Tag Archives: volcano

Merapi & Merbabu

20130516-175557 HDR.jpg20130516171141.jpg20130517-061556 HDR.jpg20130517061556.jpg20130517062851.jpg20130517072203.jpg20130519065600.jpg

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….

Toba, my 3rd visit. Was it my last?

On 21st October, me & 7 other friends went to Sumatera with the objective to photograph landscape from Mount Sibayak and the beauty around Lake Toba. We planned this few months before and we did not know that the date coincided with Pesta Danau Toba.

The visit was my 3rd time to Lake Toba, and the 2nd this year. Will that be my last? Maybe, unless I have extremely strong reason to go back. Sipiso-piso, Sidamanik, Parapat, Balige, Samosir (Tuk-tuk), Bakkara, Sosor Dolok, Silalahi, Tongging, Dolok Tolong, Hutaginjang, Berastagi & Tele are the places that I have been. New place that we went during the last visit was Tara Bunga. Tara Bunga is beautiful but we were unlucky as it was raining when we arrived.

If I were to come back again to Sumatera, I plan to visit Padang & Acheh. I still wish to climb Mount Sinabung and hope to photograph Lake Toba from its summit.

For this trip, the schedule was:

D1 – Medan – Berastagi – Tasik Lau Kawar
D2 – Mount Sibayak – Sipiso-piso – Parapat – Balige
D3 – Tara Bunga – Dolok Tolong – Parapat – Samosir – Pangururan
D4 – Tele – Medan

Few of my favorite shots from the trip:

#1 Early morning lightning seen from Sibayak.

#2 Sea of clouds

#3 Lake Toba from Sipiso-piso

#4 Sunset at Balige

#5 The fisherman at Balige

#6 Lake Toba from Tara Bunga

Danau Toba 2010, a great photo travel!! Part 3

This is going to be my last entry for this great trip.

The second day was a very hectic day. We traveled from Balige to Dolok Tolong to Hutaginjang & to Bakkara (Desa Simamora) before going to Saulina Resort at Pangururan. We were indeed very tired.

I love all the scenery along the way to Pangururan.

That night, we got emergency call for one of our friend. We rushed him to Medan to take the earliest flight to Malaysia. Alhamdulillah, now everything is already OK. After shooting sunrise from Tele, I went to Medan with Doc Budie to send dR ALi home, so we missed Sipiso-piso but it is OK as I have been there once. The journey was pretty long & tiring. We reached Medan at about 1:30PM. Managed to get 3:30PM flight to KL. After settling few things, we drove back to Berastagi & met all the friends at Sibayak Mutinasional Guesthouse. We slept early because we plan to climb Mount Sibayak the next day.

The very next morning, we left hotel at about 5AM. Prayed Fajr before the ascend. I was first a bit worry because I didn’t prepare that much like my usual mountain hiking because someone told me it was only a 45 minutes walk. But the guide kept on telling us that he usually took 90 mins to reach the summit! So I walked fast. With Emran in front….we left all our friends behind. And to our surprise we reached the summit in only 30 mins.

And subhanallah…the sunrise was great!

After spending few hours shooting pictures & admiring the landscape….we descended, had a few hours rest & by 2PM we were already on our way to Medan. We had a quick chat with fellow Medan photographers & by 9PM, we were already checked-in & ready to board AirAsia home.

Overall, this is one great trip!

I had a lot of pictures & fun. Because of that we are planning to go there again this October!! :D

Never say that you have been to Danau Toba if you have not been to these wonderful places!

Muliate! Horras.