It began when i took batavia airline and saw the magazine about West Sumatera. I didnt know there are so many interesting places in West Sumatera. I had visit Padang and Bukit Tinggi before with my family but i didn’t enjoy it. I even stole the magazine (ups sorry) because I wanted to go there. I found cheap ticket by mandala to Padang only idr 280k. It was cheap right but then I regret. Few days after I bought the ticket, mandala gave a big promotion. Only idr 100 to Padang. I could’ve had in total idr 50k to Padang (including payment by credit card). Such a waste !
The idea to climb Kerinci was just suddenly came through my mind. Before, I planned to travel across padang, medan, then aceh but I was late to buy cheap tickets. Again I was confused with another option, Mentawai, but finally I chose Kerinci. Still got lots work to do. I need to find companions. Traveling alone is ok for me but hiking alone, I am not that brave. I searched for some information in Padang Backpacker Community in facebook. There I knew Bang Jamie from Sungai Penuh. I also borrowed some hiking stuffs from some members.
The day had come. My flight was at 5.30 a.m so I slept at airport. Landed at Minangkabau airport and fetched by Bang Kohar (friend from fb).Directly when to travel agent in Ulak Karang then went to Sungai Penuh at 10 a.m. FYI, in one day there are 2 departures. 9 a.m. And 7 p.m. Normal time will take 7 hours. The scenery along my way to Sungai Penuh was unforgettable. All the green hills, especially around Mount Kerinci. Huge tea garden refreshed my eyes and my mind. How beautiful it was. I met Bang Jamie. He ran a merchandise store named KerinciMerch. If you’re looking for souvenirs, come to this place. Bang Jamie introduced me to Mbak Sandra and I slept in her home.
First time flying with Mandala, not bad.
You’ll see this kind of view along your way to Sungai Penuh
Passion fruit ! Hung up at the stall along the way
View of Sungai Penuh
21 December 2012
I felt guilty when Bang Jamie said he would come with me to Mount Kerinci. He’s supposed to hike at the end of year. He told me before his friend will accompany me. Unfortunately all of his friends were busy. We prepared food, everything. There were 4 of us, me, Bang Jamie, Bento, Ucok taking oto (that’s what they called, same term as angkot, IDR 10,000 each person). About an hour to the gate. Here comes the horrific part. I read a lot in people’s blog about kerinci. Suggestion to pass third post before dark has always been mentioned by them. The reason is sumatera tigers are still running wild in the jungle. The tigers start hunting at night. I don’t know why these guys had an idea to hike at night. The plan was building camp in post 2. As far as i know, it’s safer to camp in shelter 1 back to the reason related to tigers. Moreover shelter 1 is already 2000 meters above sea level so no tigers. Bang Jamie told me there are river so it’ll be easier to refill water.
Checking stuffs was completed so was praying. We were ready to hike in the middle of the dark. All crazy imaginations came to my mind. How if a tiger showed up and ate us all. Only name left. Not cool die because eaten by tiger. I looked around, thinking if climbing tree is possible. I never climb tree so I was worried. I prayed hoping everything’s ok..Few minutes walked and I heard a sound. A sound like tiger’s breath or growl. Obviously I was scared to death. I called Bang Jamie who was in front of me and asked what sound was that. He just said “Pretend not hearing anything.¨ I shut my mouth but my heart and mind, I spelled all my prayer in buddhist way.. 15 minutes to post one felt like hours. Again Bang Jamie reminded me, “no matter what you hear and see, keep silent.” Again I heard tiger’s breath at post 1. I kept silent and also kept praying. Three of us still enjoying their time smoking regardless how scared I was. 15 minutes again to post 2. It was 8 p.m. Little bit relieved because we’re going to camp. We cooked dinner before sleep and having chit chat for a while. Bang Jam still didnt wanna tell me anything. He just said if tigers had their own path, they wouldnt come closer to human. What sound I heard then? I didnt wanna think more, lets sleep.
22 December 2012
Planned to start hiking at 8 a.m but never exactly did as what we planned.
The challenging part started from shelter 1. We need to climb because it’s high and steep. Roots were used as grip. From shelter 2 to shelter 3 was crazy. The height that we need to climb is as tall as our chin. It’s cloudy, sometimes raining but not very big. I really enjoyed hiking with these guys They made jokes and it’s totally fun. We laughed so loud on the way. The wind blew very fast when we reached shelter 3. There’s only 1 tent standing beside our tent. Time to rest.
See how steep it is
An old tree. Spooky
Shelter 1 to shelter 2
Shelter 2 to shelter 3
Climb with bare feet plus big backpack. Don’t follow
It’s raining and big wind when we slept but luckily it stopped early morning.
Planned to do summit attack at 4 a.m. but in fact we started at 6.15. The sun had rise. Very nice view of the Sungai Penuh and also South China Sea. I felt worry because of the fog on the summit. I just hoped for good weather up there and also the sulfur condition was not bad. Overall the path is full of rocks and sand but not as sandy like Semeru on Rinjani. 7.45 a.m. reached Tugu Yuda and met other hikers just went down from the summit. They said it was grey up there, covered by fog.
Gunung Tujuh Lake
Bang Ucok and Bento. Cheer up. See the city down there?
Almost reach Tugu Yuda. Still foggy
I was thinking, whatever condition up there, at least I could step on the highest land in Sumatera, I would be very happy although the view was not nice. But again, God blessed me! 8.30 we reached, it was clear up there. And luckily the wind blew to the other side so those thick sulfur moved to the other side, not to the land we step on. Bang Jamie said if the wind changed its direction toward us, within 5 minutes we would fell and poisoned at glance. I was extraordinary happy and grateful that I could reach the top of the highest volcano in Indonesia, safely. Took photos, we even did Gangnam Style up there. Thank you God it was soo beautiful. We could see Danau Gunung Tujuh from up there. Very exciting!
Hurray ! Summit !
Here I am, at the top of Sumatera or even Indonesia 😉
Thanks It was a great experience hiking with you guys! On my right side Bang Jamie, white Jacket Bang Ucok, red jacket Bang Bento
Time to go down
Just went down from there
2 p.m. we went down from shelter 3. Unfortunately Bang Ucok’s injury got worse. He had difficulty to walk. We had to walk very slow. 9 a.m., we decided to camp again one night at third post. Bang Jamie and I went to find water but he wasn’t sure where the source was. We went deep to the jungle. Weathered wood hinder the path, the leaves and branches dissuaded the path. Again, this feeling of double worry and weary came across through my mind. Once, Bang Jamie asked me to stay somewhere and he left me to find the path. It was dark, I contemplated tigers, ghost, everything. Bad thinking but that things came to my mind, alone, in a dark jungle. Horrify! But finally we found the water source, a small river. What if the tigers were drinking water at that river? 😉
Packing again and going down to the gate. We joined a farmer’s vegetable car to go to main road. Journey still continue……
Took this photo after we went down
at the back of pickup
Tugu Macan, too bad the mount was covered by cloud =(
Hiked in 21-23 Dec 2012
Thanks Bang Jamie, Bang Ucok, Bang Bento. Thanks to Mbak Sandra family for hosting me =)