Bogor and a muddy mountain trail

We didn’t stay long in Indonesia’s capital. We reached Bogor, sixty kilometres south, and relief at being away from Jakarta’s congestion washed over us in more ways than one. A guide approached as we left the markets and soon convinced us to visit Mt Salak the following day.

We left Bogor and drove past rice paddy fields before climbing higher until we reached the trail. Drizzling rain should have warned me, but there was something about volcanoes I couldn’t resist, though this hike just about cured me. It wasn’t the distance we plodded up the mountain, but the soggy conditions. We covered the cemented part of the trail with ease, but after rain, the remainder of the path was muddy. I wasn’t impressed each time I sank into the quagmire. At one point my shoe came off in the muck and I felt around with my toes to retrieve the unrecognizable piece of footwear.

We were not the only crazy mountain climbers

But once we reached the sulphur fumes and pockets of boiling pools, my temper evaporated like the gases sailing off the bubbling stream. We explored the creek that was cold in some sections and boiling in other places. Even some of the rocks were too hot to touch because of the heat coming from the volcanic activity beneath us.

The cement trail on our return was a welcomed sight. After the muddy adventure, we had tea at the guide’s father’s house—a treat to visit a local family. My daughter was the centre of attention. I’m not sure if it was Indonesians’ love of children, my daughter’s mature speech, or their curiosity at her appearance because she looked more like them than her mother. She bonded with a friend of the guide whom she wrote to for several years after our encounter.

With sore muscles from the climb, we relaxed the following day before we took the next step on our journey across Java.

2 thoughts on “Bogor and a muddy mountain trail”

  1. I’ve been thinking of going to Mount Salak for quite some time now, but I think I’ll wait until the end of rainy season. It’s nice that you’ve got to visit the guide’s father’s house. Do you remember what they served to you (food or drinks)?

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    1. No, I can’t remember. It was too long ago, but I have other details of the trip because I still had a journal from that time. Perhaps by now, the trail may have been upgraded. I look forward to reading your hike when the time comes.

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