Friday, July 10, 2015

Talang, My First Volcano - Part 2

Continuing from where I left off from here....

I woke up several times that morning. A little after 3am.. tried hearing noises from the other tent. None.

Then woke up again at 4:30am... and heard some rustling next door. I yelped a cry-out but no response. So I decided to go out. Sure enough, I spotted Yayan scrambling in the dark, trying to heat some water. Haha. I lent him my lamp and awaited inside their tent as he makes hot tea. Syahrial was still snoozing beside me.

We started our ascend after our subuh prayers. It was still dark, but rays of the morning sun was creeping upon us. Yayan told me that it takes one hour to reach the peak. Yeah okayyyyy... with my speed, it might take us twice that long. Hehe. I brought with me a headlamp, a light pack of snacks and the lads brought hot tea and water.

Not at the peak yet, but the best views from the top were here where you can see all the three lakes; Danau Di Atas, Danau Di Bawah and Danau Talang. 

Everything was upwards from that point on. The ground was soft, the trees were scarce and the wind was not so gusty thus bringing only a faint smell of sulfur from the side craters near the top.. There were not many people around us and I felt we had the mountain all by ourselves. Occasionally we'd meet a rowdy group of guys on their way up too.

A group of guys making their way up with their DSLRS and torchlights.
After some relentless climbing, we came upon a path of dead trees. This particular area was called "hutan mati" by the locals because of that. There are many patches of dead trees around the peak. This was due to the mountain's eruption many, many years ago that exploded towards the nearby forest, and killing the trees during its descend. The greenery has long regrew around the trees, as the trees stood lifeless in its wake.

The dead forest as Syahrial makes his way through it.
We stopped a few meters from the peak to enjoy the hot tea and refuel our energy with light snacks. They told me that the view from the peak wasn't as nice as here. After having our fill, we continued our climb until we reached the highest point of Mt. Talang..

The view from the peak. 
There were no planks or signage, confirming that the spot was the peak. We were only greeted with panoramic views and that occasional wind with the scent of sulfur. The peculiar thing about this volcano is that there's no visible crater. The sulfuric craters were situated on the side and not on the peak. Yayan asked me if I wanted to get a closer look at the craters. I declined. Hehe. And so we made our descend after some time on the peak.

Once we reached our tents, Yayan was on full chef-mode as he started to cook the biggest meal for us. It was also to lighten his pack by finishing all our food rations.

Our lunch. The tastiest meal I've ever had, cooked by a guy. 
Syahrial was tasked to wash the dirty dishes and refill our water loads. It was fun to see how these two guys bond despite the huge age gap. Always making jokes and jostling around. It's true that once on a mountain, we are striped bare from all the titles and age doesn't seem to matter. All that matters is making it to the top, alive and without injuries and returning safely down.

We had a quick group photo before descending. Yayan calls it a family photo which to me was funny because we have no blood relations at all. All that binds us is friendship. :) 

"kerana saudara ngak harus sedarah... " he once says. (translation : because being family doesn't need to be blood-related.)

Family photo. My hiking brothers. 
Packed and ready to go, we made our descend. I wished I could stay one more night there but I had a plane to catch the next morning. These hiking brothers of mine had taken two days work leave just to bring me up Mt. Talang. That's the highest sacrifice I ever received from a friend. Haha. And so with this sweet introduction to my first volcano and first Indonesian mountain, I hereby declare am addicted to climbing the other Indonesian mountains as well!

With them carrying all the cooking equipment, some food rations, my tent and liters of water, I was left with a light pack. Hehehe. THANKYOU GUYS! Your guys are the BEST! 
Costs Incurred. 

So Jard, how much did you pay to climb Mt. Talang?

I tried paying Yayan but he refused my money. I even tried smuggling money into his pockets as he was napping but failed miserable. So I really don't know how much it costs if anyone from Malaysia wants to climb Mt. Talang.

There's a entrance fee... but I forgot how much as Yayan settled everything. I think I got in as a local. Hahaha. There's no need for a guide. The trail is pretty much straight forward, but you could get lost in the tea plantation. ehhh.. As for transportation, I rode with Yayan on his motorbike from Padang to the starting point of Talang and thus still didn't pay anything. Huuuu... hopefully paying for their meals that night is compensation enough (which I doubt!!! Lol)

Anyhow.. am blessed with super amazing friends and someday I'll repay their kindness! If not.. may Allah bless them with good life and fortune. Amin!


Wak Lat said... [Reply]

salam ramadhan cik jard, tahniah n keep it up ;p

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ tiga lalat... selamat hari raya. hati2 balik kampung. hehe