Enjoying the natural beauty from the peak was probably the first experience I had. Far above the heights and outside the world, I found things that I had not found when I was below. It’s things like this that make me fall in love with retracing step by step this great journey, to Mount Lawu.

It was evening with blue skies and the light of dawn sparkling on the horizon. I was preparing to go to the train station with a friend who had already climbed several mountains on the island of Java. Boarding the Yogyakarta-Solo KRL train, we went east until we arrived in Solo City. Our goal this time is to climb Mount Lawu.

The sunlight disappeared when we arrived in the city of Solo, but we were still half way to the base camp where we spent the night for the next day’s climb.

However, no matter how good a plan, unexpected things will inevitably be discovered. The last bus that was supposed to take us to Karangpandang Terminal was no longer available after 17.00 and had to wait until the next day. Finally, we left using a vehicle ordered online. Of course it is not a recommendation with costs that are not cheap.

The Beginning of a Long Journey

After arriving at Karangpandang Terminal, we continued our journey to the Cetho Temple basecamp by renting a public transport bus. The cold feeling and the sparkling lights above as we walked down the dark road. Finally, we arrived at our place for the night with the internet signal gone and the night piercingly cold.

The morning sunshine with a clear sky greeted us with the same cold air temperature. I saw other climbers who were about to start climbing and those who had just arrived at base camp . We still had to wait for other friends to join us on the climb. When the clock showed 08.00 WIB, they arrived after a long journey from Jakarta.

I looked down at the wide expanse of lowland from the Cetho Temple Basecamp , very stunning with its expanse of tea gardens and other farms. The warmth of the sun turned out to be what I wanted most at that time, after struggling with the cold night I felt the warmth of the sun again.

After completing the registration process and preparing to climb, I and my other climbing friends stepped out to start the long journey. This was my first climb at a height that perhaps for novice climbers or those just starting out is a mountain that is not suitable for a beginner.

Along the Footpath

I took my first step along a path that was still passable by motorbike. The sunlight was behind the lush trees when we arrived at the place where a simple gate with the words ‘welcome’ greeted us. I captured this moment with other friends, this iconic gate is very popular and has been immortalized by many other climbers.

Continuing the journey along a road that can still be passed by two-wheeled vehicles until finally the road is replaced by a dirt path just when we arrived at Kethek Temple. After that, we walked along the climbing route with cloudy weather, a sign of rain that would welcome us. Thick fog and rain slowly fell until finally we arrived at a small hut without walls to take shelter and put on raincoats.

The clock on my hand showed 10.38 WIB, we set off in the pouring rain to calculate the estimated time needed to arrive at Post 5 before sunset. Continuing the journey, I saw a water bath with a pool and clear water fountain.

Starting the Journey to the Post

The rain continued to wet us when we reached Post 1, we didn’t stop there to just stop to rest, but continued our journey to Post 2, the heavy rain continued to wet us until we continued our journey to Post 3 as our destination to rest and have lunch for then continue the journey to Post 5.

The journey from Post 2 to Post 3 seemed to never end, I definitely felt tired, but it doesn’t rule out the possibility that my friends and other climbers also felt the same way. The distance between Post 2 to Post 3 was long with a muddy climbing route and heavy rain that continued to pour down on us, it didn’t seem like it would stop us from continuing to move until we were at the top.

In the end we arrived at Post 3, one of the five posts via Cetho Temple where we rested and ate after we exhausted our energy to get here. The clock showed 15.00 WIB, the rain stopped and was replaced by afternoon sunlight penetrating through the gaps in the shade of the trees.

I felt the warmth of the sun again, it was comfortable and it felt very beautiful to see the sunlight after we struggled with the rain and mud that accompanied our journey to arrive at Post 3. We ate, rested, and filled our water supplies using water sources from local waterways. However, this trip is not finished yet, we are still halfway there before we set up a tent and spend the night at Post 5.

The world is not as wide as a Moringa leaf, this proverb is suitable to describe how small the world is after I met my friend at Post 3. I didn’t know he would climb Mount Lawu on the same day and date. However, I met him at Post 3 along with his friends too. We chatted for a while and exchanged stories about what he and I went through to get to Post 3.

Continue the journey to Post 4 Mount Lawu

We continued our journey to Post 4 to finally reach Post 5, but it seemed that with the estimated time and with the distance between the posts being far apart, it was difficult for us to arrive at Post 5 and set up the tent before sunset. I walked the hiking trail in wet and muddy mountain shoes.

“Step by step, along the hiking trail”

Along the way to Post 4, I could see that on my right side was a deep ravine or mountain ridge. The wet ground remained from the rain this afternoon and with the hot afternoon sun accompanying our journey to reach Post 4, the journey from Post 3 to Post 4 was divided into several small groups of the group. We followed the hiking trail step by step, but it felt like this was the longest distance between posts we had covered.

However, the beautiful twilight when we looked at the horizon turned our eyes and thoughts to a halt for a while. We captured the twilight moment on Mount Lawu. Standing with friends and other climbers, we stood staring at the horizon. Seeing the sun slowly start to fade, it was replaced by the darkness of the cold night.

At 18.00 WIB we arrived at Post 4, we couldn’t pursue our plan to arrive and set up a tent at Post 5. We waited for other friends who were still walking. It feels like a long journey to get this far. We chatted with each other when we couldn’t rely on our device signal or when we looked outside from Pos 5 only darkness was visible.

Continue the journey when all your friends have arrived at Post 4. Take a break to gather your energy again because the journey to reach Post 5 is still quite far. The tiredness after a day of walking paid off when we arrived at the place to set up the tent at 21.15 WIB

Not waiting long, we set up a tent together with other climbers who had already set up tents. Our wet clothes, trousers and shoes were replaced by the warmth of replacement shirts and trousers and warm jackets. Every now and then I looked up, the black sky untouched by stars accompanied us until we fell asleep.

Journey to the Peak

The next day, the sun woke us up with its beautiful light. We had breakfast and continued our journey to the top passing through pine trees and wide expanses of savanna. We couldn’t see the sunrise from the peak, like other climbers who had already summited early in the morning to see that moment.

It turns out that getting to the top is not an easy thing. I had to walk again and it wasn’t short, but the beautiful morning sunlight at 08.30 WIB accompanied us with trees on the right and left. We walked to arrive at the vast savanna, Gupakan Menjangan as people call it.

There we captured various moments and it felt like we were far away in the middle of nowhere, but being able to get this far wasn’t a scary thing. We walked through pine trees and ridges to get to a place that some people consider Dieng Market.

The sunlight was really shining at that time, only a little fog was visible and it was just passing by. We arrived at a place where for a climber, this is a place that must be visited when going to Mount Lawu. Yes, Mbok Yem’s stall. Finally, I could see it directly through my own eyes.

Very busy with other climbers who were enjoying eating with a glass of hot tea. However, what caught our attention was Mbok Yem’s pet monkey which was in front of the entrance welcoming every climber who wanted to eat.

We rested for a moment before walking back to the top which is behind the Mbok Yem stall. We didn’t want to walk anymore and just waited for the other friends to get to the top and I waited at the stall. However, because I don’t come here every time, I continued my journey back to get to the top.

Finally saw the majestic peak of Mount Lawu

The steep, rocky road made it difficult for us to get to the top, we felt tired when we had to keep walking in the scorching hot sun. We stopped a lot to catch our breath and catch our breath. Until finally, we arrived and saw the monument, a monument that many people uploaded on their social media. It pays off when we reach the top above the heights, we see that we are the smallest part of this big universe.

After tiring of walking to get here. Finally we reached the top, the highest point of Mount Lawu with a height of 3,265 meters above sea level. The gratitude was certainly expressed by other colleagues. After walking in the pouring rain and the steep track on the climbing route via Cetho Temple. However, none of that was an obstacle for us to get to the point where we completed this climb.

Go down to the campsite

It was already 11.30 WIB when we went down to the campsite which was quite far away. Apart from that, get ready for lunch and continue to dismantle the tent for us to go down to basecamp. Enjoy the sunshine with a variety of dishes that we make. A togetherness that is possible is only found when we are in nature without any distractions from the world outside.

We walked down to arrive at basecamp before sunset, that’s what we were aiming for initially. However, our group was scattered into several small groups. I didn’t imagine that I would have to walk through the darkness with one of my colleagues at Post 3 to basecamp. Then, we met another group as we were walking. Without the calm that was built, perhaps my thoughts would have gone haywire.

However, walking in the dark is not an easy thing. My headlamp died because it was hit by yesterday’s rainwater which poured down on me while climbing. We had to look at the path of the climber we were following. It was very difficult because the path was filled with mud which made it very difficult for us to walk, especially in the dark.

Keep walking and occasionally fall because the climbing route is slippery. We are racing against time. It felt like my legs were no longer strong enough to walk, but the clock showed 20.00 WIB and we were still far from our destination, namely basecamp.

Finally, we arrived with our clothes and mountain shoes wet and filled with mud. Tired of having to imagine that time, my legs cramped and I no longer had the strength to walk. I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to see the sparkling lights down there again.

Also saw other friends who had arrived earlier. It seems

unimaginable how we had to fight in the dark of night. The climbing route may be quite challenging for me. You have to experience it yourself to know how exciting it is when climbing for the first time.

“Once you climb a mountain, you will definitely be addicted to it”
However, when I came home I remembered a message from a young man guarding the door to the Cetho Temple climbing route. He said ‘once you climb a mountain, you will definitely be addicted’ and yes it is true. I want to keep trying to feel the cold of the night or the warmth of togetherness when we were high above.

The tiredness may only last for a moment, but the memories you make will stay with you wherever you go. It’s a new experience to get this far. Meeting new friends, new places, and feeling away from the outside world is the most amazing experience I have had so far. Thanks for the great stuff.

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