Friday, May 20, 2016

Mt. Merbabu - Merapi - Papandayan : Full Itinerary

"I want to climb these mountains in a week, is it possible?" I asked my friend, Bumi who also works as a guide in Jawa.

"Possible. But how about climbing Lawu instead of Papandayan since it is in a different district?" He tried to coax me into changing my third choice of mountains.

"NO PAPANDAYAN, NO TRIP!" I strictly told him.

OK.. this was not the actual conversation between us but I was firm with Papandayan and I didn't want any other mountain than that. Haha.

And so here was the agreed upon itinerary that we planned together via whatsapp calls and messages. I added the shopping spree in Jogjakarta so that the guys could enjoy some Jawa culture before going back to Malaysia.

Day 1 :

The plan was that everyone should be in Jakarta before 1:00PM and then we'd head to St. Pasar Senen train station to meetup with the guides. Train to Solo Jebres would depart at  4:00PM and arrive at 2:00Am the next day.

10 hours of train ride! :P

I sat in the seat behind them and let them sit all together to break ice. 
I guess this was the boys' first experience on board a train in Indonesia. I was astonished to find them in this position, behind my seat during the night (picture on the right). Hehehe. But they'd occasionally wake up whenever the train stops at some station, just to smoke.

Day 2 : 

We arrived at the train station and decided to bath at the toilets inside the station before heading out. Once out, we were greeted by the Solo Hikers Community who came in a small truck. there were around 5-6 of them. I couldn't remember their names as they were speaking in deep Javanses dialect. 

At around 6am, we headed to Selo Merbabu Basecamp in a a 8-seater. The bigger bags had to be strapped on the roof of the vehicle. We only stopped to buy logistic and food for the hike and reached the basecamp around 8am. We only started hiking around 9am.

Merbabu full line-up. From left : Hafiz, Arshad, jimi, Jard, Amel, Shafiq and Amir. Whose the largest bag of them all? 
It took us around 6 hours to reach Savanna II where we'd be setting camp. It was some parts misty towards the way up and we didn't get to enjoy much views. All we saw was the dirt path in from of us as we silently hiked. 

Day 3 :


There's an advantage in hiking with an all men group of hikers. We hike faster than usual. Haha. We reached the peak a wee bit early than expected and we were the only people there... in the dark!

We reached back at Savanna II around 8:00am and it was free and easy until the next day. This campsite was almost totally empty as other hikers were starting to pack away their stuff and descend. It was only during the evening that we met up with Zilla and her merry band of 4 setting camp just a few yards from our tents. 

Day 4 :

The descend was oh just so wondrous! We were feasted with beautiful scenery from Savanna II all the way down! It was the best mountain descend I've ever experienced! 

Descend, bath, change clothes at the basecamp and then head to Merapi's basecamp. After having lunch, refilling our water bottles, and registering, only then we started hiking. I think it was around 4:00PM. It was quite late and only arrive at pos 1 at 6:00pm where we set camp,

Day 5 :


The climb from Pasar Bubrah to the summit was a tricky one. After ignoring all the warning signboards that says don't summit, we finally reached the summit a little after 6:00am, The sun was already out when we got there. It kinda reminded my during my hike in Kerinci, Mahameru and Rinjani, because we had to step on loose pebbles and sand to reach the summit and we kept sliding down with each step.

We descended to Pos I to cook breakfast and head back to basecamp. We ran into some trouble here before heading to Jogjakarta. Thankfully we made a mutual agreement with our transport driver who was willing to drive us 2 hours to Jogjakarta for 30,000 idr per head.

Day 6 :  

A night (before) and full day at Jogjakarta before catching the train back to Jakarta that afternoon. We reached Jakarta at 12:30AM the next morning and stayed at Bumi's house in Bekasi which he sets as a basecamp.

Day 7 :

Saying goodbye to Shafiq and Jimi as they'll be heading back to Kuala Lumpur.  #SadSadSad

The rest of the gang headed to Garut via bus from Bekasi Bus Station. We reached Garut after 5 hours. Meetup with my other 3 Indonesian friends who wanted to join me to Papandayan and together headed to basecamp.

The new line-up for Mt. Papandayan. 
The day was gloomy, cloudy with signs of heavy rain when we started our ascend on Papandayan. I guess it clearly mirrored my mood that day as I was pretty sad losing two members of the original group. We decided not to climb to the summit as the guide says there's nothing to be seen there.

Day 8 :

Hike to Tegal Alun, a heaven of Edelweiss, the eternal flower that only grows above 2500masl. We spent the rest of day enjoying the surroundings and finishing the food we brought up. Hehe.

The girls say goodbye to the guys as we were heading to different destinations. Some headed to Bekasi while we headed to Tanjung Rambutan. Headed to Jakarta later that evening and arrived around midnight.

Day 9 :

I went to stay at my friend's house in Jakarta and she brought me to experience Car-free day at the city center. Flew back to Malaysia later that night.


This is just a short recap. Full details in upcoming posts. :P


fajar rois said... [Reply]

good passanger, thank you for not smoking in our train, but sorry about the seat, the seat of economy class train:)
nice to meet ya :)

Rafidah said... [Reply]

Wahhh... hebat sgt ni maraton 3 gunung! bergegar tulang lutut baca. hahaha. next time jmpa kt mana2 gunung nak mintak signature, please!

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ fajar.... hahaha.. you are most welcome. Syukur saja teman2 ku patuh peraturan naik keretapi

@ rafidah... alaaa... jomlah ikut aku daki gunung.... sekali sekala cuba daki dgn geng aku pula! hehehe

Anonymous said... [Reply]

ahaha... kita org geng ngan sweeper. kak jard geng ngan runner. laju berdesup. haha. Jom Argopuro! jatuh chenta sama view treknya.