Gede - Pangrango National Park

     Six years ago, I fell in love with the view from a mountain. I haven't found anything that beats the view from way up. All the sweat, the lactic acid burning in your thighs, the cramps, the below-average food become nothing but faded memories once you reach the peak. The charm and grandeur of successfully being able to peak a mountain is something everyone should experience. 


     Failing the last two years, I promised myself to hike up a mountain this summer. After weeks of begging my cousins to go with me, we finally found a weekend to do so. We decided to hike up one of Indonesia's many stratovolcanos, Mount Gede (2958m). The return journey took one night and two days. After hiking through farmlands and forests, we camped at valley Surya Kencana. Home to the beautiful, and now heavily protected, Javanese Edelweiss (Anaphalis javanica), the valley is also a spiritual and mystical site locals go on a pilgrimage to. There was an eerie vibe to the mountain. Imprudent and overbearing hikers would often lose their path as they get played by spirits that inhabit these lands. Being humble and respecting the environment is the key to safely getting up there and back.