Then there we were, standing very excitedly, and just couldn’t wait to step over the line where we can title ourselves as the ‘Hikers of Semeru Mountain”. It was indeed a very intriguing moment, I had almost no idea what was going to happen on the mountain since it was my very first time and I didn’t prepare myself for it AT ALL.
I was honestly terrified because I already felt tired carrying my heavy bag, yet we were not even started the hike, not to mention the six freakin’ hours that we needed to pass before we reached Ranu Kumbolo. #verymixedfeelings
The interesting part about this hike was, we brought one advanced hiker named Mr. Hero who we were hoping to be our ‘hero’, hahaha.. He did help much but he also brought some twists to our stories. Like the first 10 minutes of our hike, he offered us to go through the shortcut track. He said it was going to be tough, but it would save us time to get to the first station.
My suggestion : NO don't use the shortcut
It was a very tough first hike, at least for me. I almost fell to the back because of the heavy bag. I got so exhausted and tired, and for the first time in my life, I couldn’t breathe in the open air.
Terrifying indeed, but actually the bag was the main part of my struggle. After we reached the top, there were a quite wide space for us to just take some time to catch our breath and to release all the pain on our back. I immediately fell to the ground together with the bag and took it off while I was laying down.
Felt like giving up already, though it was less than 30 minutes hike, we were informed by Mr. Hero that we just passed the high track and were going to walk on a steady straight track constantly until we reached the third station. Feeling saved hearing the good news, but I know he did that just to cheer us up, to keep us motivated. There were still some uphill tracks after that, but not as high as the first one that we just went through.
I couldn’t be thankful enough for the solid team! Seeing me struggling with my bag, Yeyen and Amey agreed to alternately exchange bags with me. It was really really relieving and I was also surprised about how weak I was compared to them, lol. But they were also the highlights of the hike.
We didn’t stop joking and talking along the path. There were times when I just wanted to be silent, but I still could hear them talking and laughing out loud behind me. I have no idea where these skinny girls got that extra talking energy, lol.
We arrived at the first Station and rest
Along the way, we met some interesting tunnels
And of course, the view that I won’t ever get back in the city
we arrived at the second Station
And I was so busy uploading endorsement pictures on my Instagram LOL
From the second station to the third station, I more and more realized that hiking can be really dangerous for one’s life, but once you’re on the track, there’s no turning back again. We have to keep moving forward, and just be focused on the track. These are some things that made me realize that I was so small and just helpless, lol..
- The corpse of a falling tree (imagine you saw it falling in front of you)
- No safety line anywhere (imagine free falling from this cliff)
- A broken track, with only a thin rope tied up to a branch
I really have no idea if I slipped until I fell and I only have that thin rope to sustain my body, and furthermore my bag.
We arrived at the third station, I didn’t manage to take any pictures, I was too busy uploading the Endorsement photo on my Instagram for the last time because I won’t find any signal after that.
Done with uploading pictures, we were looking for our mask and our poncho (raincoat), because we were going to face a very high track where there was a lot of dust there (actually, putting a mask is optional), PLUS it was kinda raining a little too, that’s also why I didn’t take a picture, I put my camera inside the bag.
Meanwhile.. Let me show you (again) another thing that I found along the way
A monkey (up) and a very cute dog (down)
Why did I say that putting a mask on a high track with a lot of dust is considered optional?
Because personally, I always felt that I lost a lot of oxygen while I’m facing the uphill track, and despite the dust, I prefer to get as much air to help me breathe than closing my nose and my mouth to avoid the dust but I lost all my breath and die, haha.. Besides, the dust wasn’t that bad.
But despite all of our tiredness and whatever, we could still manage to take a good picture together. Cheers to the memory we won’t ever get back again!
Not too long after all the horror stories about hiking up, FINALLY, we got a peak of Ranu Kumbolo! No, we were not there yet, not even close, it was still half an hour of walk to Ranu Kumbolo, but at least we could already see the lake which means that we were almost there!
The interesting part :
I noticed that there was this big cloud that always came and went away through Ranu Kumbolo. When it came, we’d get a little rain around us, and when it went away, it would be all clear and sunny again. Weird, wasn’t it? But I guess it’s just nature. 🙂 Here, let me give you a clearer picture of the lake!
On the other side, is our camping area #ifyoucanseeit and it’s around a 15 to 30 minutes walk from where we stood because we have to walk from the side to get there.
And finally! WE GOT THERE!
What I learned about hiking up :
We should always think POSITIVE!
Hiking can be really tough, and we have to be able to control our bodies. Several times, I felt like I was going to pass out, and on a high track, I always ran out of breath or oxygen, which was terrifying and made me freaked out much. Just stop for a while, put your stuff on the ground, get loose, and do say positive things like, “I can do it” or “I’m okay” or “Relax. Just breathe..”
You can do whatever you need to do to stay positive and relax. I did some self-talk back then and also listened to Christmas Songs to keep my mood elevated
We should always SUPPORT each other in your group :
- Don’t leave the weakest or the slowest behind
Let them walk in front of you, or if they have to walk behind, there’s got to be one strong person with them
- Tell each other that the hike is not that hard
We often said, “Hey the track is straight, it’s a BONUS” or “We’re ALMOST THERE!”, or “Come on, YOU CAN do it!”
- Always inform if there’s any slippery road, or a hole, or something to be careful of
Shout it out, so that the person behind you can pass the info to the person behind them and so on.
- Always care for each other’s condition
If you see someone walking slowly, walk with them. If you see someone is thirsty, give them a drink. If you see someone is bringing too much weight and they are exhausted, ask them to exchange it with your bag for a while (if you know yours is lighter for them) or ask them to share some of their stuff for you to bring. If someone is in pain, offer them some medicine or ointment that you have. Share your foods and water, and many more, JUST BE KIND.
We should always be polite
We’re in the middle of nature, just realize that we’re way too small, and we have no power compared to The Great Creator or the creatures there! I’ve heard a lot of weird stuff happening while you’re on a hike. So.. Be careful with your mouth and what you do there.
We should always support the other hikers (or at least say hi)
You will most likely pass the other hikers, whether they are going up, or they are going down. We always said, “Excuse me” to them or said “Hey.. You can do it! It’s not very far from the nearest station!”
We should always beware of our own condition and don't ever be afraid to speak up
If you’re really tired and weak, say you are. The group can stop and rest for a while. If you can’t handle your situation any longer, say it. Don’t keep it to yourself, let your friends help you.
Okay guys that’s it for the story about my tough hike, I hope this post helps you! And I will upload more posts about the trip :
Ranu Kumbolo Trip Part I : Preparation & Tips
Ranu Kumbolo Trip Part II : From Surabaya to Ranu Pani
Ranu Kumbolo Trip Part III : Tough Hike!
Ranu Kumbolo Trip Part IV : The Darkest yet Brightest Night in My Life
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