30. Apr. / 1. May 2014
On the morning of April 30th. we went to Borobudur and watched the sunrise there. After visiting the temple, I drove back to Suroto Sheby and met him in the center of his village. With a small farming truck we drove a tiny road up the mountain slope.
The hiking trail started around 1.900m, it was cloudy. The trail it easy to walk, no rocks. And soon we saw several monkeys in the trees. At about 2.500 m the jungle changes to savanna like landscape. Still no rocks on the trail, just sometimes steep earthy areas need to be climbed. We walked through high grass and through the clouds, until we reached the area above them. Then again, up and up, hill by hill. The path eroded several tracks in the grassland on the steeper parts, on the top of the hills it became flat and easy walking again.
From 2.700 m we had a nice view on Mt. Merapi and at 2.880 m we set up the tents on a small ridge.
For dinner we ate fried rice, egg and cucumber. After a beautiful sunset, the stars shined above Mt. Merapi and the land below. Further away there where thunderstorm but soon after darkness they disappeared and the night became quiet.
It was a quite and peaceful night below the Indonesian sky.
We started at 4:30 and reached the top about 5:15, right before the sunrise.
After the sun came out, it soon became warmer. Returned to the tents, packed and then went back down. We reached the village at 10:20 and then took a long rest and a second breakfast.
For both hikes I recommend to take a guide. The way is not always easy to find, there are no way-signs or marks. Especially Mt. Merapi is an active volcano and its condition changes. The day we hiked Mt. Merbabu, Mt. Merapi was closed due to volcanic activity.
Hiking key data:
Village dropoff: 1.900m 12:45pm
Mountain ridge camp: 2.890m 4:30pm
Mountain ridge camp: 2.890m 4:30am
Mt. Merbabu top: 3.142m 5:15am
Village Guide house: 1.620m 10:20am