Mountain Of Fire, Mountain Of Doom, Mountain Of Failure
Yogyakarta Travel Blog› entry 23 of 54 › view all entries
Yet again we both got up & going far too late to make it to see the big local festival in town. When we finally got to where it was, many locals kept insisting that everything was closed for the day.
This was not true.
We could see plenty of tourists being shown around on the inside. Whi getting in line for a ticket, the gates opened and out strolled a procession of military people in various styles of uniform.
The Kraton was good if a little bland for my tastes. I got the feeling that our free guide was in a hurry. A big hurry. We rushed past everyone else including the German girls that we met in our hostel the day before.
As we were going to be heading to climb Mount Merapi later tonight, we really did not do much else for the rest of the day.
I had almost persuaded her to tag along with us on the climb up Merapi but soon she began feeling pretty ill. When Harri awoke, I suggested getting some banana pancakes around the corner. So we did. They were good. They hit the spot but weren't the best I've ever had.
Afterwards, we packed up and said goodbye to Tanya.
The drive to Merapi seemed to take forever. We were extremely restless. The aircon in the car was hopeless as usual.
We started off from a homestay at 1.12 am and walked straight up the very very steep 1.75km road to what ended up being the view point of Merapi.
I will admit to some fatigue at this stage. I had expected a more gradual start to the hike than a steep incline to kick off. Next we hit the off road section of the climb. Again, this was very steep and at points very slippery. This was a winding route up through the forests that in places caused some slipping from each of us including the guide due to the low light.
Much like our guide in the Kraton, this guy was in a hurry somewhere. I think he just wanted to get up and back as soon as possible so he could get some sleep or something. He set a very quick pace that even a very fit Matthew had to admit was pretty fast and doing me absolutely no favours.
Matthew tried giving me some motivational advice to keep going.
I soon began to lag behind. Every now and then the guide would stop and wait for me to catch up but once I got within a few metres of him he would simply turn around and set off in his newly refreshed rested state.
It was not long before I began to picture every pint of beer, stout, cider or every glass of wine, vodka, whiskey or even every pint of quadruple whiskey I have ever had, along with every bit of junk food or everytime I opted for a packet of potato crisps over a nice crisp green apple....
All these thoughts soon began to weigh heavily on my mind.
Halfway up the dreaded mountain, I was in so much pain that I could no longer hear Matthew's motivational words. At the high plateau I had endured as much as my mind could take.
So at 3.18 I called it quits.
Yes just 2 hours & 6 minutes of solid walking in and I was finished.
I was gutted.
In less than 2 hours, Matthew had summitted the mountain passing out all other climbers on the mountain and apparently almost killing the guide by pushing him to go faster in the hope of reaching the summit for sunrise. They were the first people to reach the crater around sun rise.
I was enduring one of the lowest moments of my life whilst Matthew was revelling in one of his life's highlights.
I was sat on a cold rock in the lonely darkness high up on the mountain dwelling on my past failures when a couple of monkeys came by trying to grab my things. It was at that moment I cheered up a little and decided to make the most out of the situation I find myself in.
The views were immaculate. Quite possibly the best sunrise I have ever witnessed. One of those sunrises that photos truly can do no justice.
At one point when my strength had fully recovered and the morning had become a little lighter, I decided to try for the summit but before long I could see why a guide would be necessary and headed back.
Matthew's high spirits from his achievement would all change later in the night when Liverpool triumphed over Everton. Matthew was a good sport over the mountain so I opted to return the favour and be a good sport in his dark moment.