Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gunung Gede (Big Mountain)!

This weekend, Nina, Herul and I went to a big mountain in West Java called, of course, big mountain. It was about 2 hours of angkot rides from central Bogor. You can see the first signpost above. Climbing Gunung Gede to the peak takes some ten hours and is ill advised in the rainy season when fog and rainfall waylay the unlucky traveler. We opted instead for a shorter climb. Starting out, Herul leading the way:

By now the climate was fresh, cool and altogether wonderful. The air and the sunlight filtering in were reminiscent of May runs through the glen at Hamilton. The din of traffic slowly faded as we wandered up the fairly steep slope:

Along the way, there was a "blue" lake to the side of the trail. It was sort of blue, I guess. You decide:

It was positively teeming with fish, who mostly swam right near the surface. What rapture to be a heron in such circumstances!

The paths were not crowded, but we did meet a few hikers along the way. In typical Indonesian fashion, Herul and Nina struck up lively conversation with the passersby. We were best friends in just a few hundred meters:

From my perspective facing the other way above - Herul, photographer:

Right after posing for that shot, a group of noisy monkeys crossed over our trail through the trees high overhead. I took a number of wildly errant shots, which I will not revisit here, in trying to capture the elusive creatures. Here's one that was actually somewhat successful. He was probably wondering what the hell I was doing:

The gorgeous vista that opened up as we got farther up the trail:

And finally, the object of our hour-and-fifteen-minute journey - waterfalls!

The water was surprisingly cold, but being in Indonesia for so long I didn't mind feeling cold for once. Herul, of course, lead the charge. You'll notice he's the one actually standing underneath the pounding water. I, on the other hand, could not withstand the needle-like pain for more than a few moments at a time:

I'm like a ten-year-old kid again:

On the way back down, we encountered another more numerous family of monkeys. There were twenty or thirty of the small, black climbers, including babies hanging around their parents' necks. Naturally I failed to catch those individuals. And my viewpoint left many of the shots unavoidably backlit. But here's a few gathering in a tree high above and near the trail:

This guy is scouting a path across the canopy to the tree pictured above, where his aunts and uncles waited impatiently:

This specimen sought to lure individuals from the trees to the forest floor using a biscuit cracker:

From here we finished our trek and journeyed back to Jakarta.

1 comment:

  1. You write so well - I end up smiling and laughing and really enjoying, albeit vicariously, the experience!