Tag Archives: Indonesia

Merapi & Merbabu

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Oh my, I did not even create an entry about my back to back mountain trip in Java recently! That’s how unpopular blogging has become. We were there from 15-21st May 2013. Altogether there were 18 of us. Few were first timer hiking a mountain. However 17 from 18 of us, including your truly never tried hiking two mountains in 3 days. Since it has been a while since the trip, I can’t recall everything pretty clear.

Upon arrival at Merapi basecamp in Selo on the 16th May, we went straight away to Pasar Bubrah. We departed at about 3-3:30PM. Yeah, pretty late already. The group split into 3 different pace. I led the first group of 4 people, the middle group, they said led by Jo (ha ha ha) and the sweeper, led by dR Ali. The first group arrived after about 3-4 hours walking. We hiked for almost 4KM & gained slightly more than 1000m. I think the last group arrived around 11PM.

The very next day the weather is not so good, nevertheless we managed to get good photos of surrounding montains. After shooting sunrise, we summit to the peak. Well, actually only one person really reached the real highest point of Merapi. Me, scared of hight, managed to reach to the brim of the crater….and it was really scary indeed. I made it in 56 minutes. The guide said, they normally need around 30 minutes to reach the peak. I was a 500m distance with 200m vertical. The loose sand really make the hike difficult. However it was nothing compared to what I experienced in Rinjani.

After a quick lunch, we descended to Selo. Then we decided to stay in a nearby guest house. It was a nice time to recapitulate what we endured during Merapi hike. It was also a great moment especially to our friends who attempted the mountain for the first time.

The next day, we went to Merbabu basecamp. I can’t remember the name of the village. The scenery during the journey to the basecamp was already very beautiful. We had nasgor (nasi goreng or fried race) as our breakfast. This was my first time to Merbabu. The guide decided to take tje long route to Merbabu basecamp (Savana II). It was a 5-6KM distance with 1100 metre high. I took me about 4 hours to reach Savanna II, just enough to avoid the heavy rain. Most of our friend was however not lucky enough. They had to climb those steep terrain, especially the one just before Savanna I in a heavy downpour. That day, with wet jacket, pants…and not that great food, the mood was pretty bad. But alhamdulillah, the sunrise on the next day was superb! In fact some managed to photograph great milky way before that. I salute them for their perseverance. I was too lazy to stay outside the tent too long. Cold!

The very morning, after an awful breakfast, we summit to the peak of Merbabu. It as relatively longer ascend compared to Merapi but not that steep. The weather was great. My moving time was 20 minutes, but I stopped many times for photo. It was really a great moment being able to complete the Merapi to Merbabu back to back. It was not really tough for most hardcore hiker, but for us, it was a satisfying accomplishment.

Me & Hafizuddin decended from Savanna II at around 1:30PM. Few friends already descended earlier. This time I was not lucky. It started to rain when we were at the last steep descend. We reached the basecamp at about 6PM. We cleaned & ate the dinner before we rode a bus to Magelang. The adventurous part of the trip was considered over when we reached the hotel. The subsequent day, few friends visited Borobudur, while some of us just waited outside. We then travelled to Solo, stayed another night before going back home.

All in all it was a great EXPAT!

The next one will be Semeru….

Itinerary for JATIM Photo Travel

A friend, who is a famous professional photographer in Malaysia…some say in Philippine also…he he he was asking me simple itinerary to Kawah Ijen or other suitable places in Indonesia. Not because he can’t make it on his own. Just wanna get input based from my experience.

So here it goes Enche Ted Adnan…. :D

Few good places (I think) which are good for photo travel (people & places) in JATIM are:

  1. Mount Bromo & surrounding at Ngadisari
  2. Madakaripura Waterfall, also in Ngadisari
  3. Papuma Beach in Jember
  4. Kawah Ijen

So to go to these places, here is my recommendation based on my previous travel.

  • D1 – KL-Surabaya-Cemara Indah (~4 Hours bus ride)
  • D2 – Cemara Indah-Bromo-Ranupane Lake-Cemara Indah
  • D3 – Cemara Indah-Madakaripura Waterfall-Catimur Homestay (at Jampit) (~ 6 Hours)
  • D4 – Catimur Homestay – Paltuding (basecamp) – Kawah Ijen (3 hours slow walk) – Paltuding – Catimur Homestay
  • D5 – Catimur Homestay – Papuma Beach – Surabaya (~6 Hours)
  • D6 – Surabaya – KL

For sample of pictures of these places, just search my blog here. Hope that helps Ted! :D

Danau Toba 2010, a great photo travel!! Part 1

First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr Budi from Medan for the great hospitality. He had sacrificed his precious time…and as a General Practitioner, the time he spent with us was so valuable & expensive! We can’t thank you enough doc!! He is a great photographer & one extraordinary friend!! Please visit his Flickr.

For us in Kuantan, the trip started on Sunday, 20th. June. Me, Rejim & dR Ali drove from Kuantan to KL & reached Badang’s house at about 8PM. Badang treated us with great dinner at Greenwood Gombak. What a delicious catfish! Early Monday morning, Joe, our friend, sent us to LCCT. We met Remi & Emran. And alhamdulillah, the web check-in really helped speed up all the process. We need not to que too long to drop the luggages. Bravo AirAsia.

We boarded the first flight to Medan. We reached Polonia Airport at about 7:30AM. There was this new Indonesian immigration process & that delayed the clearance a bit. We waited for Dr Budie for a while. Dr Budie arranged two vans to cater the six of us. Initially, me, dR Ali & Rejim rode together with Dr Budie in his new Grand Vitara, while Badang, Remy & Emran rode Grand Max with Pak No. By 9AM we were already moving to Tebing Tinggi.

Basically for this trip, we went to these places:

  1. Sidamanik – tea plantation
  2. Balige – and around this beautiful place (Dolok Tolong, Hutaginjang, Bakara (the place said as the origin of Batak))
  3. Tele
  4. Sipiso-piso (but I didn’t go here. Been here last year)
  5. Berastagi
  6. Mount Sibayak


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From Tebing Tinggi, we drove to Sidamanik, a tea plantation area which was I very first stop. We were a bit unlucky because the weather was not that great. Nevertheless we managed to shoot few simple shots. I used bracketing for the shots & later merged & tone-mapped all the exposures into a HDR image using Photomatix Pro.

From Sidamanik we drove to Parapat. It was raining most of the time. We stopped & prayed at a mosque there before we continue the journey to Balige.