It was February when I decided to go to Berau Regency of East Kalimantan. A local friend of mine name Yudhi Rizal offered us to see whale sharks that often appears in Talisayan, a coastal district. When I arrived at there, it was windy and the waves weren’t that friendly. I was hoping that the whale sharks would appear but they have decided not to. Oh well, you cannot force the nature to always give what you want to experience in life. So I went to Derawan Island instead because I didn’t get the chance to dive there when I first visited the island a while back. I have dived at some nearby islands, such as Sangalaki Island and Kakaban Island.To reach Derawan Island, I had to take a speedboat from Kampung Tanjung Batu (Kampungmeans village). I was with my friends, Yudhi, Muhdi and Feri. We started the journey from Tanjung Redep, the capital city of Berau Regency by riding a white 4wd SUV. The road was long ahead of us, as if it is promising a special treat at the end of the road. The left and right view of it was full with green scenery as we pass. I have always liked the dense forest of Kalimantan of long tall trees and crawling plants everywhere.
When I had the chance to go mountain climbing, I was sparkling with excitement. My first real mountain climbing experience will soon be happening! All my feelings of curiosity, expectations, nerves and trepidation were meshed into one. I am so looking forward for it! Of all the mountains that Indonesia has, the choice went to Semeru, with Mahameru as the name of the mountain top.
Semeru is one of the highest active volcanoes on the island of Java and is also the fourth highest mountain in Indonesia. It is located in the province of East Java with a height of 3.676 meters above sea level. It is part of the National Park of Bromo Tengger Semeru (Kawasan Taman Nasional Bromo Tengger Semeru/TN.BTS) that consists of four area Regencies which are Malang, Pasuruan, Probolinggo and Lumajang.
On the first day, I took the road trip from Lumajang Regency towards the place where climbers usually start their Semeru journey on foot. As I passed the welcome gate of the National Park of Bromo Tengger Semeru, the lovely green scenery of the forest called Hutan Ireng-Ireng (Hutan means forests) starts to unfold. Pine trees, ferns and other types of flora lurks through the mists and every corner of the park. The car kept on going until we reached an area called Ranupani where the journey to ascend Mt Semeru begins. There are eight spots that we have to pass that offers beautiful scenery until the peak of Mahameru. In ascending orders, there are Ranupani, Ranu Kumbolo, Tanjakan Cinta, Oro-Oro Ombo, Cemoro Kandang, Kalimati, Arcopodo and the very end of the climber’s journey – Mahameru. There are three spots that are usually for the climbers to sleep, rest and build a tent. Two of the most common are Ranu Kumbolo and Kalimati because there are sources of water to fulfil the climber’s needs. And the less is Arcopodo because there is no source of water but it is the access pass where climbers go by to reach Mahameru. It is the final resting place for climbers before reaching the peak.
I am blessed to have many years of travel and adventures throughout our great archipelago but I could not put off any more the urge to visit Krakatau.It is my time to finally feel and experience the place. It gave me shivers of wonder and excitement after I had a minor research about the majestic mountain. Studying the active mountain of 813m above sea level, had taught me such a meaningful history. The eruption in 1883 gave such an impact not just in Indonesia but also some parts of the world. The loud bang was heard thousand miles away and said to be the loudest; the huge tsunamis that occurred from it had killed more than 36.000 people and destroyed the 2/3 island itself, also the shock waves was recorded by all barographs around the world. It was such a huge incident. The Krakatau which was once a huge volcanic mountain; has now left three small islands which are Rakata Island, Panjang Island and Sertung Island. The eruption has caused a caldera formed in the middle of it. So, in 1927 a new island had emerged from the caldera that was formed in 1883 named Anak Krakatau – ‘Child of Krakatau’ and has erupted ever since; mostly the eruptive actions are called Strombolian eruptions which are defined as the mildly explosive. Every year the active mountain has grown strongly resembling like its mother.