Sabtu, 31 Desember 2016

40K Trail of Mount Argopuro

To whom it may concern about trekking guideline to reach the top of Mount Argopuro in East Java, Indonesia,
You would rather read another blog because this post contains the story of four hiking mates (Me, Dimas, Dodi, and Fara) who were careless about all the daily target and timetable. Walking through the longest hiking trek in Java, hereby I resumed the moment that we passed daily.
Day 1.
Long road from Surabaya to Probolinggo by public bus with Dangdut music as a back sound, I felt so familiar! We used motor taxi to Baderan village, the gate of trekking to Mount Argopuro. As suggested by staff of base camp, we took another motor taxi to reach Post 1. We were drenched by rain. Highly skilled rider brought us up hill via stony path. Rarely, I saw normal motorbike in this highland. Most of the vehicles are modified for challenging road. At least, the tire is surrounded by chain to avoid slip. An off road sensation appeared before we started to hike.
The mist welcomed us in Post 1
First day plan was building camp in Mata Air 1. We walked on water stream in misty afternoon. Another group of people was overtaken by us. We praised the moment of meeting people because it could be sparse in that area. Another heavy rain caught us up. We decided to camp because Fara did not find headlamp in her backpack. If other asked where exactly our camp was, we would hardly describe it. 
Passing ditch
Day 2.
Storm shall pass. A bright day showed up after wet night. We started trekking enthusiastically. We did not set target to reach. It was ascending through the ditch and sloppy trek. Fortunately, the weather was very supportive. The sun almost set when we were excited to see vast savannah. We stopped by and built the tent. Day was getting dark. While we prepared dinner, a group of people seemed to arrive. Suddenly we had neighbor who joined our camp. As predicted, it was colder night due to the altitude. If only windy night would freeze us. Luckily it did not happen. It was a mistake when we chose to rest our head in lower position than our feet. Four of us got up at 2 a.m. So we moved over the position to sleep better. 
Sunny breakfast in savannah
Day 3.
Sunny morning, we packed our stuff and had fancy breakfast. Fara cooked soup. She was our master chef. Even fancier, we bought army provision in various flavors. There were also instant drink, biscuit, and snack bar in one pack. Dimas ordered it via online shop. By the time we reduced our meal stock, the trash bag became bulky. I was responsible to carry it. Who guess it would cause a drama just to wrap it on my backpack. Of course, the image of my back was not photogenic anymore!
We spent tranquil lunch in Cikasur. Another savannah view which is popular as land of wildlife. Some people are destined to see peacock (even more puma) around there. Cikasur is also famous as a spot of water lettuce. People said that we are not officially in Cikasur without eating its lettuce. Anyway, without picking any, I tasted lettuce salad with peanut sauce from our neighbor in the previous day. We desired to reach Rawa Embik by the dark. That was optimistic target since none of us had experience about the trek. In fact, we gave up until Cisentor a camping ground above water stream before Rawa Embik. Unexpectedly, the path down hill to Cisentor was a deadly one. We were so grateful to make it before dark.
Cikasur: water body and lettuce
Lunch under the trunk
Day 4.
Although from the blog that we referred was written that it only takes one hour to Rawa Embik from Cisentor, we turned up after two hours. I was keen to greet Edelweis (the eternal flower). Rawa Embik is a  junction of the trek to the top of Mount Argopuro. We insisted to follow a sign board to the left. Meanwhile, other groups picked a path to the right. We were getting closer to the peaks. Three of those are: Puncak Rengganis, Puncak Argopuro, and Puncak Arca. Every hiker shall pass all of the peaks respectively to come down via Bermi village.
Savannah Lonceng is a point where we could put off our big backpack and climbed to Puncak Rengganis. Firstly, we had lunch to refill our energy. A number of pine trees reserved shady shelter. I unpacked hammock and tied the rope over the big stem. Dimas took over the hanging space quickly with warm meal on his hand. He convinced me to sit with him. I had tried to occupy the hammock for two people so I felt secure to jump in. Then we dropped on the ground after five second. Dodi was busy with his lunch, but Fara did not want to lose the moment so she readily captured with her camera. We roared with laughter. In the meantime, Dimas was laying still and I exerted to stand up. I could feel the pain on my right butt. Thank God it did not seriously injure Dimas and I. 
Hanging in Savannah Lonceng
We resisted the cold breeze in the peaks. Puncak Rengganis is the most popular among others. We walked through limestone plateau. White rock mounted the hill. The day was bright. Real peak of Mount Argopuro was located in 3088 meter above sea level. Pines encircle this spot, never unwind. Twilight has emerged when we left Puncak Arca. Together with the mist, an orange light burst in the sky. We witnessed the moment of sunset above the cloud. The view was miraculous. Only God who could paint it. 
Limestone Plateau
We made it!
3088 a.s.l
In the darkness, we descended through Puncak Arca and headed to Taman Hidup, a lake nearby Bermi village. This trip taught us to be realistic. After three hours trekking, we agreed to camp somewhere in the forest. We were hungry but too lame to cook. The night was closed by a warm beverage. We fell asleep right afterward. 
Mesmerizing twilight
Day 5
We were caught by daylight. There was only less than one liter of fresh water to reach next place: Taman Hidup. Gladly, we found water stream after reach last hill that is called Cemoro Limo. It was supposed to be dormant river. The view after open vegetation became monotonous. Big and old tree welcomed us into moss forest. Anyway, the path was sloping thus we did not complain. In the midday, we arrived in Taman Hidup. Although we missed morning view, the foggy lake with hilly background still attracted our sight. Some local people were fishing in the other side of the lake. We owned the tiny and nearly collapsed shed. Yet, it was good spot to take some pictures. 
Taman Hidup Lake
After recharging ourselves with lunch, the downhill trekking was carried on. We couldn’t imagine if we came by opposite trek. The view from Bermi was tiresome. We met some groups who started trekking all the way uphill. Every time we asked the estimation time to reach Bermi, their answer was demotivating. Until Dodi mentioned that we might be closer to base camp after we got in damar forest. We met two beetle hunters when we enjoyed another sunset before passing by vegetable farm. Under the dim light, we recognized plenty of fireflies. We have talked about this shiny bugs on previous night. God really hears what I wished! The view was a rejoice. We spent one night in base camp. Pak Arifin opened the door and invited us to have a rest there. As a supper, we treated ourselves with bakso (a meatball soup) as reward after accomplished the mission.  
Damar Forest
Day 6
Surprisingly, we started the day earlier. Our backpack was lighter. Other people who would start to hike arrived in base camp. We were about to leave for breakfast when Dodi reminded me to pack my shoes. Thought that I already put it inside my backpack until I realized that I took the wrong shoes! Oops..
Bermi is village packed by dairy farmer. They collect fresh milk to Argopuro coop and deliver it for PT. Nestle Indonesia. I had short talk with Pak Arifin about dairy farm there. We dropped by the shop as business unit of coop that sells fresh milk. I said farewell to Pak Arifin, he warmly said that he would be happy to wait me come again and work on something for dairy farmer. I would love to do that!     
Fresh milk from Argopuro Coop

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