Monday, October 27, 2014

To The Peak of Merbabu Mount We Go

Mount Hiking would never be in my though before. First, because I never done it before and two, I never thought I could do it.
But in July I met with a Polish girl who is too addicted with mount, I say this because she only travels to countries that have mountains. So we made a plan to travel to Java Island, Jogjakarta. 

The plan was actually to Merapi Mount, an active volcano in Central Java. But according to our guide, this volcano is too tiring and not suitable for beginners, even though it takes shorter time to reach the peak. They suggested Mount Merbabu (3100m), also in the same province, much easier for amateur hikers, though it takes longer time and its higher than Merapi Mount.

A day before the day, we had a meeting! A meeting? Sounds serious, right! Yes, it is serious now. 
our so-called meeting !

There were 5 of us, 2 beginners, 2 guides and 1 crazy-mountain girl (sorry for calling you this :P ). The guide gave us list of equipments and schedule of hiking. I did not have most of it, but in Jogjakarta, it is easy to find a rental place for hiking equipments with affordable price, such as head lamp, mat, sleeping bag, carrier and tents.


Here came the big day!
It started by 2 hours riding motorcycle from Babarsari, Jogjakarta to Magelang. The road to the last village that can be reached by transportation is really tough. It is high and bumpy so I suggest you not to come with automatic motorbike.

When we reached the last village, we paid Rupiah for the entrance and parking fee. You can find a house or base camp to rest before or after hiking. This house is meant for all the hikers to rest.
Motorcyles parked inside the local's house

So, here we are!
The plan was to start hiking from 1pm to 6pm before it got dark. But guys, for a beginner like me I needed to catch my breath every 10 steps so it took 6 hours instead of 5 to reach camping ground. And nothing could describe that moment other than “exhausted”. 

And I met with these creatures on the way to the camping ground.

There was barely flat road to walk on, it was always high. It was already dark before we reached the camping ground and I remember I could not feel my hand because it was too cold. So we quickly put on more clothes to keep us warm.

When we reach the camping ground, the sunset was over. 
But I could not even think of taking any pictures because my teeth started to rumble and my hands were shaking. Lita asked me to put on more clothes. So that night I wore 5 layers of jacket, 3 pairs of socks and 2 pairs of pants but it was still cold. Luckily there was another group of hikers who arrived before us and made a fire bon.
Around 9pm, after having dinner, we went to the tent and got ready to sleep. 

2.30am the alarm was on and we all woke up to have breakfast and get ready to reach the peak.
I honestly wanted to give up and just stay in the tent but Edwin teased me about what I would write on my blog if I gave up. So that was a slap on a face!

It was dark. And the only source of light was the headlamp. And the surface was more challenging and tougher that the first we had from the base camp to the camping ground. The higher we went, the coolest it got and we could not stop too long as we would be feeling cold. 

A couple of times I almost decided to give up again, because I realized I could just die here because it was really cold. And I did this all only for a selfie. Gosh a selfie! And I just could not get what’s so good about hiking that makes Aga, Jan, and Lita always want to hike. What’s so good about hiking?  I just don’t get it. For me, the only good thing about hiking was when I could sit down. That’s all! Hahaha.

And the most annoying thing was whenever I asked Lita, “are we there yet?” she always answered “almost, the peak is right behind this hill”. But you know, when we reached the hill she mentioned before,  there was always another higher hill to hike and I remember Lita said the exact same words more than 20 times and the hills never seem to finish grrrrrr…

Until when we arrived at the helipad around 7 a.m., I stopped moaning and being amazed when I saw that I was above the clouds! I could see another mountains too. The sunrise made the colour of the sky that morning became wonderful. That’s when I finally got why they are so addicted with mountains. It’s because of the amazing view you can see and the feeling of satisfaction for being able to pass the challenge, the mountains and even the limitation you have.

As I was standing there, I was amazed by myself that I could make it that far.
And after I understand what is the sensation of hiking mountains, I think I will try again.
As we kept on going, me and Edwin decided not to continue up to the summit because I suddenly got stomach cram. Edwin was so nice saying that he’d rather stay with me and miss the peak than leaving me alone. But I knew, he was also tired and couldn’t make it there so he just made up reasons.
Among 5 of us, only Lita and Aga made their way up to the highest point of Merbabu. Proud of them!


Selfie in Merbabu mount is ticked from my bucket list hahaha


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

10 Things to do in Jogjakarta

Jogjakarta is one of 33 provinces in Indonesia that is well-known as the culinary centre. It is located in Java Island with Central Java and east Java surrounding it and it’s facing Indian Ocean.
Most of the listed places below are not located exactly in this province, but in the border cities of Central Java like Solo. And instead of going to Central Java, tourists usually choose to come here because it is close to the touristic area.

Here are some of the “Must-see-places” in Jogjakarta. 

1.     Prambanan Temple

The entrance fee is 35.000IDR for local citizens and US$20 for foreigners. The best time is in the morning before the sun goes higher. 

2.    Borobudur Temple

The best time to come here is in the morning so you get a chance to enjoy the view before it gets crowded when the group of students coming for field trip. Also, it has lots of stairs to reach the highest part of the temple, so it’s better to come when the sun is still not too high. The entrance fee is the same with Prambanan.
In these two temples, there are many locals, mostly young age, approach the foreigners for a picture. It can be cute sometimes when they all take a picture together, but not when there are more than 10 students and each of them wants to take individual picture with the “bule”.

3.    Pindul Cave (Cave Tubing and Rafting)

It costs only 30.000IDR per person, it is included the equipment and tour guide. The local people here still believe that they should respect the spirits who live in that cave. So, they forbid any kind of swear words while we are in the cave.
You can bring your camera into the cave, but you will be in charge of it and make sure it doesn’t get wet, which is quite impossible as 80% of your body will be wet. Or, you can hire a guy who can help you taking pictures with your own camera for 100.000IDR.

4.    Sri Gethuk Waterfall
This waterfall is on the same area to Pindul Cave, around 30minutes by car. So make a visit here right after Pindul Cave. 

5.    Malioboro Street
This 24-hours street is well-known as the place to buy cheap handicrafts. So shop till you drop! Also you can find street painters, street musicians, and other street artist along the way. 

6.    Kampung Ramadhan (Ramadhan Fasting Village)

If you come during the Muslim Fasting month, you should visit this place in Malioboro Street. In this small alley you can find authentic and cheap Jogja food. This place opens at 4pm and closes sharply only 10 minutes after break fasting. So, don’t be late.

7.    Beach
The beach in Jogjakarta is directly facing Indian Ocean. Far away from the city centre around 3hrs by car but it is worth of visiting for its beautiful view. 

8.    Mount Trekking
Jogjakarta is surrounded by many mountains such as Lawu Mount, Merbabu Mount and even the most active volcano in Indonesia, Merapi Volcano. But sadly, this activity is the least attractive place for tourist as you know it is more tiring and challenging compare to selfie pictures session using selfie-stick in front of the other touristic places. (you know what I mean J) Come here in a group and with a person who is familiar with the trekking so you won’t get lost. The scenery is worth it of hours of hiking! 

9.    Star Hill
Come here at night to see the night view of Jogjakarta up from the hill. And enjoy Jogja’s drinks served hot, Wedang Uwuh, a mix of various kinds of herbs that is good for your health.

10.  Alun-alun / City Square
Last but not least, end your holiday in Jogja visiting City Square. You can find many street food with affordable price and get to see people playing kites. As the day gets dark you can find old cars that have been modified with light and loud music and even TV! These cute cars will bring you around the Alun-alun


Monday, August 18, 2014

12 reason why you should enjoy being single in your 20s

When you first read the title, you probably think how miserable it is to be single in your 20s. Seeing couples holding hands on the street or a girl walking with a bucket of flower on her hand, how could you really enjoy being single?
That what I thought so before I read the similar article. And honestly I am surprised of what I never thought I can and experience at this moment. So I decided to list 20 reasons why we should enjoy being single in our 20s.

1.      You can flirt with almost anyone you like.

From a hot ‘Chris Pine twin’ co-worker to a cute tattooed guy you meet while queuing for an ice cream or even a sexy cute waiter who is apparently too young for you, go flirt as much as you want, girls! You don’t have to be worry about a pair of jealous eyes of  your partner.

2.      You can make a decision based on what you like and what you want to do.

Whether you are still a college student or a full time worker, you can make a decision or change planning. From continue studying, find a new job, quit your job, volunteer, travel, move to a new apartment or city or even country, you can do what you want to do in your life based on what you really want to do, without having to consider what your partner will think.

3.      You can laugh out loud.

Thing that you probably won’t dare to do in front of your boyfriend is to laugh out loud because you don’t want him to find you ugly. But hey, you can do that now!

4.      You can spend time with your family and friends.
Though it sounds pathetic spending Saturday night with family or friends instead of your boyfriend, but to be honest it can be a bit of a fresh air for you who used to stick with your guy almost every night.

5.      You don’t have to inform anyone if you are going home late or staying over at friend’s house.

6.      Travel.

7.      You are the “Starfish Queen” on your bed.

8.      Trying out new things.
Make a list of things that you never thought you would do: “diving, cooking, basking, mount hiking, beach camping, cave tubing,…” Go ahead, do it girls! You will be surprised to find yourself enjoy doing those new things.

9.      Have I mentioned travel?

10. For the first time in your life, you’re only accountable to yourself: no boyfriend or parents to stop you from doing what you want.


11.  Take care of someone else? Hmmmm I am still trying to figure out how to takecare of myself.

12. You will finally realize that it’s better to be single and happy than to be in a shitty relationship.

       And right now I choose to enjoy being single to the max!
       and hope you too :)