I could hear the crater’s voice, as if it was communicating with the nature through its hiss. The others communicated in a different way. The river flowed beautifully in silence while reflecting the blue sky in a blurry image. The wind came on strong, as if it was competing with the sun who was shining so bright. At that moment, it felt like Papandayan was showcasing one of God’s masterpieces.
Just Mt. Papandayan showing off.
It had been a dreadful month since my last trip outside of Jakarta. Don’t get me wrong, I like Jakarta, but I do not love it. Living in Jakarta is fun, but I can’t stand the daily commute. To those who are working 9 to 5, I truly salute you! I gave up that kind of life and hopefully, I don’t need to come back. 

After a month of not having a trip at all, I began to notice changes in myself. I became grumpy, emotional and even judgmental. That was when I realized I needed a little help from the nature. So there I was, on a Friday morning in a car with 4 new friends on the way to Mt. Papandayan.
Testing this city car's ability out of the city.
After 5 to 6 hours on the road (it could have been faster but we kinda got lost), we finally reached Mt. Papandayan. We were hoping to catch the sunrise from the top, but we were still on the road when the sun decided to come up. Now, imagine 5 city kids, on the great outdoors, on a sunrise's golden hour. A friend and I quickly walked out of the car, rushed to a higher ground to take photos of the sun. What can I say, Its been a while since I've last seen the sunrise!
This city kid trying to capture the extraordinary.
Foggy morning at Mt. Papandayan.
After the fog left.
A small viewing hut on the road side.
If you are a hardcore outdoor lovers, Mt. Papandayan won't be enough for you. Papandayan has already been quite commercialized. Having been to natural sites less commercialized than this, it disturbs me to see man-made facilities in such a natural space. Anyway, the place is not for my own and I was accepting whatever outdoor space I could get after a month of being in the city.

A few clicks away,we finally reached the end of the drive. From that point, we hiked up for a few hours on a rocky road with our carriers and food supply. We thought that we needed to bring our own food from the city, but we could easily spot food vendors nearby the car's parking lot. Yes, there was a parking area nearby the lowermost camp site. If you're too lazy to cook, buying food from the locals is always an option. Sounds more like a picnic huh?
Riding through the rocky road. This guy is either a badass, stupid or he didn't have any other choices.
Taking a break in the middle of the hike with a little photo opp.
The hike was shorter than I expected. Even if you're new to hiking, the trail wouldn't be that tough for you. Mt. Papandayan is clearly a good training ground for beginner hikers. Although the hike was easy, the scenery was exceptional.

Looking up, you would see a vast land filled with rocks and stones. Looking back, you would enjoy the scenery of other mountains, which I assume to be Mt. Cikuray or Mt. Guntur. The cloud dressed these mountains, making it even more mystical than it was supposed to be. You can say that I was a happy city kid.
Walking on rocky roads at Mt. Papandayan.
The view during the hike at Mt. Papandayan
Resting nearby a newly formed lake from an eruption in 2002.
Even though I mentioned that a trip to Mt. Papandayan is more like a picnic trip, don't be fooled to think that it has no risk. Since 2006, Mt. Papandayan's warning status has been increased from "Vigilant" (level I) to "Alert" (level III). This is measured by the increase of tectonic earthquake rate and an extremely high percentage of carbon dioxide gas in the ground. Just the night before we arrived, Garut was shaken by a 6.1 SR earthquake. We were actually a little worried about the whole trip, yet we still went with the original plan.

Going to Mt. Papandayan turned out to be a good call. To us, it was a very safe trip. We hiked here and there, cooked some lunch and enjoyed cup noodles. Mt. Papandayan was a very laid back mountain trip. The challenge was low, yet the reward was great.
Boiling sausage just because we forgot the cooking oil.
Hiking situation going on.
Feeling small again.
I love the thoughts that came to me in the great outdoors. At Papandayan, I laugh over my ambitions and dreams in life. Its funny how human try so hard in life to achieve big things, great dreams and personal ambitions only to find out that as big as we will ever be, we are still just a tiny fragment in this universe owned by a mighty God. Life is not only about making dreams come true, but also to stay humble no matter how far you are in life.

As I was lost in my own thoughts, I fell asleep and experienced one of the best sleeps in my life. No kidding. While in the city I would find it hard to sleep at night, the distractions were gone in the great outdoors. The negative thoughts, the stress and everything that keep me awake at night were gone just like that. Traveling is definitely my personal healing and detox.

The drops of rain woke me up. All of a sudden, the sun were covered in clouds and the fog was all over us. It was time for me and my friends to go back to Jakarta, back to reality.
I tried to catch the fog, but I mist. Get it?
Foggy way back home.
On the way back home, we were once again greeted by the cloudy blue sky. It was as if they were saying 'goodbye' and 'please come again'! Thanks for the short getaway Papandayan!

I went back feeling refreshed, ready to take on the city life again. At least, for a short period of time until I leave for Japan tonight. I am humbled to be working with Venture Travel Mag and JTB Corp to cover Tohoku in its first ever foreign tourism campaign! Wish me a safe trip in Japan!
Good bye cloudy blue sky!

Share this:

, , , , , , , , ,



Unknown said...

I am flying to the USA tomorrow and I already have confirmed my tickets.I am going there with my family members.So it's very important to know the weather there. I used cabled weather stations benefits to do so.