Ku Berkelana Pada Akhir Ramadhan 1436

Desa Dieng di daerah Wonosobo pada senja hari

Desa Dieng di daerah Wonosobo pada senja hari

Tahun ini teringin pula untuk ke pulau jawa dan duduk di sana beberapa hari pada akhir Ramadhan hingga sampai menjelang Syawal. Dapat juga aku melihat dan merasakan bagaimana umat Islam setempat menjalankan ibadah puasa dan merayakan ‘Idil Fitri. Aku merencanakan dua tempat untuk aku lawat dan singgah dalam perjalananku ini. Dua tempat ini ialah Dieng dan Tawangmangu. Dieng ialah kawasan dataran tinggi (Plateau) dan Tawangmangu berada di bahu Gunung Lawu.  Berada pada kedudukan 2093 meter dpl,  Dieng lebih tinggi dari Tawangmangu yang berada pada ketinggian 1200 meter dpl, dan sudah tentu cuacanya pun lebih dingin hinggakan boleh menyebabkan embun beku pada masa-masa tertentu.

Jalan Lawu menuju ke Gunung Lawu

Jalan Lawu menuju ke Gunung Lawu

Sekarang ini, aku berada di tanah jawa, dan ternyata tidak banyak bezanya dengan keadaan di semenanjung tetapi ada juga yang unik. Sebagaimana biasa, kalau di kampung-kampung akan kedengaran laungan pekikan “Sahur” dan “Imsak” apabila tiba waktunya, bezanya, di sini ada banyak masjid-masjid, ianya membuat keadaan menjadi sahut-menyahut antara satu dengan yang lain dan berpanjangan jadinya. Yang uniknya ialah sesuatu yang dilakukan di Dieng. Selain dari laungan sahur, dibunyikan siren pada waktu berbuka dan pada waktu imsak. Satu saja siren untuk semua penduduk di kawasan itu dan ini sudah tentunya dapat menyelaraskan waktu. Tergambar di benakku atas suatu perkara yang berlaku lebih kurang 55 tahun yang lalu. Ketika itu keluargaku menetap di tingkat atas barek polis Pearl’s Hill di Singapura. Waktu hampir maghrib, aku memandang akan bapaku yang sedang berdiri berbongkok sambil menongkatkan kedua siku lengannya di tembok pagar di balkoni bilek kami (satu bilek dan satu balkoni saja, dapur berhadapan rumah, apartment kiranya, di seberang lorong) merenung jauh sambil menunggukan kedengaran bunyi das tembakan meriam. Begitu cepat masa berlalu.

Salam dari seberang,

25 Ramadhan 1436.

Solo, Tawangmangu, Mount Lawu & Jogjakarta

Midway track leading to Mount Lawu summit

I had put up photographs of my recent trip to Solo, Tawangmangu, climb to the summit of Mount Lawu and Jogjakarta or Jogja in short at my flickr account. Wow, I guess I have to resize all the pics there, I’m over the limit possible for freeloader. Some of the pics might not be accessible.

They can be viewed here.

Gotta resize all the images over there when I have the time…..and also the push to do it 😉 .

Tawangmangu – Solo Day 5

Tawangmangu Town Centre

Saturday, 27 February, 2010

4:30 am

My whole body was still reeling with ache after the seemingly not so arduous climb to the summit of Mount Lawu. Can’t sleep again, so I started packing early. After the day broke, took some photographs of the surrounding areas.

7:30 am

Breakfast was served. Fried rice with omelette. Preparing to check out. With no fixed itinerary, I wondered where to wander. But first got to log on the Internet.

9:20 am

Checked-out. Went to the handphone stall by the roadside where I bought an Indonesian prepaid card, to get it registered. I could not register it using my handphone, somehow after certain part of the texting, I could not send it. Once done, I went to the Internet cafe at the bus terminal. I updated this blog but then the upload speed was miserable. So no pics to upload. It cost me Rp 3500 for an hour.

Afterward, I roamed around the area and took some photographs.

Tawangmangu Bus Terminal

11:20 am

Left Tawangmangu for Solo by bus. It was not an express service, so a lot of stoppages and the fare was only Rp 7000 this time, hmmm. Once at Tirtonadi bus terminal in Solo, I rested in a small roadside stall to have a glass of coffee plus some nuts. After four days being pampered by the cool weather of Tawangmangu plus the shivering few hours stranded on the mountain slope, I was greeted by the sweltering heat of Solo.

I then took a becak (trishaw) to Jalan Imam Bonjol. It surprised me when the becakman asked me where was Jalan Imam Bonjol. I then told him to ferry me to a very popular location, Alun-Alun. It was not his day, a short distance later, one of the tyres punctured. I gave him Rp 3000 and took another becak. This time the becakman was much older than the previous one. Solo is a small city albeit much bigger than Tawangmangu. So what looked like a veteran becakman should know the streets in Solo like the back of his hand…but, it was another surprise. He too asked me where was Jalan Imam Bonjol. As before, I asked for Alun-Alun.

I intended to give him Rp 10,000 for the trip but out of curiosity, I asked him how much? He replied Rp 12,000. I told him the bus fare from Tawangmangu to Solo was only Rp 7000. He then settled for Rp 10,000. I then leisurely walked to Jalan Imam Bonjol.

2:45 pm

Checked-in at Hotel Mawar Melati. Got myself a room with no air-conditioning for Rp 65000 per day. Rest.

6:20 pm

Went out to have dinner at a Padang Restaurant. Then to Matahari Shopping Centre to see whether I could get a prepaid wireless Internet broadband service. So many stalls selling handphones and its related services but non on Internet services that I could find. Oh well, I then took a becak ride to an Internet cafe near the hotel. Spent three hours just to update this blog.

11:20 pm

Back at the hotel room. Could not sleep. So, I continue writing and it is now 1:40 am, Sunday morning.

Tawangmangu Day 4

Friday, 26 February, 2010

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Birthday.

My Room at Hotel Garuda

10:00 am

Packing up. Finished the half remaining bar of rice chocolate and had a glass of hot coffee. Checked-out and checked-in at Pondok Garuda near the town. This hotel had passed its prime, quite dilapidated. For Rp 60k with breakfast and hot water, it was a bargain, at least for me though.

Nothing much to do and was still tired. The hotel with wifi hotspot was too expensive for me. I didn’t feel like going to the Internet cafe. Had lunch and rest.

6:30 pm

Went out to buy instant coffee and shampoo. Dinner was Ayam Penyet after which  I headed back to the hotel.

Tawangmangu is a small town. At eight in the evening, life is almost at a stand still except for few eateries stalls by the roadsides and restaurants. You can have western foods at some of those restaurants. I am about to have coffee and the night rest.

Road leading to Tawangmangu from Mount Lawu

Tawangmangu Town Centre as seen from hotel

Tawangmangu Day 3

Thursday, 25 February, 2010

4:00 am

Summit Marker

Preparing for the day trip up to the summit of Mount Lawu. Had breakfast of nasi goreng and hot coffee. Needed the carbohydrate for energy. Left for Cemoro Kandang at 6:00 am. At 7:00, registered my name at the post and headed up. Along the way there were five resting posts excluding the one at the summit. After rest post 2, it’s a long and winding path upwards. There were new tracks the that goes straight up, making shortcuts of the winding path. It looks like it was made by the water going down and taken advantage by climbers. I did tried but it made me gasping for air after each level. Not for me though, so I took the long and winding road, resting a while at each resting post. After six hours, I reached the summit. Had some snack and drink for the energy needed for the hike downwards.

1:15 pm

Descent. In order to make short the time, I went along the water beaten path. Holding, sliding and stepping along. Upon reaching post 1, saw a group of four men on the way up. A little chat and good wishes, then on my way down again.

5:25 pm

Arrived at Post 1. Could had reached earlier but I was tired and the path after Post 3 was slippery, it had drizzled earlier. Had quite a number of slips and a few falls, still I trudged unrelented along the slippery track while trying to beat the light.

5:30 pm

Had to make it to the entrance before the daylight was gone. Tried to walk as fast as I could but the slippery sloping path made me took baby steps. After half an hour, it was dark, I rummaged through my sack for the torchlight. Sadly it was not there, I had left it at the hotel room, forgot to pack it in. I tried to carry on but was afraid that I might get astray. I rested a while. It was raining slightly and I was feeling cold. I tried to head back to Post 1 for shelter using light from the handphone. After about 50 metres, I gave up and stayed put at a slightly opened area under a tree.

Maybe because of the dense vegetation, the handphone signals came and gone. I was lucky to get into contact with the driver that was supposed to pick me up. I asked him to inform the ranger at the entrance post about my situation and to come and get me as it was raining and cold plus the coldness of high altitude.

8:45 pm

Heard voices shouting. I replied, “Here!” Then when I saw lights swaying, I lighted my handphone and swayed it. Two rangers came. They brought food and hot coffee. I said that I was not hungry but immediately gulped down the hot coffee. On our way down two more rangers came up.

Back at the entrance post, I thanked the rangers and headed back to the hotel.

9:30 pm

At the hotel, I ordered two glasses of hot coffee. Thirsty indeed. At least nine hours of hiking excluding rest. Feeling very tired and weary, I retired early.

Height Fact

Starting Track

Midway Track

Almost There Track

Tawangmangu Day 2

Grojogan Sewu Waterfall

Wednesday, 24 February, 2010

11:30 am

Back into the dream world. A quick brunch and coffee then off to Grojogan Sewu waterfall. A short distance away. Not many people as it was weekdays. Down the winding steps and went straight to the waterfall. Took some photographs from afar. Much more water falling as compared to my visit here in November last year. Raining season. The authorities had put up barrier line preventing visitors from getting near the pool where the water land. I understood their action. During raining season there could be a sudden drop of wall of water. It could be raining heavily over the mountain and not a single drop at the waterfall area. Possibly it could knock one’s head hard to the ground…eh, granite.

I climbed the slope on the left side to have a better view of the small pool and took some photographs. Before heading back to the hotel, had two glasses of coffee at one of the stalls. As I reviewed the photographs, I can’t help but overheard the stall lady talked to her friend something like, “… photographs of stones.” Jajaja.

3:00 pm

Back at the hotel. Arranged for transport tomorrow morning to Cemoro Kandang (one of two entrances, the other is Cemoro Sewu) and return trip in the evening. After a little bargaining, agreed on the sum of Rp 135k. I intended to get to the summit of Mount Lawu. Had coffee and rest.

4:00 pm

Head to the main road, Jalan Raya Lawu. Walked up the sloping road a few kilometres and then down a few kilometres to town. Tawangmangu town is very small, populated with shops, market, food stalls and a bus terminal. Bought some food and drinks for my journey tomorrow and toiletries. Took ojek (pillion ride on a bike) back to hotel.

Budget Hotels Abound

7:30 pm

Had dinner of nasi goreng (again!) and coffee (my favourite cuppa). Write this journal, charging batteries and preparing for tomorrow. Hoping for a fine day for the trip.

Solo – Tawangmangu Day 1

Tuesday, 23 February, 2010

8:30 am

Arrived at Adi Sumarmo Airport, Solo. After immigration and custom clearance had a instant ABC coffee outside the terminal building for Rp 10k. Took a taxi to Tirtonadi bus terminal for Rp 55k. Paid Rp 9k for bus ride from Tirtonadi to Tawangmangu. At Tawangmangu was approached by a runner and brought me to Santoso Mulyo (meaning Honourable Always) Hotel. Just 70 metres away from the Grojogan Sewu Waterfall, I was told. Van ride to hotel cost Rp 10k and paid Rp 120k for two nights stay. Had a light meal of instant noodle for Rp 5k and two glasses of coffee.

11:00 am

No internet access, sleep and rest for the day.

4:00 pm

Woke up and had a shower. Went out but it was almost sunset and cloudy, went back to room. A while later I intended to have a look around but it rained slightly. Instead, had dinner of nasi goreng. Asked for coffee but was given chrysanthemum tea instead. After dinner the rain had stopped, went out to the main road to have a look-see at the surrounding. Quite a very large number of budget hotels in the neighbourhood. Not much activity there at that hour. Took some night photographs. Few vehicles passed by to give that streaking lights. One and at some lucky times two vehicles passed by once in a while. No complaint. This is not a big town.

8:15 pm

Back in hotel room and type the day events while charging the notebook and camera batteries.

Here’s the pic.

Jalan Raya Lawu near Beji