Right on valentine’s day in 2014, people of Indonesia is shocked by the eruption of Mount Kelud. As I am writing this, the disaster has killed 3 people while also forced authorities to shut down some airports and evacuate more than 100.000 people as the ash has blanket most part of Java, Indonesia’s most populous island.
It was just a week before when The Eruption Mount Sinabung, another Indonesian volcano, made its way to appear in local newspaper headline for the tragedy it caused.
This morning, as I am planning my trip to Pahawang Island next week, it was reported that Mount Krakatoa, which located very close to Pahawang, is actively quaking. The earthquake has happened more than 200 times in last few days even though a sign of eruption has not found.
It is not the possibility of cancelling my trip to Pahawang that disturb me the most. What disturb me the most is that this continuous disaster has started to make people scared to travel to Indonesia, forgetting all the beauty it is usually more famous for.
I believe, many of you would think about that massive catastrophe happened more than a hundred years ago when you heard about Mount Krakatoa. For the love to Indonesian nature and for the travellorgasm I felt when I travelled to Mount Krakatoa, I write this article so that one day when Indonesian Ring of Fire has calmed down again, you would want to visit Mount Krakatoa and other parts of Indonesia again. Hence you could get the idea why I love those adventure so much. It is a beauty, not a threat!
Going to Krakatoa from Jakarta is easy. You would need to drive or ride a bus to Merak Seaport and take a ferry crossing Sunda Strait to Bakauhuni Port. From Bakauhuni, take a local transport to Canti Jetty and take a boat to Sebesi Island. People usually stay a night at Sebesi Island and leave to Mount Krakatoa the next morning.
Warning: The sea current from Sebesi Island to Krakatoa could be very strong. It will shake your boat furiously and very sickening. Don’t sit on the deck, stay inside the boat cabin! There is a very good chance of you would be thrown out to sea if you sit on the deck because of its turbulence.
One more time, I remind you Krakatoa is not as dangerous as it used to be. Yes, it is an active volcano. But the explosive power is relatively small and is not comparable to the old Krakatoa. In fact, the mountain is now called Anak Krakatau (The Child of Krakatoa) because it is not very tall. Which means, trekking to the top is relatively short and easy.
You will be welcomed by the black sand in the shore of Krakatoa island. All along the island, the soil will look the same black and the same hot.
From the beach, you will be guided by a ranger to start trekking to the top of the mountain. Firstly, you will need to go to the island center, about 30 minutes walking.
From the middle of the island where you could see the mountain top, rest your feet for a while and then start making your way to the top. Trust me it is farther than it looks. With the very hot temperature beneath your feet and the heat from the sun, it is actually a bit exhausting to get to the top. The land has about 45% elevation and it is very slippery because theoretically we are walking on the crumbly sand. If you stepped your foot 60 cm to the front, the sand would suck your feet 30 cm back because of its texture. In a way, we need to walk twice the distance we should. Aside from the melting temperature and the annoyingly slippery soil, the road is relatively easy. You don’t need a special shoe, a normal mountain sandal will do.
I believe some of you has started to question where the magical part of Mount Krakatoa that gets me the feeling of travellorgasm is. The answer is inside this quote by Yvonne Woon:
“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.”
Yes. You have to look the scenery behind you when you are walking the path to Mount Krakatoa top. I did that after about 30 minutes walking. The moment when I turned my head to the back was the moment when I get a goosebump from my head, down to my toe. It was the magnificent view of the blue ocean combined with the perfect formation of Small Rakata Island and Big Rakata Island at the horizon of my eyes. This is beautified by the elevating landscape on my left and right side. Far down from where I was, it was people walking up the same path I just passed. Combined together, everything makes a perfect painting of adventure in my mind. Like a postcard but with people inside it, is alive and walking. Ah! Such a beauty of The Scary Krakatoa! I intentionally do not post that amazing scenery on this article just so you could feel it yourself if you ever visited Krakatoa. You know, just like watching a good movie without watching the trailer first.
On the top of Krakatoa you have just 2 things to do. First, sit down, turn your head 360 degrees, and enjoy the scenery.
Second, take photographs! You may want to take a creative one like wearing your graduation gown or take a romantic shot like my friends did.
What else can we do in Krakatoa?
Islands and ocean in Krakatoa is good place for Snorkelling and beach adventuring. Just wear your snorkel and jump down to the crystal clear water! Don’t miss the sunset as well.
As the final words, I want to invite you to pray together for the safety of Indonesia. While all the media now publishing the story of the fierce volcano eruption, I want to remind you as well that volcano is not always a monster. It could as well be a place to make memories with friends when it calms. Let’s pray this disaster will come to an end soon so we can once again enjoy Indonesia’s nature. It is a beauty, not a threat!