Senin, 23 Mei 2016

Cerita saya (bag. 2)

Ini adalah lanjutan cerita saya sebelumnya

Bagian II

Keluarga kami tinggal jauh dari keramaian, dimana akses terhadap berita dan informasi sangat terbatas, rutinitas sehari-hari yang jauh dari interaksi dengan manuasia lain, sumber berita hanya TVRI yang jam tontonannya pun dibatasi, tapi bukan berarti orang tua saya punya pola yang terbatas juga. Prinsip hidup dari orang tua saya adalah bahwa anak-anaknya harus lebih baik dari mereka, dan sekolah itu adalah sebuah keharusan. Ya, orang tua saya mengharuskan anak-anaknya untuk bersekolah, tidak ada alasan buat tidak sekolah walaupun kalau mau mencari alasan, orang tua saya dengan mudah menggunakan alasan ekonomi kami dan semua orang akan memakluminya.

Dalam hal menyekolahkan anak-anaknya, saya akui ibu saya adalah manajer finansial yang handal. Penghidupan kami bergantung dari penghasilan bapak buat kehidupan sehari-hari dan hasil ladang untuk hal-hal yang memerlukan biaya besar. Ibu punya perhitungan yang sangat jitu dalam mengelola keuangan. Beliau akan menaksir kapan saatnya kami butuh uang banyak, misal buat bayar uang sekolah, dan menyesuaikan tanaman di ladang untuk memenuhi hal tersebut. Ibu mencatat kapan tanggal jagung harus ditanam bila hasil panennya nanti akan digunakan buat uang kuliah kakak saya misalnya. Apakah perhitungannya selalu tepat? Tentu tidak. Bertani harus mempertimbangkan segala macam resiko seperti hama, harga jual yang murah, bibit palsu, atau musim yang tidak bersahabat. Pernah suatu kali hasil panen jagung kami hampir 80 persen busuk karena musim hujan yang berkepanjangan. Atau hasil panen tomat yang berlimpah tetapi harga jual hanya 100 rupiah per kilogram-nya. Atau semangka yang tidak berbuah karena kemarau panjang. Bayangkan hal ini terjadi ketika 4 orang kakak saya sedang membutuhkan uang kuliah pada waktu yang bersamaan (saya punya 4 kakak perempuan, 3 abang, dan satu adik laki-laki). Hal-hal diluar prediksi tersebut kadang mengharuskan ibu saya berhutang kepada orang lain buat memenuhi kebutuhan yang mendesak. Alhamdulillah, ibu saya selalu memenuhi janjinya dalam hal membayar hutang, sehingga kepercayaan orang tidak pernah luntur terhadap ibu saya. Satu hal yang selalu saya ingat dari ibu saya tentang hutang, beliau tidak pernah berhutang untuk makan. Eat what available, and don’t complain. Maksudnya adalah, kalau yang tersedia di meja makan hanya sambal teri, jangan ngotot minta sambal ayam. Kami tidak menjadi anak-anak yang manja dan gampang mengeluh karenanya. 

Manajemen finansial ibu saya ini berhasil menghidupi keluarganya dengan makan cukup tiga kali sehari, tidak mewah dan jarang bersisa, juga berhasil membiayai anak-anaknya mendapatkan pendidikan yang layak. 9 bersaudara, 7 orang sarjana (hanya karena abang saya yang pertama dan adik saya, si bungsu, memutuskan tidak mau kuliah). Dalam keluarga kami tidak ada pertanyaan apakah saya boleh melanjutkan sekolah atau tidak, pertanyaannya adalah mau apa tidak?
Memang waktu itu bapak ibu saya meminta kami untuk bersekolah di Bengkulu saja, karena dekat. Kalau kehabisan uang bisa pulang ke rumah, walaupun tidak ada beras bisa merebus singkong yang selalu tersedia di kebun. Sayur-mayur dan bumbu dapur tinggal petik dan bisa sesekali makan daging ayam yang memang dipelihara keluarga. Sekolah harus, tapi juga tetap harus rasional dengan kemampuan keluarga, begitu maksudnya.

Saya sempat khawatir kalo saya tidak diijinkan bersekolah di pulau Jawa waktu itu. Entah memang rejeki atau apa, saya diterima di kampus tertua Indonesia yang berada di Yogyakarta melalui jalur PBUD (Penyeleksian Bibit Unggul Daerah… jadi berasa seperti bibit jagung…hehehehe). Berat, tapi orang tua merestui, entah karena nama universitasnya memang cukup mentereng atau pada saat itu sebagain besar kakak-kakak saya sudah lulus kuliah sehingga mungkin jadi tidak terlalu berat buat keluarga. Jadilah saya bisa merasakan berkuliah di Pulau Jawa. Walaupun saya hanya sanggup nge-kos ditempat yang kalo musim hujan kamar saya saya jadikan miniatur pantai dan main kapal-kapalan, satu nasi bungkus buat makan dua kali, buku mengandalkan apa yang ada di perpustakaan, ngetik skripsi nebeng komputer teman, nge-mall hanya kalo diajak teman, itupun sayanya ya cuci mata saja..hehehe…

Karena kuliah dan jauh dari rumah saya bisa merasakan betapa hebat ibu saya. Bagaimana makan pagi itu penting, (saya mulai mengenal maag sejak kuliah). Bagaimana kemampuan memasak itu penting (walaupun di Jogja, memasak kadang lebih mahal dari membeli makanan siap saji). Bagaimana menabung dan membuat “spending priority”. Dan bagaimana-bagaimana lainnya yang membuat saya bisa menyelesaikan kuliah saya dalam waktu empat setengah tahun saja…..

Kamis, 19 Mei 2016

Cerita Saya

Ini adalah cerita tentang saya.

Bagian I.

Ibu saya adalah ibu rumah tangga dan seorang petani. Beliau lulusan sekolah guru (setingkat SMA) dan sempat mencicipi pekerjaan guru formal di sekolah. Sayangnya krisis ekonomi (saya lupa tahunnya, dimana uang 1000 rupiah hanya bernilai 1 rupiah) menjadikan arti gaji seorang guru tak lebih dari selembar kertas yang bahkan tidak bisa digunakan untuk membeli beras. Kata ibu saya, uang gaji ibu bahkan dijadikan kertas buat melinting tembakau oleh kakek saya. Ibu saya memutuskan berhenti menjadi guru dan mulai fokus bertani di sepetak tanah yang diberikan oleh kakek saya. Waktu itu abang saya yang pertama dan kedua telah lahir.
Bapak saya, lahir ditanah karo dimana sebagian besar masyarakatnya masih menganut paham animism pada masa itu (Beliau menjadi seorang mualaf ketika menikah dengan ibu saya). Bapak bersekolah tidak sampai tamat Sekolah Rakyat (setingkat SD) tapi memiliki minat membaca yang sangat tinggi (sampai sekarang). Beliau pernah bergabung di militer bagian radio (komunikasi). Tapi memang Bapak merupakan sosok yang tidak bisa dikekang atau diatur, beliau keluar dari militer. Kami anak-anaknya seringkali mencandai bapak soal ini. Seandainya bapak tidak ‘bandel’ waktu , mungkin kami terlahir sebagai anak-anak jenderal! Yang kemudian ditimpali oleh yang lain dengan “atau tidak terlahir sama sekali” :P

Keadaan ekonomi yang sulit membuat orang tua saya memutuskan untuk merantau ke Bengkulu, negeri antah berantah buat mereka saat itu. Dengan hanya mengandalkan komunikasi dengan komunitas warga batak yang mereka temui di kota Curup. Bapak akhirnya mendapatkan pekerjaan di sebuah terminal angkutan umum, sebagai agen penjual karcis/tiket, sedangkan ibu saya mengurus rumah dan anak-anak. Ada kalanya mereka juga berjualan kecil-kecilan, tapi lagi-lagi bapak saya dengan karakternya yang unik itu tidak punya bakat sebagai pedagang. Kata ibu saya, beliau suka marah-marah kalo harga barangnya ditawar sehingga pembelinya kabur..hahahaha
Menyadari hanya dengan mengandalkan ketidakpastian penghasilan bapak di terminal dan hasil berdagang yang tidak seberapa itu tadi. Ibu memutuskan untuk kembali bertani. Pertanyaan yang muncul adalah, bertani dimana? Kami tidak punya tanah yang bias dijadikan lahan. Rumah saja masih mengontrak. Untungnya ada saudara bapak yang memiliki lahan di Curup dan membutuhkan orang untuk mengurusnya. Jadinya diputuskan, bapak tetap bekerja di terminal, ibu bertani. Dan dilahan itu, bapak dan ibu membangun gubuk kecil sebagai tempat tinggal, daripada menyewa rumah. Di rumah kecil itulah saya dibesarkan, keluarga kami pindah ke rumah itu waktu saya belum berumur satu tahun.

Kehidupan terus berjalan. Bapak bekerja di terminal, ibu bertani. Sistem yang dibangun oleh keluarga saya adalah: subuh semua harus bangun, mulai dengan tanggung-jawab pekerjaan masing-masing. Iya, kami anak-anak sudah diserahi tanggungan pekerjaan  rumah rutin yang harus diselesaikan sebelum berangkat sekolah. Misalnya kakak saya bertugas menyapu halaman, saya menyapu rumah, ada yang bertugas mencuci piring sisa makan malam, ibu memasak di dapur menyiapkan sarapan buat semuanya. Dan semua pekerjaan itu harus selesai sebelum kami bisa mandi dan bersiap berangkat ke sekolah. Kadang ini menjadi kompetisi tersendiri diantara kami. Siapa yang palig cepat menyelesaikan tugasnya, maka ia berhak mandi terlebih dahulu, bersiap lebih cepat dan bisa berangkat ke sekolah berjalan kaki dan menghemat ongkos angkutan umum demi uang jajan. Orang tua kami tidak pernah memberikan uang jajan buat anak-anaknya ke sekolah. Selain karena kami bukan orang berada, ibu saya lebih percaya masakan yang dibuatnya sendiri. Kami tidak akan mendapatkan ongkos berangkat ke sekolah sebelum menghabiskan sarapan pagi.


Pulang sekolah, makan siang biasanya sudah siap di meja makan. Setelah beristirahat sebentar, kami akan membantu ibu di ladang, entah itu mencangkul, menyiangi rumput, menanam jagung atau apapun pekerjaan yang ada. Salah satu dari kami biasanya ditugasi menyiapkan makan malam, sementara yang lain tetap bekerja di ladang. Sore hari, semua membersihkan diri, bersiap makan malam dan bagi yang bersekolah keesokan harinya, setelah makan malam, harus mengeluarkan buku pelajaran, entah itu mengerjakan pe-er, atau sekedar membaca. Semua harus siap, karena jam 9 malam, semua harus tidur. Rumah kami yang jauh dari keramaian saat itu hanya mengandalkan listrik dari batere aki buat menyalakan tipi dan lampu petromak buat penerangan malam. Jam 9 malam, lampu petromak akan dimatikan, TV tidak boleh lagi menyala dan penerangan hanya denga lampu minyak kecil buat menemani tidur. Jam malam yang lebih dari jam 9 malam hanya berlaku malam minggu atau malam hari libur lainnya. Ini adalah rutinitas yang diterapkan dan sangat disiplin ditegakkan oleh ibu saya. Saya rasa, karena aktifitas kami yang penuh seharian (apalagi aktifitas berladang), gelapnya malam dan rumah yang jauh dari keramaian membuat tidur kami menjadi tidur yang berkualitas :P

Bersambung.... 


Senin, 30 Desember 2013

Kilas Balik (Listrik) 2013

Tulisan semacam ini direncanakan bakal jadi tulisan tahunan yang akan dipublish setiap akhir tahun sebagai kontribusi saya terhadap Electrical Company kita tercintah....tsaaaahhh... :)

Desember 21:
It's Saturday, and as expected... it's a blackout time!!!
Desember 14:
It's official, even if DI is the only candidate for presidency, I will not vote! *another blackout -sigh-
Desember 13:
Saat banyak dari aktivitas (aktifitas?) kita bergantung pada aliran elektron yg disebut listrik itu...pas alirannya berhenti, berasaaaaa banget yah...
Oktober 27:  
PLN kambuh lagi.... 
September 18:
Denger2 si Minister yg membawahi BUMN ini ikut konvensi capres...wis ngene wae pak, nek ra ono pemadaman tekan pemilihan presiden mengko, tak pilih njenengan wis....#blackout 
Mati lampu gelap2an....eh jempol kaki digigit kucing...
September 6:
Yah!.. beda potensialnya nol lagi.....#blackout
Agustus 30: 
Wake up.....disoriented....oh, it's a blackout...#tidur lagi...  
Agustus 28: 
Is it a new season for blackout?..#matilampu...#sudahlamagaknyetatusberbauPLN... 
Juli 18:
3 times in less than 24 hours... PLN lg demam ya? Dah kayak minum obat aja...
Juli 17:
Termasuk menahan diri mengomentari PLN?...#status-mati-lampu-edisi-Ramadhan....  
Juli 6:
Oh Perusahaan Listrik Negara....apakah memang sudah tak ada lagi beda potensial antara tempatmu dan tempatku?... #mati lampu jam ke 6 menit ke 13... 
OK....it's the blackout season again...-sigh- 
Juni 26: 
Berpikir kalo ujan2 gini gak pake mati lampu mgkin orang PLN tuh bakal gatal2 kali ye...
Juni 23:
Mati lampunya sampe ke rumah emak... 
Juni 19:
Au ah elap....#$&£*×÷
Juni 16:
Strong wind, heavy rain...the combination will never be the same without the blackout...sure! The message is loud and clear....
Yaelah cong!...gw lg nyetrika nih...tinggal sepotong lagi!....#$@*&^
Juni 9: (Della Maulidya menulis:)
Pln yang baik hati dan tidak sombong, apakah belum cukup semalaman tadi listrik dipadamkan? Banyak pekerjaan yg harus diselesaikan pagi ini yg membutuhkan daya listrik akibat sore dan malam listrik dipadamkan ? Saya harap nanti malam tidak terjadi lagi, mulai bsok pagi anak saya ulangan kenaikan kelas..kasihan jika belajar dg pencahayaan seadanya, meskipun saya sadar dia msh lebih beruntung dibandingkan anak2 seusianya yg jauh di pelosok sana yg bahkan blm pernah menikmati terangnya lampu listrik.... — with Sura Menda Ginting
Mei 16:
Gelap-gelapan di mall.... mati lampunya merata ya
Mei 15:
*Kehabisan stok status buat ngomentarin mati lampunya PLN....*
Mei 2:
Yah, mati lampu! # pura2 kaget seolah ini kejadian langka....
April 28:
Blackout while watching Adam Levine? Now we're talking about serious battle PLN.... — with Utami Irawati and Ratih Puspita
April 21: (Dewi Handayani menulis:)
Slmt liburan.. *trmsuk cuti status mati lampunya.. Hahaha
April 19:
Blackout....again....not complaining though...this is just for my fans... 
April 14:
PLN sangat ahli memilih momen yg tepat menekan tombol "off"....pas saat gadget abis batere...dan sehari sebelum UN...pengertian sekali.....
April 7:
Pas males masak nasi pake rice cooker, pas males nyuci, pas acara tipi gak ada bagus2nya...pas mati lampu...ah PLN...you know me so well...NOT!!
Maret 31: Wahyu Widyastuti Batara memberi link:
Sura Menda Ginting, contoh ni, bikin april mop harus seru,epeknya dasyat! 
   
Maret 28: 
Khairul Amri Rosa: you said the manager of PLN promised that there will be no blackout unless nature takes course...by nature did he mean a nice beautiful no rain no wind night?#monyantet-takut-ngelanggar UU... — with Eka Novita
Eka Novita menulis: menantikan status Sura Menda Ginting
Maret 26:
Ah PLN cintaku sayangku.... #golokmanagolok...
Maret 23:
Maybe this so called electrical company do have a target...to do as many blackout as possible...the more the merrier...
Maret 22:
Oh how I miss to......curse on you PLN!!!
Maret 21:
Hadeeeh...PLN mulai genit lagi deh....
Februari 20:
Storm + blackout...! Enjoy
Februari 16:
I mocked my sister earlier because she had a blackout in Medan and this is what I get, a blackout too, I guess karma does exist! 
Februari 9:
Sudah beberapa hari gak mati lampu, eh dikasih hari ini, tau kali PLN-nya kalo gw kangen....NOT!!!
Januari 27:
M-a-t-i-l-a-m-p-u-s-u-n-g-g-u-h-t-e-r-l-a-l-u-!-!-!-!
Januari 26:
See? No wind, no rain, even in a full moon? #another blackout!
Januari 23:
Hmm...a blackout happened without a reason now? No wind, no rain...just like that? Hmm... interesting
Januari 12:
Well, I can't let my fans down...so, here it is...storm plus blackout, in a full package... — with Eka Novita
Januari 11: 
Badaaaai pasti berlaluuuu.....#menenangkan diri ditengah terpaan badai dan tanpa penerangan listrik...
            
Maret menjadi bulan pemenang untuk status mati lampu terbanyak dan November sebagai pemenang tanpa ada status mati lampu...
itulah sekilas review untuk perlistrikan Kos La-Tulip, Kandang Limun Bengkulu...*saya tidak boleh men-generalisir...hehehehe
Happy twenty fourteen!!
      
 

Rabu, 04 Desember 2013

The Journey to 3726 above sea level part III: The return to Zero Level (The Dessert)

Ok, it took me quite some times to prepare this dessert, because this is December baibeh!..no need other explanations!

The dessert that I'm about to tell is about the rest of the journey after Rinjani.
The next day after we arrived in Senaru Village, with aches all over our body, we decided that we will avoid any activity that required us to WALK... It means that, we skipped the visit to nearby waterfalls, Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep. We were satisfied with just a view of a rice field which is a traditional rice field of Senaru villagers.
After finishing our breakfast, we headed to Mataram with a rent car and all we've done in the car was sleeping...

The plan was to just enjoy the days left without significant physical activities...and what we've done were....snorkeling, biking, swimming...as if our body haven't got tortured enough...

Yep! Now we call ourselves the sadomasochist travelers...

Here are some pictures taken...



Snorkeling site at Gili Nanggu
Gili Nanggu is considered as one of the best (yet) snorkeling and diving site in Lombok. Compared to Gili Trawangan, I prefer this island because it has less tourists. In Gili Trawangan, it maybe difficult to take a photo with just us like above.. :D


Leisure beach of Gili Sudak

Gili Sudak is no less stunningly beautiful. The combination of clear water and blue sky becomes a bliss for an amateur photo taker like me :p

A sunset that captured after several kms biking #Gili Trawangan


Harbor of Gili Trawangan
The last Gili we visited was Gili Trawangan. Beautiful island, but too many tourists. Not my type of place to visit for a vacation unless I have my own travel agency someday then the visit will mean business :D

Well, that is my dessert...

I hope you enjoy "eating" it as I enjoy "cooking" it  :D




Rabu, 27 November 2013

The Journey to 3726 above sea level part II-b (The main course)

After spending one more night in Plawangan Sembalun, we started fresh -err...kind of- to the Segara Anak Lake....
It took (again by normal standard) about 4 hours walking to reach the lake. We begin the journey at about 7.30 am and as usual, the porters asked us to start ahead. The steps were mostly down and varied from grasses to stones, steeps to ramps....we reached the lake around 2 pm because along the road we had to stop several times for: letting other groups or porters to pass us by first, taking breath, and......taking pictures!!! *we always use this excuse :p 
well, actually I have proofs....
Take one...
Take two...
Take three...
Take four...
The view of the lake
That's why we were so late... :)
Oke...enough already! move on you lazy ***** !! :D (photo courtesy by Viny Tobing)
*this is me replacing words with picture...as they said, a picture says a thousands words... :D :D


The Heavenly Lake

The lake is actually the mountain crater filled with water that formed long time ago. It becomes a bluish fresh water lake, hence the name (Segara Anak means child of the sea, source: wikipedia).
When we arrived at the lake, our porters, as usual, has set up our tents and ready to prepare our lunch. But we decided to postponed the lunch as we were very excited to visit the hot spring nearby. It took about 10 to 15 minutes by walking from the lake and it was another luxury we had during our trip, a hot water "bathtub"! :).... especially after no bath for two consecutive days... It was a very soothing time after hours of walking. We even forgot that we hadn't had our lunch yet...

We spent our time that afternoon just for relax and rest. And these what we we've done :p

Yes, we are that crazy... :)

See?...

This is the only way the are allowed to catch the fish..

and....taking picture!!!

Yeah,...those are what we've done...it is like living in heaven right? :)
The only inconvenient thought was that we had to walk again on the day after....
We spent that night camping near the lake, maybe about two meters from the brink of water.  That night the wind blown very strong. The sound of the wind was like in a horror movie. I felt that the water would reached the tent and flooded us. I woke up several times and checked whether it was reaching my feet already :). The wind was so strong that I was afraid our tents will blown out. On the morning we knew that the wind was unusual, according to the porters. Some tents on Plawangan Sembalun and also on Plawangan Senaru were blown away. The locals believe that the nature will show it's anger if people had done something that breaking the rules or local norms. We asked our porters if wearing kebaya near the lake included in that category...which they answered with a laughter.. :)

The Hell to The Power of Two Third

On the fourth day of the journey, we started the walk very early for home. The walk started by half-circling the edge of lake before climbing up to reach Plawangan Senaru. The journey included...many steep rocks and loose soil. It is very important to maintain your concentration because of the cliffs on our left side. It felt like the hell too, but this time only to the power of one-third :D (the other one third was climbing it down). We did the trekking, walking and rock climbing combined. But Allah Almighty indeed The Fairest... as we walked, and stopped to catch some breath, these were the view that we've had...
The lake in the morning



One of the most breathtaking views I had and literary the most breathtaking journey :)
The view from Plawangan Senaru is considered among the prettiest views of Rinjani according to many visitors. 
After several minutes resting, we continued our journey to reach Senaru Village, hopefully before dark. It was the last walk we must endure before ending this journey. It took 5 hours for us to reach the village and the last kilometer was the fastest among all walks. It was contributed by the spirit of "I need to end this A.S.A.P".... And it was already dark :)
We reach the village around 7 pm and order the famous 'Ayam Taliwang'...that night, the question of the day was, " which part of your body that didn't hurt" :D

It was a very memorable journey indeed...
Thanks to my fellow travelers...
Windy...The leader who always stays behind... :p (I know, to support us right? )
Anin...who doesn't have a single drop of Solo-blood... cah solo kui kemayu mbakyu..hahahha
Viny...the other Bataknese and the craziest.. :D
and Endra... a fighter! even with injury, still manage to reach the summit...

Let's do this again okay?... and NO, I don't mean return to Rinjani..hahahahaha

*After eating the main course, don't forget the dessert :D

Kamis, 21 November 2013

The Journey to 3726 above sea level part II-a (The main course)

.....
Senaru Village-Senaru Village (31 October-3 November 2013)

The main course menu are:
The seven not so deadly hills
The summit of hell
The heavenly lake
The hell to the power of two third

Lets start with

The Seven Not-so-Deadly Hills
Look deadly enough to you? :)
The journey started at 9 am on Oct 31 with five contenders and three porters. Yes, we hired porters to bring our logistics and what we carried  were only personal things in our bags. (You can always pay for more porters if you like).
We begin from the hilly side of the village to reach Plawangan Sembalun...Plawangan means door and we had to walk through seven deadly sins err.. I mean, seven not-so-deadly hills before we could knocked on "the door". Don't be fooled by the appearance of the hills, even though they just look like the hills in the Teletubbies movie, there are nothing cute about them.....
We immediately went for a tree or two in the first hour of our tour. I had to remove one layer of my clothes since the sun shone very generously....They say that the first step of every move is always the hardest...well, the second and the rest of it were not getting easier though...

The walk to the Plawangan Sembalun usually takes 6-7 hours by normal standard with one time stop for lunch.This information was provided by our porters who let us started the journey ahead. Later I know that it was very easy for them catching up with us and then left us behind.. :( 
And they did it every time!!

The hills were called "tujuh bukit penyesalan" (literary means seven remorse hills). The name came up because usually tracker or climber starts regretting his/her decision at this stage of the journey. It is still too far to reach the summit, but it is also already too far to just go back...
I am proud to say that we regret nothing! BUT...we came up with the silent promise that we will never do this again... :D

The first and second hills were okay. On the third and the fourth, we still had the spirit of excitement...the fifth...it was getting harder to breath...especially when it started to rain and very windy...it was very difficult to just move one step forward. A tiny body covered with a raincoat had to stand a very strong wind...I almost...yes, almost regret my decision...but Allah Almighty knows best when to cheer us up...This is what we've got...
A gift..double dose :)
Yup! rainbows...as if one is not enough, we've got two!!...I and my friends instantly forget our misery, that we still had two more hills before we settled and be prepared for the summit attack...
When the rainbows subsided, we continued our walk, but the dark started blinding our ways...we were behind schedule mainly because of the rain (excuse) and photo taking (more excuse). We reached Plawangan Sembalun, our first camping site, at about 7 pm with aches all over our body, from head to toe, no exception!.

The view from our camping site in Plawangan Sembalun

The porters had already set up our tents and prepared our dinner...Their service was one of not so many luxuries we had on the mountain.  It was...first class service!! :)
That night, we most definitely needed our rest before the summit attack started...

The Summit of Hell

We begin the journey for the summit at 2 am, the time that suggested by the porters. They said it would take approximately 3-4 hours to reach the summit (of course by normal standard). They woke us up at 1.30 am and asked us to have some breakfast first, the meal that we rejected. Later on we knew how important the meal was....
For the journey to the top, we only needed to bring one bottle of water and , of course, a camera :)

Among the groups that planned to the summit that night, we were quite the earliest and one of our porters became our guide. The road was not as I expected at all. It was full of sand and loose rocks and consistently ascending which make it was very difficult (if not impossible) to walk. Not to mention it was dark, the wind was very strong and so da*n cold. Two steps forward, one step backward... (My friend said that you need to know a proper Math to climb Mt. Rinjani, otherwise you'll end up with "minus" steps... :D )
3 hours had passed and I didn't feel that we were already near....which I indeed didn't :(...
4 hours...the ray of light started to shown and this was my view at the moment...

Which means that I was going to miss the sunrise from the summit...
at this moment, I didn't care anymore...

I was very exhausted. It felt that I needed a very great strength just to start a new step, especially when the wind blown hard, I needed to stop to keep my feet steady so that I didn't fall . 

I was very hungry ( I did ate a half piece of bread previously and brought the other half in my pocket, the piece that I ate while leaning on the stone half sleeping)...*just FYI, when the porters tell you to eat your breakfast at 2 am...eat it!

It did came across my mind that maybe I had to give up and just go back...
Another FYI.. Do not ask any question about how far it still is....it's just wasting your energy... and sometimes the answers you get (even when they do not intent to) are no less discouraging...a friend proved that :D
oh...I almost forget to tell you.... I don't believe in time unit anymore...2 hours, 3 hours..7 hours...it is sooooo relative!!! and during this journey 3 hours NEVER mean 3 hours...

During the journey one group at a time start to out-walk us and leave us as the last group behind....remember that we are among the first to start? yeah... that's how slow we were :(
4 hours became 7 hours..yup! at 9 am...no...you do not miss-read it, at 9 am!!  we gathered at the summit... Alhamdulillah
The road not-less traveled..but I won't go back there...
Because we named the road we've taken as the elevation of hell, it is only appropriate that the peak became the summit of hell...right? :D
The summit of hell...freezing hell

Just to show the world that I am Indonesian :)

Two bataknese, two javanese..one is picture taker :D


The mountain top is not a place to hang around for a long time...unless you want to be frozen and then blown by the wind...so, after enough photos were taken, we start to climb down.
*yeah, you don't need to write down your name in a stone just to show others you've been there..why limit the audience? take a photo and show it to the world...hahahaha

The walk down was easier, at least for me. I manage to be the fastest by applying sand-skiing-method, which magically, didn't ruin my IDR 65K shoes. On the way down, I saw why people keep asked to take the left side of the road when they climb the Rinjani summit. Because this is what's on the right....

The hell's bottom?
I think, that's also the reason why the journey to the summit is done on the dark...so you won't see that...hehehe
We arrived at the camping site at about 12.30 to 2 pm (one of my friend got injured so he came very late). The earlier plan was, on that same day we would go down to Segara Anak lake. But, considering our condition at that time, we decided to postpone it until the next day so we have more time to get lots of rest before continuing the journey...and yes... all we did was sleeping and eating and sleeping again.... :)

...to be continued...




Selasa, 19 November 2013

The Journey to 3726 above Sea Level Part I (The appetizer)

This story is about five rookies in mountain climbing, trying to reach the peak of Mt. Rinjani in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

Among others, I have the longest distance to travel, from Bengkulu to Jakarta and then to Bali and finally to Lombok. Four islands, four airports, one hour time difference and many hours of waiting...yeah! that's how big Indonesia is...(Not to mention two harbors on my way back... :D... )

I'll start my story from my hometown on October 29. 

Bengkulu-Jakarta (29 October 2013)

My flight to Jakarta was the last flight on that day and during the day I still had to teach two classes in the afternoon which were completed at 4.40 pm...(while my flight was on 6.25 pm). Luckily, I have finished my packing the day before. One backpack and one camera bag for ten days' journey :)
I went to the airport (which usually takes about 20 minutes by motorcycle) at 5.30 pm and still made it on time, well, not exactly on time according to the rules of the airlines, but in Bengkulu, they'll wait for you until the last minute :p... and my flight was half an hour delayed :D

I reached Soekarno Hatta International Airports at about 8.00 pm. My friend said that she would pick me up at the airport and that I should wait for her. That night, I stayed at her house because my next flight to Bali was on the next day. Her work hour was extended that night which means that I had to wait longer...
While waiting, I felt something strange happened when I was making steps. When I looked at my shoes, I saw that the soles were crumbling down. I didn't see this coming. I brought no sandals with me and that shoes were the only means to cover my feet at that time. I sent text to my friend to help me solving this problem. She offered to borrow her friend's shoes which were a number higher than my size. I thought that it would be very difficult to climb a mountain with oversize shoes.I planned to buy a new one but I panicked a bit because I thought at that time my friend picked me, there would be no more stores open. So, plan B is to buy a new one in Bali or Lombok. 
My friend picked me at about 10.30 pm and she offered me to visit a traditional market near her house just in case some shoe stores were still open...and voila!!! I found one still open at midnight! Jakarta is amazing! It was a small store. The shoes were arranged in one big pile without any rack. I have to dig in to find the fitted one, but I didn't care...I found new shoes and I was happy. It cost me IDR.65K...a very cheap one to replace my 65  shoes.. :)
My old shoes would have to be let go although it was still fixable. But there is no way I could brought it with me on my journey. So, the garbage bin in front of my friend's house became it last resting place... :) 
Staying at my friend's that night, I tried accompanying her unpacking and repacking her back. She had a very early flight and had no plan to sleep and we planned to went to the airport together. I didn't realize that I was very exhausted and fell asleep. I woke up because she called me...from the airport!! She left me behind because I actually had a later flight than her and she thought that I could use some more minutes to rest. Well, thank you for the call...otherwise, I might woke up late and missed my flight! :)

Jakarta-Denpasar, Bali (30 October, 2013)

I met other "contenders" at Soekarno Hatta Int'l Airport that morning while waiting for our flight at 8.45 am. Some of the contenders I met during my previous journey to Ujung Kulon, West Java. Some were new friends,  a friend of a friend. We talked about our baggage, some are light traveler, some aren't :D. As rookies, we actually have very little idea of what to bring and how much and our interpretations of information provided by friends or blogs were shown in our size of luggage :p...

We reached Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali at about 11.35 am which was an hour ahead of Jakarta time. There, we had to wait for the next flight to Lombok. 
Ngurah Rai airport had a major renovation at that time so everything was a bit confusing. From domestic arrival to domestic departure, there were a lot of asking and walking involved. The flight to Lombok was at 1.55 pm so we still have time to grab some lunch. 

Denpasar-Lombok (30 October 2013)

The flight only took about 35 minutes and used a small airplane. This was my first time flying with small plane and considered my experiences with airplanes...let say  it was NO less worriying.. ;)
Luckily, the weather was very nice and during the flight I had a chance to see Bali island, the sea, and Lombok island in their "miniatures" :D
We arrived in Lombok Praya International Airport and met the other team members. After buying necessary logistics in Mataram city, we went to Senaru Village, the nearest village of Mt. Rinjani, by a rent car and stay there for one night before the real journey started....

Next...