It’s here, and I don’t feel much better. I was woken up by the bloody call to prayer at 5am and couldn’t sleep well after that. I knew I had to be up at 6am to be ready and have breakfast by 7am where we’d be picked up.
I wish I had woken up later as we ended up not even leaving the company base until 8am, we were waiting for everyone to drop off their bags and collect themselves into our groups. I rented a headtorch for 50,000rp and sat waiting.
In our group there are 10 of us, we were taken on a really uncomfortable ride in the back of a pick up to the registration office, which took around 1 hour to get to. Then we got to the starting point to set off for the day.
I should mention what I brought with me, layers for the cold like 5 layers, my jacket, many snacks, my sleeping sack , toilet paper and my toothbrush. Snacks turned out to be essential, but fitbars are not healthy at all and make my stomach hurl which I later regretted.
It was unbelieveably hot at the start of the walk, and it was like walking through a field. It was relatively easy until we got to this small hill where all of us just sweated like crazy. I was worried that if I found this hard, how would I cope later! Turns out it was just the heat which made it 10times harder. After the field we had a brief walk through the forest but then headed out on the what I call the meadow. It was just surreal being at the base of this huge volcano and it looked like a nice countryside walk. We stopped for lunch at post 1, and had to wait 2 hours for food.
I should mention again, there are porters who carry all the tents, food and equipment. They also cook. They also take their sweet time and are late when they work for Tropis. I can’t commend them enough though, I could not carry what they do and for the distance and height. I found out they get paid 170,000rp a day.
From post 1 it was a nice hilly walk to post 2, and then from there it go steeper and steeper. I powered through and I thought I took on a good pace, and didn’t stop too often. It was a tough climb though the nearer you got to the crater rim and the path has this nice way of thinking you’ve got to the top when you’re nowhere near. There was this incredible view of the summit to the left, which looked extrmely daunting but it was getting me egging me on.
Once at the top I had walked for around 7 hours in total. It was beginning to feel cold, and I had the most incredible view of the top of the volcano and the summit. I did lose my guide at this point and it took us a while to find out where our camp was. Turns out we were right next to the summit hike which was good news. We also had our tents set up next to a rock which acted as a wind breaker. Bad news was that our porter went missing so dinner would not be for a couple hours and we had no toilet tent so I had to freeze my bum in the wind.
The sunset was manficient and I had a wonderful view of the lake, the only sad thing about this place is the litter. It’s truely disgusting the amount of litter at the crater. You actually had to plan your panoramic pictures to avoid the litter.
While waiting for dinner, I donned all of my layers and got into my tent as the temperature was plummeting. I had a quick nap, and was woken by dinner which I ate in the comfort of my tent. The food is pretty good, a general mix of noodles, rice, veg and egg with a delightful cup of hot tea. I then fell back to sleep to prepare for the summit at 2am.