On Top of the World
Trip Start May 04, 2011
125Trip End Oct 08, 2012
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We got all sorted out, basically everyone was responsible for paying the additional 50,000 rupiah fee and we finally suited up and started the ascent
First rest stop was where the paved road ends and what the locals call "Hollywood Sign." It is a sign in big letters that reads “New Selo.” Selo is the name of the district.
We continued up following the guides and assisting each other over the huge rocks in the pitch dark. We hiked in 40 minute intervals, sometimes I wish we hadn’t stopped as much because it was getting cold and we were sweating. I don’t recall doing a hike as steep as this on such difficult terrain. The combination on slippery mud and loose rocks and rock scaling all in the dark, probably put this one on the top of my list for most challenging. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am so out of condition right now, but all of us confirmed that this was a tough one.
At 5:00AM just before reaching the desired plateau, we stopped in a sheltered area, made a fire and watched the falling stars. The sky appeared close enough to reach out and touch.
After an hour rest of refueling and staying warm, we attempted the final ascent
Around 6:30AM a few of us began our descent while others opted to continue climbing up another hill. I figured the more I climb the more I have to go down and I was not looking forward to this part. The rocks are all loose and I knew from going up there would be plenty of places that I would be sliding down on my ass. And sure enough, managing the weight on my back and even with what traction I have on my boots, there were many moments of slipping and losing balance.
Meanwhile, it is hard to complain as you see the locals, women included, doing the trek barefoot with probably 50 pounds of gathered harvest on their backs.
Back at the base, we received a home cooked banana pancake and tea before the bumping ride back to town
It was imperative that I get some rest because in my attempt to do it all, I bought a ticket to the ballet at the Prambanan Temple for tonight. I managed to get in a 1.5 hour nap and a nice meal at Via Via before it was time to shuttle off. The ballet was nice but in my condition I could’ve done with a 45 minute presentation in lieu of the 1.5 hour performance. Most impressive was the stunning, lit Prambanan Temple as the backdrop.
At the end of the show, I had the shuttle drop me back to the Soswajan neighborhood so I could meet up again with Agoes and see about some night life.