Trip to Rakutak Mountain, South Bandung, Indonesia

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On Saturday morning, we were waking up in very sleepy eyes.

Raining outside, cold enough to make us a little bit lazy to open the eyes. Inside my room, I saw Anna still fall asleep. She just arrived Jakarta last night from Capetown, on 11 pm. After traffic and fill our belly with something delicious from Burger King, we just step the house on 2 am. What a night and we are indeed very tired.

But the plan already made since few weeks ago. For me personally, I am so eager to our plan, hike to the top of mountain, Rakutak mountain in Bandung. Not many who ever heard and know this mountain, so that’s the point and the challenge. Those all my friends who used to hike the mountains, also never hike this one. For all of us, it is a new experience. I’m so exciting and quite nervous, whether I can walk into the top or not.

I tried to wake up Anna. She woke up immediately. Still feel jetlagged and she has the sore throat because of the air con in the plane. For a while, I was thinking to cancel the plan. Probably the guys can go without us. But I really wanna go there, so does she, I believe so 😛

After a quick shower and organize some stuff in our bag, we went on to the Lebak Bulus Shelter. A place to meet with the whole team. In total, we are 8 person. 6 guys and only 2 women, me and Anna. We took the taxi from my house. It was raining so I’m not sure public transportation will be a good choice for us to go to Lebak Bulus.

Anyway, we arrived in Lebak Bulus Shelter. What a mess. Because I walk with foreigner, or bule, we usually call, so those Shelter guys tried to cheat on us. They asked me to pay for Rp. 1.000,-/person. Oh well, it’s not about the price. But for what? Did he think because I walk with a “bule” so it’s easy for them to cheat on us. Feeling annoyed, I still walk, continue to find a food stand which all the team there, wait for us. OK Cool. They already eat breakfast while wait on us, when Anna and I haven’t eat anything except a bread. For Anna, maybe that’s enough, for me… hahahaa, don’t tell me. I feel a little bit hungry, but time is already too late.

Together we found the bus. On this journey, there are Andi, Ghepenk aka Antonio, Indra, Fahri, Mike then Anna and I. We took Primajasa bus to Leuwipanjang shelter in Bandung. We paid for Rp. 50.000,-/person. An Air Conditioner Bus with nice seat. But we can’t find place that we can sit next to each other. So we just fill ones whom empty while Andi, Ghepenk and Fahri took the smoking area on the back. As usual, on a long journey, the intention to go to the toilet is arise. I need to a pee, and fortunately the bus has it. Well, don’t ask me about the sanitation. I don’t care, as long as I don’t hold it too long, it also can make me sick in the future.

So funny the experience peeing in this bus. At first it seems ok, when the bus stop because of the traffic. But then, suddenly, the bus move on, while I need to find my balance and really really need to do it quick. Well, anyhow, I’m success. It was good for me, so I back to my seat after catch a short conversation with Andi and Ghepenk. I am quite nervous. Well, the 5 cm movie for sure make some people, like me, want to go to hike to the mountain, but also the stones falling down scene on the movie make me feel terrible afraid. But anyway, we already arrived in Leuwipanjang, soon the adventure is begin!!

We went from Lebak Bulus around 09.30 in the morning and arrive in Leuwipanjang on 12.00. We are hungry and need to eat something. There is a restaurant across the street. Nasi Ampera. It was the first experience for Anna to eat Indonesian food. I explain some food and soon she enjoyed her meal with Emping, Karedok and Grilled Fish. First we planned to go with the public transportation to reach the foot of the mountain. But after we talked with some people there, they suggest us to take the rent car. It costs us at first Rp. 200.000,- until the driver take us to the foot of the mountain. We were agreed, it means one person needs to share Rp. 25.000,- but later on, because of the damage road, far place not as the expected and we need to make turn around many times to find out Rakutak Mountain, so the driver asked us Rp. 250.000,- which ok for the 8 of us. We take a note of his phone number, we asked him to take us again in the next day, after we’re going down from the top of the mountain.

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Rakutak mountain is a part of ancient mountain that not so famous as Gede, Pangrango, Papandayan mountains. It is located in the south of Bandung. Even the locals not all know this place. The mountain has 3 tops, and the top number 3 is 1954mbpl height. Because not so famous, the route to go to the top is still quite hard. Very slippery and quite dangerous. After arrive in Sukarame village, we started the journey from beginning. What I mean of beginning, is really from below. You know many famous mountains can be reached in some part of area by car then walk from there. But not Rakutak. We walk crossing the onion plantation and farms. We’re just started, but I already so tired because of the sharp route. I feel like losing my breathe and need to stop many times to organize my own breath. I bring my cariel at first, not so heavy, but everything becomes so heavy twice or more times if you bring it while hiking. Not even on our half way, I can’t stand on it again and exchange my bag to my friend’s bag which more lighter.

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We arrived on Sukarame village on 4 pm after crossing Majalaya and Pacet. After re-packing for a while, at 5 pm, we start our walk. Anna afraid the evening hiking can cause us wound or another bad situations. I’m also afraid. She’s afraid with the animals that probably attack us also the slippery and muddy ground that can make us fall and broken bones. In the beginning, I am so happy, so excited, then I start to afraid, to nervous, to fear what might happen and I even meet the condition when I don’t want to step another steps because I am soooooo terribly tired. The sun gone and darkness come. Thanks God there is no rain at all. Maybe there is before cause the ground wet and slippery. At first I was only wear short pants, use my running shoes and T-Shirt. But later on, the grass on our way are so high. Even taller than us. So we stop for a while, for me to put my long pants, long socks also jacket. Now it’s a little bit better. But still, I feel like never ending journey.

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It is like you fighting your own fears.

It is like you fighting your own worry.

It is like you fighting your own strength and try to rely on the highest power than yourself. I call Him, God. That moment, I really surrender for God help me and let me keep walk and walk no matter what until we arrive on the top.

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I haven’t hike so many mountains to speak wise about wisdom from the hiking. But as for me personally, I learn my lesson in this mountain. Not count about how you need to adapt of the situation such as peeing on the forest, hahaha.. but also how you take one step at a time. This is a good lesson which I believe can be applicable in our life. Sometimes we are too busy to hold everything and try to solve all the problems in the same time, which the best way we can do to solve problem is by handling it one by one. I also learn how to follow the leader and keep on the track. I got panic when I found my self alone because I’m too busy with my steps and not following one in front of me. I also learn how to be honest to tell to your team about your weakness, when you feel so tired, it’s better to let them know rather to pretend you are strong and let them comfort you and motivate you that you can reach the top.

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Another thing I learn is how to conquer my own fears by keep going. Somehow, the things that we are afraid, it turns out not so scare as our imagination if we dare enough to keep going. To keep take another walk. Another step. Then voila, you already been a little bit far than your previous place. I also think being focus is another important thing we should put as priorities, as for me, when I am walking, even it’s going up or going down, I need to be focused. Since our left or right is a clift, we need to be focus to keep myself is on the ground not fall a slip to that rapid valley. Even though I only take a minute to seeing the view, if I still keep walking and seeing the view, then bummm… I am falling down. Don’t ask me, how many times I was falling down, hahahaa… My leg and butt feel so in pain later. In some activities, you need to be focus. Enjoying the view it’s not a bad thing, but know how to stop, to quit, and focusing on one thing is another thing. Will make you help to reach your goal. At that moment, my goal is to reaching the top.

At 8 pm, we arrived on the Top #1. Minutes before we decide to stop, we thought that we can continue go to the Top #2. But thank God we didn’t do it last night. In the morning, we all see the famous hardest bridge from Top #1 to Top #2, such as a natural bridge, a narrow street which both left and right is a huge and deep valley. Once we make a wrong step, we can falling down to the valley easily. But the thing is, we decide to make 2 tents on the Top #1. There’s no big space to us. Only for 2 tents and us to walk a little bit. We need to be careful, cause again, the area is so limited. 1 tent is for women, which is Anna and I, the other tent is for 3 guys, Bhisma, Mike and Fahri. While the other three was sleeping in between the tent only by their sleeping bag.

Result is, the weather become so cold in the morning. I can’t sleep. My leg so tired. My back is in pain because of the stones and hard ground we use as bed. But we have such a good night. We take a rest by listening music from one phone to another Ipod. We make a little party with instant noodles and coffee made by Antonio, hahaha… We eat all our snack and we just enjoying the cold weather and thousand stars above our heads.

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In the morning, my eyes still can’t open but all the guys screaming such as “Sunrise, Sunrise” – then a little bit lazy cause I can’t get enough of sleep, I go out from the tent. OMG, the view is so nice! We can see half of Bandung city from our place. Not mention about another beautiful mountains such as welcoming us and entertain us with their pretty landscape. Even some wallets want to be with us, by flying on our heads. We saw an eagle fly around, I think he wants to find something to eat. I also for the first time in my life seeing Edelweiss flower trees. Was so beautiful. Smoothly, the sun comes to cast out the cold weather and after enjoying the view, we plan to going down and back to Jakarta. 2 of our friends, Indra and Fahri continue their journey to the Top #2 and Top #3, driven by their curiosity about the Top. While they gone, we eat remaining food as our breakfast, packing and get ready to going down.

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Going down is another story.

The ground was so slippery. There’s no raining at all, but I think because the grass so higher and also morning dews make sun shine can not reach the ground and also wet in the morning. I was confuse how to going down while I see Indra and Anna already go further. Then Ghepenk told me that I need to going down with my body turn around. I need to hold the grass beside me and get down little by little. Very muddy and slippery, again I want to give up, but thanks God, I keep walking. If going up make your leg muscle sore, then going down absolutely make your thumbs feel so numb and tired. I’m so happy when Fahri gave me stick to help me keep stuck on the ground and can I use as my crutch. Following him, I’m going down, while behind me is Mike. There’s so many times I fell down, and not only me, hahahaa… So bad that our friend, Ghepenk fell down so noisy including with his cariels, hahahaha.

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There comes one time in my life, which I never be that so happy to see the onion plantations. That’s mean we already close enough to the first place we were starting.

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On our back to Jakarta, after took lunch on Nasi Ampera again, we were mostly sleep the whole journey. Feel so tired and also happy.

We did it. We are conquer ourselves. Yayyyyy!!

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XX,

Dea

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