So I have this embarrassing moment that I will always remember for the rest of my life. It was this time I felt like I was such a loser, it was hilarious. It all happened in one night, when the hostel manager suggested me to climb Merapi mountain, never thought I would climb a mountain before, and there was actually no plan to climb any mountain on my list. I innocently said yes, well why not? The only problem I had was the shoes, I had no proper shoes, and once again my very nice hostel manager offered me to use his climbing shoes.
Team Bhumi hostel, we look ready, well, I wasn’t.
We went there by a mini bus to reach Merapi mountain, the journey started at around 10pm. One thing I remember, my stomach didn’t cooperate that night, it didn’t work properly, I thought it was because I hadn’t had my dinner, and I ordered sate, again, the same sate I had the first night I was in Yogyakarta, I forgot, it took like 30 minutes to get the sate ready to eat, so I went back into the hostel, and I just sat there in the toilet, waiting for something to come out of me. Didn’t work.
After I finished my dinner, I knew something was not right with me, so I bought some Tolak Angin, and I was very thankful for that. When the bus arrived I was still in the toilet, I hadn’t prepared everything. That day in the evening Pieter (a guy from Netherland) and I went out to the local market for some bananas and chocolates, and we put them all in my backpack and I had a very big backpack. It was quite heavy with some food and drinks in it, and Pieter had some of his belongings in my backpack. Nice, but it was okay, we were partners.
It was an amazing trip, 4 hours of drive from Bhumi hostel, though we had to pick up other climbers to join us in the bus. We arrived at 12, it was extremely cold, I couldn’t stop producing gas and using the toilet, thank god for Tolak Angin, but it didn’t help enough, even after I took 4 of them.
Coffee time before the first step on the mountain.
As you can see they were wearing short pants, me? I was wearing jeans. There was a climber who warned me that Merapi is not for beginners, and I didn’t take what he said seriously. Well it wasn’t because I was trying to kill myself. Truth be told, I go cycling every weekend, and I do sports, but it turned out climbing a mountain is something else, it’s not a sport and it’s not about power or energy.
1am in the morning, we all started to prepare everything and we prayed, I don’t think I did though (LOL). After 5 minutes of briefing we walked to the first check point, and I felt like I wasn’t normally walking, it was so cold, and I felt like I was 10 times heavier.
Important advice from me: If you’re planning to climb a mountain, do it with people who have the same height as you do, don’t do it with taller people or the people with very long legs, tall people’s walk is short people’s run.
Me, climbing a mountain, with 7 strangers from Europe, without any preparations. My mom would’ve killed me if she had found out.
After the first check point I realized I couldn’t keep up, so I told the team to keep going, and I’ll be waiting down in the house. And I saw them leave me all alone on the mountain. I love it when people leave me. So I started running down the mountain, to reach the house we were staying in as fast as I could, and once again I ended up in the middle of nowhere, like I wasn’t here before, for the first time after a while, I was worried. After walking around for about an hour I found the house, and I thought it was empty until I found a guy laying on a couch, with the same health condition as I had, we talked till the morning, it was fun.“look behind you, there’s more”
My advice on climbing a mountain, especially for first timers:
- Don’t carry too much. You can ask your partners or friends or even the guides to carry some of your belongings.
- If you don’t feel well, don’t even think about climbing a mountain, like, any mountain.
- Don’t forget to carry energy bar or anything else for your energy.
- Look for information about the mountain you’re going to climb.
- Don’t climb with tall people.
- If you have to climb with tall people, ask them nicely to walk at your pace.
The tree that actually saved my live