Backpacking To Krakatau

Take A Deep Breath

I might be so much inspired by NG's explorer, conquering the wilderness, creating new path, and definitely leading exploration just like never before. All of those are uncountable satisfactory even beyond as written on published magazine or documentary video. The majestic nature can be never merely explained by depicted figures but all of the thing is the sense of exploration. Or perhaps, in addition, Anggun's Je Partirai (in Frace) song is too much heart blowing as its lyrics seems so inspiring, to have a journey around the world and going back with contenting stories. I was fortunate, I guess, as my pal texted me two months ago informing me a trip organized by BackPacker Indonesia (BPI) to Krakatau. I told him before since I was just too much curious about this attention-cheating site. Two months later thing has happened with myriad of inspirations as I am telling you here.

I pull off stuffs inside my dully greenish backpack: rayban, goggles, swimming clothes, etc. and zip them off. Meeting my pal in front of the campus and then departing to bus station where we have to head off to BPI traveler meeting point at Pelabuhan Merak (harbor) at the horn of westernmost Java island. It is almost 3 hours from Bogor to Merak after passing crazy traffic jam at office break hours, it is 11 pm we arrive. Out of my prediction, total of traveler has reached 80 or perhaps more. I don't count them all at exact amount. Most of them are full time worker in capital greater Jakarta as we depart on Friday night, at mid night for sure. I just so understand how working life sometimes is so frustrating or perhaps backpacking is just too  much interesting. Do not ever judge by age, passion is an equivalent supporter. Your young blood could be not working at the moment as you do not move your lazy ass from the desk to have adventure, yet bloody old man could be as young as 17s teen. No wonder you are traveler when your passion to see the world is much bigger than your PC desktop appearing wonderful Google Images.

I prove some of them might be either inspiring traveler or worker in the mean time. But let my guessing disappear, let hold one each other together to have this 3 days adventure. At 2 am (it's already early Saturday) we all after brief introduction conducted by organizer are ready bound for ferry to cross Sunda Strait. With additional fee IDR 10,000 (approx. 1 USD) I and my pal book for an executive cabin, yet in my own measurement it is so average by quality and service. But it is not my concern, I prefer sleeping than judging as tomorrow and on the trip will be full time.

Arrival at 5.30 am at Pelabuhan Bekauhuni (harbor) the ferry drops by to unload both passengers and vehicles. We all gather up in front at parking lot then depart by angkot to breakfast venue, a local house thine. It is drizzle covering up lusty southern Lampung at the time of breakfast. Nothing much to do but immediately approaching Rajabasa, a typical small harbor merely used by local settlement and visitor. But thing begins with nerve-wrecking circumstance. The strait is too wavy today, a contrast to what happened yesterday, one of local says. At first we are not allowed by official person who is on duty to pass through, too dangerous he says. But show must go on. We play with risk but life vest works to endorse. At the final of decision, three vessels agree to board us.

Sebuku island

No question how these vessels break the wave, leaning right to left or jumping up and down. Sometimes when the sea force is too strong, the burst broken on the board and becoming wet. I my self attempt to calm down even though the wave does not chill out. An hour later we anchor in Sebuku island, amazing white sand all through the shoreline with clean turquoise shallow water bank at fringe. Taking photos and deep relieving breath for awhile. Next challenge is coming up.

Sebuku island

Sebuku island

As all of us onboard, we head off to Sabesi island, where our hosting place located an hour from here. Nothing more heart-triggering than the way of heading to Sabesi, the wave becomes more forceful. I and a new fellow group suddenly turns into silent when the vessel struggles passing challenging sea. Powerful wave by geographical condition origins from open Hindia Ocean in the southwestern bank, the wind triggers pace of sea becoming curly. At least I learnt little bit from Fundamental Oceanography class two years ago.

Sabesi island

It is so much relieved when we safely approach the pier of hosting island. We are encouraged to fast preparing for lunch before another optional trip to a small island nearby (I forget the name). I meet another group traveler from "Kakikukakukaku" and a group of seemingly Russian backpacker. I prefer to opt staying at sharing house than taking subsequent voyage due to tiredness fro sunset. My and some others choice is not bad, the sunset is not clear due to overcasting. However, at night we have barbecue party and sleep tight for few hours since tomorrow at 2 am we will have departed to another islands.

I managed to refresh my fitness as second day trip start just at very early morning or so late midnight. We have been onboard as engine works combusting fuel. Navigated scattering crystal stars above on clear sky, we all head to (Anak) Krakatau located. Almost two hours the vessels pass through wavy sea, fortunately some people are too tired so they decide to continue sleeping instead of playing with their nerve. I become more accustomed, frankly I get this trip is so worthwhile for the challenge.

Hiking (Anak) Krakatau

Once the vessels cease to haul, all of us unload the boat. Stepping on the island for first time is so overwhelmed for me as it looks like a forest instead of a deadly mountain as depicted on internet. Well, let me think awhile, there must be primary succession has just been occurring. My guess is right. Few meters ahead there is square billboard informing the biological change after eruption. A notice, for well renowned in 1883 Mount Krakatau had changed the geographical condition until present day. Some evidence and written source in Dutch have revealed how deadly it erupted which also caused tsunami.

As we climb upward, it looks totally different. Uprising mountain just at the corner and we hike onto highest yet safest point. The slope is 45 degree in average. Our spirit is too forceful as some of travelers here are also mountain hiker. Two of our members are children at 4-5 years old and another two are married grandpa and grandpa who turn out these kids ancestor. A family member is making reunion here. We take some photos here and trying the best for the best sunrise. It is such a wonderful view at height. The sulphurous fog blows from top of the mountain behind. For almost two hours we are at the top point.

Krakatau Kitjil island

We descend carefully to harbor right down there. I meet another group travelers including foreigners. We have breakfast before subsequently heading off to Rakata island, the origin of chained surrounding mountains in the past. It takes only 15 minutes to reach another beautiful snorkeling spot. All of us immediately prepare for snorkeling stuffs and submerging down there. I just do love doing this igniting my burning skin. I really enjoy the fascinating undersea. It is just too awesome. I and smaller group members play hide-and-seek amongst scattering traveler from these three vessels. 

The command to return onboard announced when the sun at its highest yet hottest horizon. We return to Sabesi island for lunch and preparing stuffs going back to Rajabasa. Fortunately our last day here the weather is nice even though the wave still works but not as harder as yesterday. At 3 pm we pack our stuffs and going back.

Then 2 hours later the vessels have arrived approaching log made pier. It's kinda tiring but lot of joy. Meeting new friends, experiencing new nerve, exploring new place. We subsequently depart to Bekauhuni harbor by angkot, an hour long. I am so much surprised when I know the ferry we are going to go by is the biggest I ever drop. I and my new fellows order for flat bed class as we plan to play UNO. Lot of laughs at the night of our return. I have found a new friendship here. Hope I would meet them again someday.

All those series of short (weekend) trip are even bigger in the meaning than the length of its time. It has given me accounts to me myself having another conclusion. I, as not having many experience as that of other travelers, have realized the growth of traveling within this country is remarkable. Willingness to travel, to look new places, to become more aware the potential of their own nation is just emerging. It is not initiated nor created by government or official institution but the own sense of most of us, the grassroots. Calculating these scattering islands alone seems never ending, official says it's around 17,000 but who knows the dynamics of geological condition might break the existing report everyday. Its dynamic is as easy as of most people I meet here to make new friends in the very short time. I notice something they are very welcome and always smile to new people, foreigners or local is just the same. I have to admit, I become more addicted to travel within this never ending nation where west to east is as long as Europe continent alone. Just too much curious another hidden beautiful spots tell me another story. Someday :)

2 Response to Backpacking To Krakatau

April 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM

It will take more that one lifetime to discover every wonderful spot in the archipelago. But you're obviously well on your way :).

By the way: Krakatau is an active volcano, isn't it? So this was a tricky as well as a fascinating trip actually. Right?

May 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM

You're right, it's still active, but at present it's still safe to visit :)

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