Thursday, February 17, 2011

Looking inside our planet 2 - climbing Gunung Sinabung volcano.

Gunung Sinabung.
Climbing Gunung Sinabung is a bit challenging. The volcano is higher. The trek starts from the lake Kawar. Initially I planed to do it on my own but luckily in the evening before I met Ohad and we decided to climb together the next day.

As expected it was challenging to find the begging of the path. Indeed it took us almost half an hour to walk across the jungle to find the begging of the trek. Once we were on the track, it was very obvious that it is a right path.

Begining - green like heaven.

For almost two hours we climbed through the surrounding jungle. One could really absorb the overwhelming green color with every cell of the body. Everything was very intense green. It was like green heaven.

First volvano ashes - purgatory.

After two hours we got out from the jungle and our steep road was surrounded with small bushes. Some leaves were grey from the volcano ashes. This was like purgatory.

Top - hell.

And finally we got to the peak- hell. Strange mixture of volcanic rocks around: gray, red and yellow. Some sulfur in the air and on the ground and overwhelming smoke. We climbed around the crater and went inside. I looked into one of the holes - Earth is covering it's inside with the puffs of smoke. Very mysterious lady. The mountain was mostly covered with a cloud. Suddenly I heard the rain coming.

In the crater.
In few seconds I felt the first drops on my skin and few second later the wall of rain appeared. Luckily I remembered the small cave nearby so we run there. We stayed in our shelter for half an hour and until it clear out and wanted to go down. But there was still one viewing point that we skipped because of the rain. We went there and we noticed that a huge amount of smoke is also "produced" by the mountain on the other side. We went there for a moment and than suddenly the cloud partially disappear and we got a clear view down to the valley with the huge fog factory on the side!!!

Cloud producer.
It was getting late so we started our descend. The begin of the road was a very challenging. It was a rocky very steep road which got very slippery in the rain. It remanded me the slippery Sikkim hike. But in slippery Sikkim I was falling down on the grass or small bushes, here there were stones so it was a bit more painful. After one hour we reached the jungle and it this moment it started to pour down. Very luckily that in this weather we did not have to walk through the stone path. Initially we wanted to wait until the rain stopped and we hide under enormous big tree. It was a good shelter for the first 15 minutes but the rain did not stop and it even increased in its intensity... and we started to get wet so we decided to go down in the rain. Our path turned into a small river making everything very slippery. On the way down I slipped few times and I think I made one of the most spectacular fall down with 3/4 screw jump around the tree from 1,5 meter high but luckily I did not injured myself. Finally completely socked we reached the village. We got a tee and hitchhike a motorbikes to get to the main road. From there we got the labi-labi to our town. On this road there was amazing sun set over the our volcano, but we were squeezed in the labi-labi and we did not had possibility to take photo.

Climbing Gunung Sinabung was one of the most diverse hike that I did. Two hours in green heaven (jungle), one hour through purgatory and finally reaching the peak- hell and on the way home - hiked changed more into swim ;)

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