After our second night in Bandung we left the city to go see another volcano: Papandayan. It was a pretty long drive, Papandayan is closer the city Garut than to Bandung. Earlier on the trip Bambang had told us it was possible to camp on the volcano to catch the sunrise from the mountain the next morning. This wasn’t part of the original tour which had suggested to stay the night in Garut, but we thought camping sounded great and decided to look into it when we reached the volcano.
The drive up the mountain was beautiful and we stopped at one place to take photos of the rice fields.
We got up as far as the car would take us, to this little office where you could hire a guide for the mountain.
Bambang helped us get a good deal for a guide + camping gear and food for the whole trip. We had to wait here for a couple of hours while one of the guys working there drove down to pick up the supplies. When he returned another guy drove the camping gear on his bike to the camping place up the mountain while we set off with our guide for the hike up. We quickly reached the first crater.
The rest of the walk took a couple of hours. It was occasionally pretty hard but I really enjoyed it.
At one point we could look back the way we’d come and see all the way down to the first crater we stopped at.
When we reached the camping grounds our tent was already setup for us. There were a few other tents there, maybe 15 people in total were camping that night. We went in to have a rest and as soon as we did it started pouring down outside. Overall we were very lucky with the weather throughout the week. As soon as we entered the car or a building (or in this case a tent) it would start raining, but then when we were going to do something outside again it would stop.
When it got dark outside we joined our guide, Bambang and some other Indonesian men at the fire which they had made under some shelter. There was a little mosque prayer house thingy (not sure if this is a mosque or prayer room or something else?) next to it. Our guide used it as shelter to cook for us while some of the other men went inside to pray. We had dinner, only instant noodles, which are actually are pretty common in Indonesia (and a bit tastier than home). Not the best dinner but we were hungry and ate a lot.
We went to bed early to be able to wake up at 5am to watch the sunrise. The night was very cold, we had been told it would be around 10 degrees at night, and the ground was hard to sleep on even with the sleeping mats we were given. We didn’t get much sleep at all and got up just after 5am and walked five minuted to a spot where we’d be able to see the sunrise. Unfortunately it was still pretty cloudy, though the view wasn’t too bad.
After the sunrise we had more noodles for breakfast and then we trekked down the the death valley, or something similar, where an eruption had killed all the trees (with heat and ash if I remember correctly) and left the environment looking very eerie.
After the death valley we reached another crater, I can’t remember what this one was called. We walked in the crater and were told to be careful and follow the guide, in certain places the ground could break into the hot water underneath.
After this crater we headed back down to the starting point. We said our thank yous, took some photos with Indonesians and headed off again. As we entered the car it started raining again which was fine; we had a nine hour drive ahead of us to the Dieng Plateau.