I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to my cousin’s invitation to “travel” to a mountain. It was not so much as a “travel” yet it was better to be called “hiking” or worst, “climbing”. Yes, climbing a mountain. High. Mountain. 2,821 meters. High.
One night before going to bed, my cousin decided to pop me a chat and revealed her invitation “let’s go to Mount Cikuray!”, she said. After reading the itinerary and list she gave me that was described Menikmati seteguk kopi diatas Gunung Cikuray, Jawa Barat (Enjoy a gulp of coffee on top of Cikuray mountain, West Java). I went and said, “Oh my gosh, yes let’s go!”. Then we slept.
2 months later
I found my self all packed with a carrier mountain-y typed backpack wandering around a mall to meet my cousin. When I finally found her and her friends, we ate as we discussed how the trip was going to be. We had no clue.We left the mall at 8pm, it was Friday night after work, the road was a tad okay then the usual Friday night traffic. We got to the group meeting place in Kampung Rambutan. A bus station. We met with our hiking guide and the rest of the “backpacker” mount hikers -seriously they actually look like real climbers and advanced at it- and left at around 11:30pm headed to Garut, West Java.
After a few stops down the dark and wet highway to Garut, we made it to our last “real food” energy charger stop of the day. We ate at a small warung nasi slash owned house to grab our super early breakfast before the big hike. *at this time I still thought it was only a hike*
Our cars arrived at the bottom a few mountains, including Mount Papandayan. After stopping at a post for permission to hike, we drove up, up to Cikuray’s finest kaki gunung while we are served with these beauty of a sight:
On the bottom of Cikuray, we found a bunch of campers as well as climbers ready to take the challenge to hike up the beautiful mountain. Note that this was already a Saturday morning and there were a bunch of people here. The group I was in was busy setting up equipments and of course picture taking.
From here you could already predict the view was awesome. No more comment about it.
10 of us in the group made a circle, prayed and double check our gears and carriers. We were ready for a hike. We got so excited when we started walking through the tea garden, until this was the track:
As we walked up and into the forest, I realized then it wasn’t meant to be easy. It sure is challenging. In the middle of the hike i thought to myself, “what the hell am I doing here? Carrying this load on my back, climbing tree roots?!” Then I just remembered how far along I was already and imagine what it would be on the top of the mountain. Watching God’s handworks to the maximum. I carried on.
After 8 hours of hiking, climbing by the roots of trees, stop and drink, chew gum, ate chocolates and energy bars, conquered the fogs, light rain, hard rain, we finally made it to Post 6 where we are to camp in.
Our guide already made it there earlier so the camp was almost set. We had 2 tents set up one for the girls and another one for the guys. Around 5:30 pm the girls couldn’t resist to get into their sleeping bag and rest warmthfully. We snoozed for 2 hours.
we woke up to find some of the guys were cooking with a tiny stove. Cooking rice, chicken nuggets and noodles. We got to help them barely with our eyes open. While eating those food in simplicity we talked about going to the summit at 3am. So not long after having dinner, we all went back to sleep again and rest until before dawn. Everyone was still dozed, we ended up getting ready and start the hike at 4am.
The sky was still extremely dark when we started hiking up again. We all brought our torch light to see. Slowly going up, we got to see the city of Garut shimmers with lights from above. It was beautiful.
Few hours after the hike, the sky turned lighter, sun has risen and we are so close to the top of the summit. About 200 meters to the the top, soil ground becomes rocky with pebbles and we knew we are close by to the summit.
Summit is reached. 2821 meters above sea levels were climbed. Breathtaking sceneries. Happiness overloaded. The group took pictures and congratulate each other on making it to the top without a single complain. Coffee was made, and yes it was the best instant coffee I have ever tasted in my life. It just taste so much better on top of a mountain. All tireness fades as we see the beautiful skies below our eyes. Amazing. I couldn’t stop saying “Subhannallah, alhamdulillah”. God is amazing. My group is amazing.
It was an amazing journey. My chance in a lifetime. Topped with knowing a bunch of new awesome travelers. I will not stop here, dreams of more challenging travels to see the world awaits.
Cikuray Mountain 13-15 December 2013