Hi Londoh and Viera, I have set foot on the top of Mount Ciremai. It was tough.
Here is my experience and breakdown of expenses to get up there. In case, someone else may want to do the same thing.
Touch down at Jakarta airport at 10:40. Take awhile for clearance and proceed to take a bus to Gambir station. Tought through, maybe a private car can bring me there faster. The cost is rph180,000. Maybe someone can tell me if it is too expensive. Reached there about 1pm and bought the Cirebon bound train ticket for 40,000 leaving at 13.50. While on the queue, someone actually wanted to sell me a ticket for 100,000. He claimed that all seats are full and will have to stand. That is nonsense shit. Good thing I never fall for it.
The arriving time was pretty accurate as stated on the receipt 16:59. People are very friendly every where. This is just one incident where a lady and then a guy took the initiative to talk to me during my train ride. The lady alighted earlier but the guy go all the way to Cirebon.
Well, I think it is good to show kindness as a Singaporean. Once at Cirebon, I offered him a ride to his home at Kuningan along my way to Linggajati at the foot of the Mount Ciremai. That cost me another 80,000. Maybe someone can tell me if it is expensive. Arrived at about 18:00.
I don't know if I have to pay or not to pay inorder to trek the mountain. Anyway, there is a ticketing booth that I paid 3500. Still very cheap to me. Just beside this booth. There is this family + provision shop kind of business which also sells a meal. Had a good meal for about 7000 I think. While I was eating and chatting with this man of this family, he told me that he had friends who can offer as guides and even carry my luggage up the mountain for 200,000 (per guide). Good deal! And I had one guide.
Got myself stock up and there we begin a treacherous upward journey at 7.00pm at total darkness with only torchlights and a pro guide to bring me up there. Man, this journey is no joke. I think I took about 11 hours to go up to the peak and another 10 hours to get down. No sleeping except ocassional little naps. When I was down, I was totally flatten.
The view and feeling up there was great just as being at the foot of the mountain was great too. Up there I was surrounded by clouds, the air temperature was really cool and I was with this crater. No more hustling by sellers pushing their wares like I was at Tangkuban Perahu
The sound of the wind was great as I was down resting at a banana plantation near the foot of the mountain. I was looking up at the gathering of clouds on top of the mountain and at the same time enjoying the occasional wind that swept down with a fabulous sound "whooooo.....wooooo....sssshhhhhhhhh...............
Time to move further down. Wow...I was treated with bananas and pure mountain spring water by two guys who actually catch birds at the mountain and then sell them. One was a 17yrs old guy who caught two birds and the other guy about 30+ was an one arm guy due to an accident at New Guinea. When I am really down, it is about 3 - 4 pm
The older guy actually had a house at the village just below the mountain. He willingly accept my request to go over to his house to take a shower and rest a while before I move on again. Not slept at all and wasn't feeling sleepy. I think it is a miracle beverage that I took with me all the way up to the mountain. It is an organic powder which i took intensively. No other solid food or energy drink. Amazing isn't it. Anyone may want to check it out at www.melilea.com
I had one of my coldest mountain spring water bath in my life. Great! I guess every house here had a small cement enclosement to contain the free spring water. This guy even had a fish inside it. I was bathing fish water!
Once done, I was offered a cup of hot tea. Of course, I did not take things for granted. I gave some money and cigarettes to both of them. Later I insisted that they follow me to the bus station where I take a bus to Bandung where I will buy them a dinner. They could not turn down my persistent request. At about 5pm I was told that no taxi will come to this village after 5pm. So I immediately hurried off with them to the bus station. Of course, I paid for their going and back transport fare.
The next Bandung bound bus leaves at 6pm. So there is still time to have dinner nearby. Since I don't know about the area well. I let the older guy point to the place to eat. Great mistake. Man, I have never eaten food that have so many houseflies. Not one or two but at least 20 over houseflies were flying around the food where we ordered ours. I said grace and good thing I am fine.
I parted with them when I board for the bus. Still couldn't sleep. The sky was eventually getting darker and I got no more things to see and eventually doze off as the bus drove along. Can't remember how long I slept. Slowly with my sleepy eyes opened, I saw people getting down the bus. I thought I have arrived at Bandung. Then to my great rejoicing, just beside the window which I sat I saw Tahu!!! i am at Sumedang. No time to wait, dashed down the bus, still with my eyes halve opened, I signaled to the seller that I wanted 15 tahu since I can't communicate their language. I was given a basket to contain them. That cost me 16,000. I guess 1 tahu cost 1000 and the basket cost 1000. If only they can keep the basket and give me 1 more tahu, I will be very happy. The tahu is truly fantastic, they come with green chilli padi. Yummmmmy......!!!!
Eating the tahu with chilli kept me awake. And God, the way I see the ride was quite dangerous. To a point I tried to force myself to sleep so as not to see further. But how to sleep when my mouth was burning full with the chilli padi? So I look on with my heart beating faster than normal throughout the journey.
Finally reached Bandung bus station. A guy came to pitch his service to drive me to anywhere. After some bargaining, we concluded at 35,000(excuse oil prices increased. I admitted that I am not a good bargainer.) I asked him to bring me to a budget hotel near alun alun, cheaper the better. So that the next morning I can conveniently walk over alun alun for shopping. Can't remember what is the hotel name but it is somewhere at Jln Lengkong. Really cheap hotel with no aircon but comes with mosquitoes in the room.
In the room, took another cold shower (no heater). I was instantly mob by two mosquitoes one big another smaller. I was in a stand off situation so as to nab them. It was then about 1am that I doze off. I lost. So free blood drinks for these two little pals.
Suddenly, I was awoken by a loud hailer with words that I can't understand. But I did catch the word allah..... And I say what? at 4 am? It must be my power beverage taking effect again. I can't sleep and decided to take a walk outside. I was surprised to seed kids playing soccer at the main road. There was even these group of kids that light up a ball into fire and start kicking around. No such thing in Singapore. I found out later that it was the first day of ramadan.
Continued walking to Asia Afika street and then Braga and eventually got lost but managed to find my way back. On my way back, I saw this hotel called hotel Lengkong which comes with aircon, price not expensive. Sharks, should have stayed in it. The way I accessed it is about 1 star? And as for this hotel I stayed? I called it fallen star.
I start to feel slightly hungry again at about 6.30 am. They have room service and I ordered nasi goreng. Turned on the tv and i saw this gorgeous young lady sports presenter. Yummy nasi and beautiful girl smiling and talking to me : ) That is because I can't understand a word of what she spoke ; )
After the food, I think this time my sleepiness kick in real hard. But before I knocked out I realized there are new vampire pals in my room again. Free blood drinks to them again.
I awoked this time and realized that it is 12.30pm. Straight away I head to Alun Alun. My best shopping place. So much cheaper than those Factory Outlets at Dago area. Over here is cheap and good. Nowhere else except at this place I found Levi's jeans and jacket that looked perfect to me selling at a fraction of the retail price.
Well, that's all folks......enough written. And if you have read from the beginning till here, I thank you.
Surely I will visit Cirebon again! Fond memories of people and places.
I missed Indonesia.
My regards to all.