Morning came, the sun rose, for a change the sky was clear. After a quick breakfast and coffee, we broke camp. The plan was to use the older route and get to Ranu Pane by noon. The older route goes through the savannah, up a steep climb, and down the other side through the fields which are cultivated by the local farmers.
The first section involved skirting around the lake, and then out in the savannah. It was beautiful and I was glad we took this section. At least there was a beautiful view, and as we made our way up the hill, we could see fellow trekkers below us as tiny ants.
By the time we made it up to the ridge, I was drenched in sweat and thirsty. All I wanted to do was finish the damn trek. My mood brightened when I heard the sound of motorbiked in the distance. I thought I would hitch a ride from one of the farmers and pay him a tip. This is where the Indonesians are at their enterprising best 🙂 It seems as if they wait all day for such an opportunity. There they were happily smoking and idling their time away. When we asked them if they could drop us at Ranu Pane, they readily offered to do so. For USD 20. Its not as it I was asking them to take me to the other side of earth. It was probably less than 4-5 kms away and I could easily have covered that distance in an hour or less. They just sense an opportunity and go for the kill – all or nothing. If they had charged me USD5, I would have gladly taken up their offer, and it would have been a win-win for both the parties. Never mind. I got pissed off, even more. I decided I would walk the distance.
Finished the trek, showered, had some lunch and it was time to repack our stuff and hit the road.
We returned to Surabaya by night, stopped somewhere for dinner. Found a hotel near the airport. The hotel was a dump. Paid up whatever charges Sony came up with in his calculations. I was in no mood to even talk. All I wanted to do was shower and hit the bed. I had an early morning flight to catch.
And thus ended my Semeru adventure. The highest volcano in Java. One more off the list.
Until the itch would begin, to climb Gunung Lawu…