Summary: It is about decision making, to keep safe, to keep friends, to go home together. It is the attitude in the altitude.
Our waiting moment accompanied by firecrackers sound that began to burst under, precisely in the residential area. Eid night has begun. It seems the people down there spending this night in a more normal way, hanging out with family, enjoying noisy firecrackers burst and phosphorescence, or spend the night with hot tea and chat. We were far away from the noise and our chat was not accompanied by hot tea. Bai was maybe more than that. Alone in the back there, even he may not have any chat. I felt guilty for leaving him too far. But when our distance is started to closer, Bai would immediately ask me to go on. His tone seemed imply he wanting not too eagerly waited. Once I waited him alone, hoping we could find Polin and Stefanus together, but it cannot last long as other voices began to task me in the dark. I heard monkeys buzz, sounds like a tiger growl, and finally ones snoring. That is why I was too eager to find Stefanus and Polin and unknowingly left Bai far. When I found Stefanus and Polin, I question them whether they heard or not what I have heard when passing the track. Yes, said them, but not to for the snoring. Maybe that is just my imagination as Polin said. Maybe.
Fifteen minutes passed, Bai voice is began heard. Rarely his headlamp ray seemed moving behind the foliage. Bai was keep moving, keep strong, and I hopefully he is fine. It took an extra five minutes until he could arrive at the place we were, twenty meters away from his standing spot, twenty meters angled sloping nearly forty degrees. Bai confronts us with gasping breath more than I’ve ever seen from him before. He didn’t immediately sit down. He just stood up, looked down occasionally catch his breath. Three of us do not ask any questions to him, until his disjointed sentence ends. His sentence contains suggestions for three of us hiking down first and left him who prefer to continue the trip tomorrow. He thought it best to rest his feet and body to night in this place. Polin, Stefanus and I was confused. Previously this idea have been voiced by me to Stefanus and Polin that this team adds one more night to spend in this mount, Cereme, but they answered me that our water was not enough for four people living in this mountain until tomorrow morning. There’s no way I suggested this amateur idea for the second time. The answer would be the same. The total of water available is less than 500ml, while drinks in our bottles are each half. It is not enough, there’s correctly not enough for such an ascent themed not survival. While thinking the best option, I listen Stefanus and Polin trying to persuade Bai to change his mind.
We continue our step down. Above, we leave the rest of our water, two packs of instant noodles, cooking-set, first aid bag, camp tools, and a long blade to accompany Bai spending this night and probably his first Eid tomorrow. Along the track I kept thinking whether we have doing is correct or not, leaving alone ones whose leg was abrasions in the woods, spending night in an altitude of 1750 MASL with a half-liter of water. I remember that statement ‘when venturing into the wild takes a minimum of four people. If ones have injured, someone else will accompany him and the remaining two seeking for help’. It’s the theory I have learned from them. But, why is today we did a different practice? What are blisters or abrasions on the sole of foot not including to the injury in the theory? Theory is often broken by events on sight. I’m so confused. I worry our having done something wrong. Once, I try to transmit my anxiety to Polin, but unsuccessful. “Bai has done the right thing. It would be more worried if four of us had to spend this night there with minimal supplies. And, it’s terrible if we continues hike down next day with no intake at all. Bai will be fine. We will wait him at down there and return to Jatinangor together tomorrow “, said Polin completely clear and convincing. I’m speechless. If there had to be one of us who should accompany Bai, I think the guy was definitely not me. I have yet large enough courage to face such conditions like that. Especially, for the various sounds up there, I do not want to hear it again.
We passed four post again, Pangalap – 1650 MASL, Kuburan – Kuda 1450 MASL, Condang Amis – 1250 MASL, and Leuweng Datar – 1150 MASL until finally arriving at the start point, Linggarjati post. Here is where we finally find water, in the altitude of 850 MASL. We celebrate the discovery of the water by brewing three sachets of milk and boiling two packs of instant noodles. After an instant meal-drink, we wash our face, feet, and teeth before leaving this water flow. We continue walk along the settlement until finally deciding where we would vagrancy tonight. Terrace of The Auditorium Museum Linggarjati be the most fitting shelter until tomorrow. It was past midnight when we lie down in the terrace of this nation’s historical legacy, roofed skies, with bare mattress.
Happy Eid. Morning till in Linggarjati decorated people shake hand one another. We were awakened by a suspicious face of each person who passes the street in front of the building where we were homeless. We did not care about them and their mind of us. We still have to wait Bai. After a couple of times sending a short messages, a reply of Bai finally came. Bai was already waiting for us in Cilimus, twenty-minute car riding from Linggarjati. We saw his face get younger. Perhaps his problems were finished or rather considered solved. After the meeting there we went straight to the bus to go home. We have arrived at eleven o’clock in jatinagor, ending the trip, fatigue, and longing to the mattress. Our gratitude all fine.
Thanks to Polin and Baihaqi for supporting me to write this experience.
link of dramatization: