were given choice to either go to the top of Mount Pangrango or Mount Gede (Kampung Badak was the intersection of the mountains)…We chose Mount Gede because it had better view and easier trek. We had to leave around 3 am…and I will share it on my next post 😉
I saw a lot of this flower on the trek:
Someone once asked me to share my favorite hiking gear, and this is my favorite right now; my red hiking shoes. I love the color.
That’s all for now…see you on the next post 🙂