30th April, 2017
Gunung Inerie. The big monster we climbed. Before I tell you how it was, I have a little advice. If you are not too fit,if you get tired after 10mins climb, if you know your feet aren’t too stable, don’t even try to climb it! I’m not saying I’m the most fit -especially after putting 5Kg or so on – but we do have lots and lots of experience hiking on mountains, volcanoes, so I do have that. Even though, I thought this was the toughest climb I’ve done.
Let’s start with the fact we left very late. Normally people are doing it for sunrise but then we definitely would have needed a guide -as it starts when it’s still dark- which we didn’t want to pay for so we left at 9am but by the time we got someone to take us to the base -motorbike,50,000IDR/person- and got there, it was 10am. They say it’s about 3 hours to climb up. We thought we are cool and we will make it quicker. We actually thought we will make it even up there but than something happened…. we were fairly quick,stopped for 10mins 3 times, it wasn’t easy as it starts and goes all the way up with gravel stones. You step 2 and all the gravel goes. It takes lots of energy. So we got to a big rock where we thought from down it’s the top. And surprise surprise, mofo mountain had an other 500m or so to walk up. And little we knew,that 500m will take us an hour and I’ll give up -which I never do-. We had a little rest and started to go up. It was the worst. It was almost vertical and the gravel was so tiny, it was some part rocky but some part just gravel sand. Every time I tried to catch a stone or rock to hold onto,it’s either stayed in my hand or just rolled down. Nothing was safe. But how can I get up like this? My energy started to get very low. By that time I was on my all 4’s,legs,arms,whatever helped. At some point I was walking up gravel rocks just by a gulley. There was no other way to go and I stopped. I said to Rich I can’t go anywhere from here. Right side gulley, left side an other smaller hole… For a second I was scared I’ll fall and that was it. Rich helped me get off. I was very exhausted. I told Rich we should turn back, its too hard. I honestly, even today don’t know how people climb up there in the dark. Rich said, ‘can you see those trees up there? That’s the top,it’s not far now’ He made me continue and even I felt my energy has gone, I just kept going but I said to him, if the trees aren’t the top,I’ll stop there,no more for me. And there they were,the trees. And it still wasn’t the top. I’ll be honest with you,I didn’t make it all the way up. I gave up. I don’t think I could have gone more up,it was ridiculous. My hand ached from holding onto rocks and stones and slipping, the skin on my fingers came off,there was no way I’ll go more up. He did. It took him an other 10 mins hard climb but well done to him doing it. As it started to cloud around,he couldn’t actually see much up there but the thought he did it was enough for him.
Walking down wasn’t easy either. As it was mini gravels,one step down and you slip straight hitting your bum or back or whatever is back there. So we did a tactic, we literally just skated down on our asses. My lovely trousers from Cambodia has lots of holes on the bum.. of course we hit ourselves in the rocks and our hand hurt from trying to get hold of to the rocks to keep you stabile. I hit my leg ones badly,we both have lots of little scratches on our legs and hands like we were fighting with tigers but at least with cats. Down till the big rock it was horrible. From there it was a bit easier, we could actually walk upwards instead of being on our bums which made my back hurt. But again,the amount of time I slipped and fell on my bum, I just wished we already down. So we climbed the mountain in about 3.5 hours and walked down in about 2.5. By the time we got down we were exhausted,could barley walked,legs jellied up,we were extremely dirty from the gravel powder which was constantly blew in our face as we tried to get down on our buttocks. Our drivers whom we asked to be there at 3pm had to wait an hour extra as we got down just after 4pm. One of them actually started to walk towards the base to see if we are coming and we are ok. We gave them 25,000IDR/person extra for waiting.
Getting back to the shitty hostel, where we only had cold water,my first thing was to wash myself,my hair and just get cleaned up. It was very cold… we took an hour nap and had to get out money and eat something. And that’s when we had to walk for hours again as Rich’s card didn’t work with 2 ATM’s so we had to walk around the village to find one where it will work. Of course it didn’t, so we tried my card and finally we could take some money out. We had something to eat, I wasn’t hungry so I only had a chicken soup but Rich had a chicken steak with chips. I only wanted to sleep or at least rest so we went back to the hostel about 9pm and it wasn’t long till I fell asleep.
We bought bus tickets to our next destination,Moni where we are heading now as I’m writing this on the bus. When I say we took a bus,imagine a small public bus like the one in Turkey or India. It’s made very fishy outside but inside isn’t the best. It’s a 6 hours trip and it isn’t the most comfy. We had to wake up at 5.30am and I very tired. The reason we are going to Moni is because not far from that,there is a mountain called Kelimutu and it has 3 crater lakes,which has a tri colour,depending on how the sun shines on them,all have different colours,especially in the early morning. So tomorrow morning, an other climb. Hopefully easier and it will worth the pain.