SOLO BACKPACKING TO CENTRAL JAVA - A PHOTO ESSAY FROM DIENG | GRACE FILLED TRAVEL JUNKIE

SOLO BACKPACKING TO CENTRAL JAVA - A PHOTO ESSAY FROM DIENG

To me, traveling solo is very much enjoyable. I have been traveling solo since the first days of starting this travel blog and I will very much do it again as often as I can. There are so much perks in traveling on your own; such as meeting new people, adjusting the schedules on your own and going to places at your own pace and time. 

Don't get me wrong, as much as I like it, I also take so much pleasure in traveling with good friends. However, these days I've been thinking a lot about what's coming next year. With all of those thoughts, I feel the need to rethink about my choices this year and my plan for next year. Since I was turning 24 in one week, I felt the need to go somewhere and travel alone to ponder in solitude. That was why, I decided to go solo backpacking to Central Java.

The trip was only prepared 4 days before. Since it was a sudden trip and I need to save for next year's trips, I decided to travel alone with a budget of Rp 1 mill for 5 days. It turns out to be very possible if you meet good friends along the way through Couchsurfing

One of my missions during the trip was to catch sunrise at Prau and explore Dieng for a day. Other than that, I was looking forward to explore Ambarawa and Semarang city as well. After a quick scheduling, I was ready for the solo journey.

On Monday morning, I hopped on a train heading to Purwokerto. I continued my trip by heading to Wonosobo by bus and took an ojeg to basecamp Patak Banteng where I would start hiking to Prau. The journey took longer than expected and they costed me Rp 410k. It could have been cheaper if I took the economy train and took public transportation to the basecamp, but these options were not possible due to my rushing schedules. 

I arrived at the basecamp at 9 PM. Since I was traveling alone, I was looking for other hikers that I could tag along with. Unfortunately, there were none that I could tag along. The other hikers were going to camp at the summit at that very moment, while my plan was to chase the sunrise at 2 AM. I told them that I would meet them at the summit and sticked to the original plan. After a quick dinner, I tried my best to sleep before I finally hiked Prau at 2 AM.

The hike was dark but easy. After 2 hours of walking uphill in the forest, I finally reached the summit at 4 AM. Since I was too early for the sunrise, I tagged along with other campers and rested in their tent for a while. 

Since then, I took so many photos from my trip to Prau and Dieng. I was having a hard time picking which ones to be put in my blog, that is why I decided to make a photo essay instead. Please enjoy the rest of my trip in Dieng through these photos below.
5 AM, Prau summit. She was probably texting mom.
View of Dieng from the summit of Prau.
When you don't have anyone to take photos for you, take a selfie.
I slipped three times before just to get this photo.
I was exploring the summit when the sun finally showed up. Without much thought, I quickly ran to search the best viewing spot and slipped 2 more times. Clumsy me.
Sunrise view.
It was probably Mt. Sindoro or Sumbing. I am not very sure.
Asked a local to take this photo for me. Not bad.
Overlooking the teletubbies hills. 
The hills are covered in edelweiss. Too bad it wasn't the right season. 
I decided to hike back to the basecamp at 8 AM. Finally I could see the track after walking through it in the dark.
Nearing the basecamp, you can enjoy the village view where cultivation of potato and carrot is huge in Dieng.
Work starts at 8 AM.
I love walking around villages so much. The air is clean and the people are warm! Luckily, the route to the basecamp passes a few villages and farms. I was smiling all the way!
Harvesting carrot.
The harvest! One of the biggest carrot I've ever seen my whole life.
Pretty flowers spotted!
Farmers ready for the harvest season.
Junior school kids were on a field trip. How nice it is to be studying in the outdoor?
They were running just to pass me by because they were scared of me. That's good. They shouldn't be too nice to strangers.
All green.
Working hard.
I loved that specific morning very much. The sunrise was pretty and the village trekking was so much fun. After reaching the basecamp, I snoozed for a few hours to regain my strength before heading to Telaga Warna in Dieng.

Since the weather was great in the morning, I thought that it would be the same in Dieng. Unfortunately, after I got off the bus that took me from the basecamp to Dieng, the skies turned cloudy and a heavy rain fell off. Because the rain lasted for the entire day, I was exploring Telaga Warna cautiously due to the slippery ground. I was lucky to have my raincoat to cover my camera and myself.


The weather was extremely gloomy. But if you ask me, I was extremely adventurous. I kept on walking here and there, searching for a better spot to view Telaga Warna. The rain slowed me down, but it didn't stop me at all.

Gloomy Telaga Warna.
Trying to get a hold of a glimpse of 2017.
In good weather, this raft would probably be used.
Bird eye view of Telaga Warna from Batu Pandang, 30 minutes hike from the entrance.
Since the rain was heavy and my clothes were soaked, I decided to end my exploration in Dieng. I headed back to the basecamp to stay for another night before I move on to Ambarawa. Since I was on a budget trip, I decided to sleep in the basecamp for free. On the first night, a local lend me a sleeping bag because the temperature went down as low as 5 degree celsius. On the second night, a local store owner offered his floor and 3 layers of blankets for me. I am very much grateful for the kindness of Pak Machfud and his family. 

My second night in Dieng ended with such a great sky above Dieng. The sun was shining strong and the wind was blowing softly. The skies were blue with clouds all over it. As if Dieng was saying good bye to this solo backpacker who will very much visit Dieng again soon!

Thanks for the good times Dieng!
Inside the bus, on the way back to Wonosobo.
The last view of Dieng from the bus! Good bye Dieng!

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