Thursday, July 9, 2015

Talang, My First Volcano - Part 1

Rising 2567 meters above sea level, Mt. Talang is one of the many volcanoes on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which includes Indonesia. That said, the volcanoes in Indonesia (estimated to have 150 volcanoes) are also among the most active with some notable for the eruptions.

After being seduced to the natural beauty found at the mountain by my good friend Yayan, a mountain lover who resides in Padang,  two hours away from Solok in which resides Mt Talang, I decided to climb it. "This will be the first volcano for Jard the Great!" He beamed, He failed to mention that it was also going to be my first time on back of a motorcycle for two hours with a 55L backpack on my back.

I was told that the mountain was a beginner's favorite. An easy trek up within two hours to Lembah Kasih, the main camping site before summit attack the next morning. Yayan also told me that even though the sunrise and sunsets were not that spectacular compared to other mountains, but the view on top is just as beautiful.

I wasn't in the best physical form when I decided to climb Talang as three weeks before I was in and out of hotels, eating five times a day as would any conference package provides, and doing nearly zero exercise. Hahaha. I figured that since Mt Talang was a beginner's mountain, it'd be a walk in a park.

Boy was I  dead wrong!

Do be reminded that a beginner's trail as presumed by Yayan is actually a non-ending upward trail through wide trails of MUD until you reach Lembah Kasih. But before the mud trail, you'd be walking through a scenic tea plantation. Thankfully, I changed my hiking shoes to my mountain sandals before embarking this torturous hike through mud. Else my shoes would be buried in mud and it will take weeks to wash it off! :P

"Jard, when you meet other hikers on the trail, greet them with "pak" or "ibuk"', Yayan advised me as we started our trip. We were accompanied by his best friend, Syahrial who helped carry my 3kg tent. Hehe. My bag was lighter among the three, filled with my own personal wear, some rations, food and water. I sometimes feel guilty just thinking about it.

Our bags during toilet run and before our ascend. 
En route to Lembah Kasih...

The trail to Lembah Kasih was relatively easy if you don't mind the mud and the lack of tree branches to push your body forward as found in Mt. Irau of Pahang. All you need is stamina and a trekking pole. The trails were marked with numbers in the trees and when I asked the number for the peak, the lads cheekily lied to me and say 120++. Not to be deterred by this new information as we only reached the number 18, I pushed myself forward.

It felt a long while before we reached number 20 (or was it 30?) and I mentally calculated that we'd reach Lembah Kasih by night fall. Hahaha. My stomach started to growl and told Yayan that I was hungry, who was patiently hiking and waiting on me throughout the whole hike. And after reaching a scenic point, he took out his cooking utensils and started cooking us lunch! Wahhhhhhhhh!!! 

A guy cooking for me is a girl's dream come true! Hahaha! 
(Noted: Yayan always wear this t-shirt when he hikes. Must be his favorite hiking t-shirt). I was surprised that we would reach Lembah Kasih under an hour after lunch. I thought there were still some 70 checkpoints to go! Ahh... terasa ditipuuuu!!! 

It was still early afternoon so we decided to build our tents and the guys went out to look for fresh water. Lembah Kasih is the widest and largest campsite I've even seen in my whole life! Yayan says that at one time, this campsite could fit 3000 campers!!! But that day, there were only a couple of campers as it was a weekday and all I saw was a quiet and secluded area of nothingness with the peak of Mt Talang as the background. 

Our tents and our flags. I may be the only Malaysian who ever climbed Talang! 
We had early dinner that night and slept early. I was to sleep in my red tent and the lads slept in the other tent. I woke up a couple of times during the night to the sounds of other campers strumming their guitars and singing. Other times was due to the cold in which I added more layers to myself.

There were also times where I was tempted to join the other tent due to the extreme cold but swallowed Hehehe. It didn't help to find out the next morning that their tent was warmer than mine. :(

To be continued.... with summit attack on the next post! 


Zilla said... [Reply]

apa rasa tido sorang2 dalam khemah tu Jard? tak takut ke? hehehe

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ zilla... macam aku dengar zilla... tak takut.. cuma kesejukan. hehehehe

Citra Rahman said... [Reply]

Oh jadi namanya Yayan? You broke my heart! :'(

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ citra... bukannn cit! janganlah begitu.. huhu. kalau kita berjodoh... takkan kemana. :P