It was a mild day in January, I had this vision to achieve my long-postponed goal : Conquering Paguci. A mountain range in Garut regency, West Java. Papandayan-Guntur-Cikuray, the holy trinity that attract thousand hikers every year to come and enjoy the beauty that they have to offer. It’s very popular among hikers in Indonesia, there’s so many stories written, so I’m just gonna go with my perspective in exploring the trinity.
I started off my Paguci Journey with Papandayan. I didn’t have specific reason why I choosed Papandayan as my first destination. Probably because Papandayan is the first elements of Paguci abbreviation, so I just felt like I had to go there first besides I wanted my journey to be more organized. I decided to go with my #JakartaTraveller friends, joined last minute (as always). Packed my bags and I was ready to go.
We gathered at meeting point Terminal Kampung Rambutan as they told me we had to be there at 9 PM. Terminal Kampung Rambutan I think is the most popular for those who want to go to Garut. It’s the most accessible check point to find bus to Garut, and the bus is always available within interval of 1 hour. Not sure about 24 hours bus operation, but we might catch a bus at 1 AM.
We got on the bus at 1 AM, we’re supposed to go at 9 PM. I know but it’s kinda hard to be on time, knowing it’s Friday, the traffic was crazy and the only thing could save you is teleporting which isn’t even possible. It rained during our trip and I was so nervous that it would rain in Papandayan. It took 5 hours to get to Terminal Garut. And we took a rest before continuing our ride to Basecamp David, the gate of Papandayan Mountain.
We arrived at Basecamp David around 7 AM. I was so sleepy, because I didn’t have proper sleep last night on the bus. We actually hired a car twice to get here, one from Terminal Garut to Cisurupan where we had breakfast, and then pickup truck from Cisurupan to Basecamp David.
We started hiking at 8 AM. The trail started off with rocky and pretty much lean paths. And you will find the cliff scenery on the right and smokey crater in front of you. Watch out your steps as you approached the crater area because you don’t want to fall to it.
The sulfur crater was not really smelly, so I didn’t wear a mask because I thought it’s tolerable. But if you have some issue with it, you should wear mask.
We had a break after passing the crater area. So many Warung that sell snacks and drinks there. You can buy Pop Mie, gorengan, hot drink, cold drink, you name it. I decided not to eat anything, long way to go bruh, you know I had to make sure my stomach was okay until I reached a settled place.
We continued our trekking to second check point Hoberhoet. Some of the original trail was damaged due to landslide, but they opened new track and it’s steeper and it could be slippery at some points.
Trail from crater area to Hoberhoet is where you can see the greener part of Papandayan.
After 3 hours of walk, we arrived at Hoberhoet. In here you have to prepare your ticket, there will be someone who check your ticket. There’s actually a split in the trail going to different direction, if you turn left from Pos 2 you will reach Pondok Salada which later would be our camping ground. And if you go straight you will go to Pengalengan via Tegal Panjang (which I’m curious about it because everyone who have been there told me it’s stunning and beautiful, I have to arrange to get there someday !).
Finally after 4 hours walk, we reached Pondok Salada. This place is common for people to build their tents and stay overnight in Papandayan. The area is quite large, I think it’s up for 100 tents or more (I’m just guessing lol). We took a rest, and tent was already built because parts of our crew arrived earlier before us. Thanks to them. We ate to bring our energy back. The food was good, or it’s just me that was hungry ha! Thanks to them once again. It hasn’t dark yet and I wanted to go to my next destination, Hutan Mati.
We rushed to Hutan Mati because we didn’t want to go back late and walk in the dark. It’s apparently a 15 minutes walk from where our camp were. And the view was funtastic. The sun wasn’t at the best, but I was pretty much satisfied capturing surrounding because it’s not too cloudy. I could still see the dead trees.
The dusk was falling and we got back to the camp. We spent the night playing this game called ‘Werewolves’, a game where you accuse your friends as the villain. After 3 games and always accused the wrong person lol, we got on our tent to sleep. Yeah finally proper sleep.
In the morning we headed to Tegal Alun, the must-visited spot in Papandayan. You can find so many edelweiss here, the eternal flowers. I didn’t get to see the one when I did trakking in Gunung Gede so I felt like I had to go in Papandayan. It took 1 hour to get there from Pondok Salada, we walked the same route as Hutan Mati and turn right continue to steeper trail to Tegal Alun.
Unfortunately the rain began falling as we reached Tegal Alun. My friend told me it was more beautiful if the sky is clear, you can see the cliffs and hills around the area. But the sky was clear for once, and I captured it at the brightest. Let me just be happy with that he!
Papandayan for me is the most relaxed trekking I’ve ever done. I would usually be heavily sweaty, and take so many breaks just to catch a breath. but it’s different for Papandayan. I’m not saying it’s the easiest, but I think if you’re not used to hiking, and you really want to have hiking experience then Papandayan could be your starter.
I think Papandayan is also the most organized mountain I’ve ever been. You can find Warung easily, just in case you’re hungry and the food is not ready, you can simply buy snacks there. And also my favorite, they have the best toilets! Ha I know, I’m actually a very prepared person so everytime I go hiking I always bring wet tissues. But when I was in Papandayan I don’t think it’s useful XD.
The positive thing is you rarely find trashes here. It’s so organized that whoever manage is aware about the cleanliness, how trash can polute nature. So it’s okay for me to pay extra cost for cleanliness, if it’s really done well. So after the experience of me hiking Papandayan, will I go back? Sure! I’m still curious about Tegal Panjang, and yeah someday I will go there. But before I have to unlock my next Paguci destination : Guntur ! XD
Album Papandayan 01/2016 Complete album click here