The desire to see a sunrise on top of a mountain never crossed my mind before my friend, a mountain lover, persuaded me to come with him and his group to hike the Papandayan Mountain. Papandayan Mountain is located in Garut, West Java, a 4 to 5 hours’ drive from Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta. As I’ve never conquered it, I just tagged along and paid the equivalent of $24 for the whole trip.
This trip is the kind of trip everybody called a backpacking trip. The group consisted of 20 people from various backgrounds and I would be the youngest in the group. We all met at the Rambutan local bus station at 10pm on a Friday. After that, at 12 midnight we got into the public bus to Garut. The bus ride took about 4.5 hours time. By Saturday morning we arrived at Tarogong the pit stop and continued our journey using a pick up truck to the mountainside.
Climbing a mountain is not easy but hiking on a mountain that has four large craters, each with an active fumarole fields was breath taking. We had to wear masks all the time as we traveled to anticipate gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur, and hydrogen chloride. Funny thing was, some other people still walked without their mask on. As if they were breathing normal air. Carrying a backpack weighing around 15kg to 20kg, they still had a smile on their face and were busy taking picture of the mountain and themselves wherever they went. From what I observed, hiking this mountain looked like a stroll in the park to them. My friend told me the weather at Papandayan has never been this shiny yet windy ever. It was a perfect time to hike.