Above The Clouds : A Memoir

Muhamad Iqbal Hermansyah
180410160099

The final semester exam was over, that day in July, my friends and I planned ahead to climb to mount Tanggamus, Lampung. Mount Tanggamus is the second highest mountain in my province. The five of us consist of me, Adi, Rio, Panji, and Aji prepared to make the climb during the day. We had prepared supplies carefully. The heat of the sun did not dampen our intention to reach the highest peak of Mount Tanggamus. By riding on an L-300 car that was owned by a person whom we met on the way to reach the climbing point, we had imagined that we would stand next to white clouds, watching from a height looked at my birthplace land, but we realized that it was not an easy thing. And sure enough, at the beginning of the trip point, we had met a hurdle in the form of a steep road full of rocks that had made some of us injured.

In the beginning of the trip was really memorable. Our eyes were pampered with the beauty of wildflowers, wild animals in the forest, and seeing houses that look very small from a distance. The sweet voice of the birds and the cool air from the shade of the trees covered our climbing steps, thus making a step that felt heavy and fatigue became noticeable.

The sun began to shift westward. The cold atmosphere began to penetrate the skin, the journey was still halfway again, but fatigue and hunger began to force us to stop briefly at post 3. I opened my meal which contained of a piece of bread with peanut butter, while other friends preferred to drink. About an hour or so we rested to restore energy to continue the journey to the summit.

In the middle of the trip, our steps stopped when we did not walk along the rope directions. Yeah right, we got lost at that time. We immediately cried at that moment, but we realized that crying would not solve the problem. We did various ways and efforts to find a way. Starting from shouting till contacting via cellphone to the closest person to find our whereabouts. But we forgot that it was in the forest that could not receive phone signal.

The heavy rain made the road almost impossible for us to go through. Our decision to open a new road by cutting down the bushes in front of us was the only solution to get there. The sound of wild animals made our guts even less, made me think whether I would be still alive tomorrow, or die silly torn by wild animals in this wilderness. There was not a single group of other climbers we met in this place. There was no sound of reproach over our help, but there was the sound of a black crow flying over a large tree. ‘’ Please … help us here! ’. I shouted loudly. ‘Let’s all scream together! ‘. I added to invite all of us to shout. But our voices were not able to split the silence and the vastness of the wilderness.

At that time, we tried to keep going upstairs. I felt my body’s inability to walk again, everything felt heavy, it’s all like a dream. The temperature of almost 0 degrees Celsius paralyzed my steps and friends.

When it shows at 10:00 p.m., the heavy rain still accompanied our journey. With limited lighting that only relied on one small flashlight, making peak travel almost impossible to achieve. I thought that morning would come soon, hoping that tomorrow someone would find us here. The difficulty finally came to an end after we found the rope that had been lost. Instantly we all smiled happily, grateful for the prayers granted. We started down and followed the instructions we found, but in the middle of the trip, a python tackled the small road we were about to pass. The snake wrapped its body around a wading tree

In the middle of the trip, our steps stopped when unwittingly I and my friends did not walk along the rope directions. Yeah right, we got lost at that time. Immediately, we all cried at that moment, but we realized that crying would not solve the problem. We had done various ways and efforts to find a way. Starting from shouting to contacting via cellphone to the closest person to find our whereabouts. But we forget that it is currently in the forest that does not allow telephone networks.

When it shows at 10:00 p.m. the heavy rain still accompanies our journey. With limited lighting that only relies on one small flashlight, making peak travel almost impossible to achieve. I thought that morning would come soon, hoping that tomorrow someone would find us here. The difficulty finally came to an end after we found the rope that had been lost. Instantly we all smiled happily, grateful for the prayers granted. We started down and followed the instructions we found, but in the middle of the trip, a python tackled the small road we were about to pass. The snake wraped its body in a tree that dangles down. None of us had experience with wild animals. With makeshift equipment, we got rid of the snake by pulling it with a wooden stick. Then we continued the trip. The hint rope finally ended, in a moment we would arrived at the highest peak.

The flagpole showed that we were at the highest peak in the province which had the title of "sang bumi ruwa jurai". As soon as possible we ran towards the flat ground to set up a tent. While some of our friends were looking for dried firewood for campfires and preparing dinner. I was in charge of making fireplaces and cooking the instant noodles we brought earlier.

I saw the temperature on my cellphone reaches 0 degrees Celsius. The cold was a new enemy for us at that time. The fire was the only helper for all of us, considering the clothes and everything we brought was all wet. But we were all happy, hugging each other tightly, and singing together while enjoying hot coffee and instant noodles. The smelled of famous robusta coffe in our province really warmed the body. The climbing story that we experienced earlier seemed to be the main topic in our joke discussion at that time. They mocked each other, but it was only a symbol to warm up the atmosphere because that was a very cold night.

The night view was extraordinary, the stars were clearly visible because the heavy rain that had washed over us had subsided before we arrived at the summit. My eyes could not fall asleep, I won’t let this rare opportunity be missed at all. It was the opportunity to see the reflection of the moon’s light and stars through the white clouds below, sometimes, I watched in amazement the fallen stars, at that moment I prayed. In my prayer, I begged God,

"God, keep this friendship forever"

photo by : Muhamad Iqbal Hermansyah

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