Volcano Trekking @ Gunung Inerie – Flores

 
  • Written by:  Heinz von Holzen
  • Date Posted:  October 11th, 2011
  • Category:  Flores
  • Comments:  No Comments »

Each section offers its own challenges. The first half hour is relatively flat across dry grassland with a solid hard track. Then the next hour leads on a very steep zigzag up a grassy flank where the only obstacles are a lot of smaller rocks. Then follows the very hard slow going section that is seriously challenging even for the experienced hikers, sandy slippery and uncomfortable. Then the final quarter of the trek leads across volcanic landscape at its very best. Trekking @ Gunung Inerie

A most memorable adventure

Gunung EbuloboDefinitely not the longest and most exhausting climb found in Indonesia, but without question one of the most beautiful volcanoes found anywhere. The just over 1000 meters altitude a hiker has to conquer offers everything a real volcano has on offer. Some sections are seriously exhausting, others are exceptionally challenging and  at times very technical. Despite all the exhausting hard work along the route you are continuously rewarded, with views, which are simply stunning throughout the entire excursion. To enjoy the beauty of this mountain to its fullest make certain to be in good physical condition and under no circumstances under estimating the relatively short overall duration of the entire trip. Several sections are rather challenging and it is of great benefit if you have some previous trekking experience. Be honest and ask yourself when last you have seriously exercised strenuously for a solid 6 to 8 hours. If the answer is no, then you better have a good sleep in and marvel at the beauty of this perfectly shaped volcanic cone from the distance and not from the top. Hiking @ Gunung Inerie

Beginning of the volcanic cone, 1307 m, S8 52.189 E120 57.989

FloresIt will take a comfortable 30 minutes to reach the beginning of the actual full contact challenge. The path leads first past several simple bamboo homes and then within a few hundred meters reaches open grassland that will be with you for about ½ of your entire journey. The going is easy on a track that is in good condition offering plenty of solid hold. Trekking @ Gunung Inerie

Up the steep flank towards the rock, 1832 m,  S8 52.557 E120 57.651

The next hour is hard work and a rather monotonous, zigzag up the very steep mountainside. Plenty of mid size loose rocks offer an additional challenge, and keep you alert of where to step. Especially on the way down this section is rather strenuous as you need to judge each and every step to prevent accidental falls. Other wise the ground offers plenty of hold and the steep hill a terrific work out. Hiking @ Gunung Inerie Flores

The halfway rock

FloresThe rock marks the half waypoint of the trail and the point where the adventure really starts to exciting and exhausting. Within a few meters the grounds no longer offers good grip, but becomes very barren, rocky, and is littered with lots of loose gravel making every single step a challenge and potentially hazardous. Trekking @ Gunung Inerie

 

 

 

 

 

FloresThe next 200 meters of altitude offer volcano climbing at its absolute very best. A terrain that is carved by deep ravines on both sides, unstable soil, slippery, rocky and views that are simply breathtaking. For obvious reasons the way up seems to be a lot easier as the return journey. Especially in this tricky section it is a good idea to wear gloves, as falls are simply unavoidable, and falling on your butt on can very quickly cause serious and painful  injuries. There is a bit of spiky scrub here and there that assists with a  little additional hold. This is without doubt the most challenging section that should be conquered within 30 to 45 minutes. Hard work and tricky this section is, but the rewards are plentiful, as the views are simply spectacular, especially when the first lights apear on the horizon.

The final 100 meters

FloresOr 20 minutes before the first summit the going becomes a lot easier and faster, as the surface now consists of solid rock and with it offering a lot better hold. If you are on your way to the top for the sunrise, then the horizon is now painted in a kaleidoscope of colors illuminating the endless mountain ranges in the near and far. Hiking @ Gunung Inerie

The first summit, 2122 m S8 52.680 E120 57.427

FloresThe stop here on the way up should be brief as the sunrise is fast approaching. Spend a little more time here on the way down and enjoy the deep and rugged vent of the volcano.  A quick sip from the water bottle, and you are on your way again to conquer the final ascent to the summit. First you need to trek back down for a short 20 meters before heading up on the northern side of the rim.This final section is very steep and a little tricky requiring additional concentration and care, other wise one can very easily slip and fall a long way down the mountain side.  Several larger rocky steps and unstable surface offer a good challenge to even the experienced hiker. Trekking @ Gunung Inerie

The puncak, 2229 m S8 52.688 E120 57.271

FloresSimply magnificent. A sunrise just as from the textbook and the stunning landscape of the South Eastern corner of Flores make this without questions one of the most beautiful and scenic province of Indonesia. Each and every direction has its own charm. The sunrise to the east, next to Gunung Ebulobo, the coastline in the south and vast mountain ranges to the north are the perfect setting for a most memorable hour on top of the world. Then with every minute, as the sun gets higher the landscape around and below you gets hit with an ever changing aria of colors and lights which clearly distinguishes and separates valleys. Hiking @ Gunung Inerie

FloresFlores

The return journey

FloresYou will descend along the southern side of the crater rim, making this the most difficult 100 meters of the entire trip. Here the mountain is very steep and the trek on relatively solid rock. However there is a lot of loose gravel everywhere making each and every step a rather uncertain procedure. For me it was time to switch to four “wheel” drive. Sit down, hands protected by gloves and slowly I scrambled my way down to the bottom of the crater’s edge, which took a good 15 to 20 minutes. The trek then ascends again for a good 50 meters before returning to the first summit, where you will enjoy some well deserved refreshments while basking in beautiful warm sunshine. Trekking @ Gunung Inerie

FloresThe return journey takes just as long as the hike to the summit, but as on any other mountain I find the way down far more strenuous and exhausting. Especially on Gunung Inerie you have to really mind every single step as the entire path is littered with lots of loose gravel, small rocks from the size of a marble to as big as a football. Exceptional care requires the section that starts about 100 meters below the first summit and ends at the rock. This section is super slippery and mostly offers very little solid grip. Here it is wise to slow down and select each and every step very carefully. This might take a little longer but is well worth it in order to avoid falls and with it injuries.The remainder of the trek is more or less straight forward with the exception of the countless loose stones and small rocks the require lots of extra attention.  By this time it will be mid morning with the sun high up and absolute no shade anywhere  in sight making a good sun protection lotion absolutely essential. Other wise stop frequently stop  and enjoy the terrific views that are exceptional. Trekking @ Gunung Inerie

Hati-Hati Franciscus our Guide

FloresMr. Franciscus our guide which was born in 1966, and with it was years younger then Roman and myself. Despite this fact he looked a little like he could be our father and just as fathers alike was exceptionally concerned about our well-being and safety. Not a minute would pass without him cautioning us to watch out for whatever danger might lurk along the trek.  Hati-Hati in Indonesian meaning “be careful” this  very quickly become the slogan of our journey. Virtually hundreds of times he used this cautioning to warn us from even the smallest obstacle. At times he sang the word, next he imposed with it an order and then he reminded us that one needs to take extra care when waking up in the morning… Hiking @ Gunung Inerie

Hati Hati

This simple but meaningful caution describes in a nutshell our very special day on Gunung Inerie. Not a moment on the entire mountain will pass where you can relax and simply make your way up and down the volcano. The many loose rocks and gravel continually ask for a little extra attention and concentration. A little Hati-Hati and you will remember this extraordinary climb for years to come. Trekking @ Gunung Inerie

Essential information:

Ende – Bajawa

From Ende travel the 120 km on the main trans Flores road west to the district town of Bajawa where you should spend the night prior to the climb. Then from Bajawa it is a short 8 km drive on good roads to reach the small village of Watumeze from where you start your adventure.

Accommodation in Bajawa – Hotel Korina

There are several other very simple hotels in the same area. It is best not to have any expectations of the standards and be happy to get at least a clean bed sheet. Often it is amazing to see what is considered and named a hotel. Be happy with a clean bed sheet. Then again I always bring my sleeping bag, just in case!!!  As in most overnight stays across Indonesia hotel staff will have contacts to assist you with guides and transportation in the area.

Rp. 250’000 per room with two beds and hot water.

Rp. 150’000 per room with two beds and cold water only.

Bijou – Watumeze, 1112 m S8 51.724 E120 58.304

It will take between 20 to 30 minutes by car or on the back of a motorbike to reach the starting point  of the hike in Watumeze. As the entire mountain offers absolutely no shade we highly recommend starting the climb at around 3 a.m if you wish to be on the summit for sunrise.

Recommended Guide /  Francisco Hp: 085 239 546 145 

Easy available from the village of Watumeze from where the trail starts. The best way to organize you guide is after checking in at your overnight stay in Bajawa. It took only a few minutes before Florian (Hp: 085 239 142 283) our guide contact arrived. Allow yourself some time to negotiate a good prize.

We payed Rp. 300’000 (US$32) that included Rp.100’000 (US$9) commission for Florian

Water 

There is no water along the route. If you start your adventure at 3 am then 1 ½ liters water is sufficient. If you climb later then bring one additional liter, as the entire trek offers absolutely no shade. Beside water an energy drink is always packed in our bags.

Equipment/gear 

A good pair of hiking boots is highly recommended, as the upper section is extremely slippery and offers virtually no grip.  Raincoat is compulsory. Then a Change of t-shirt and a warm jacket will offer you the protection from the elements when you enjoy the magnificent views at the summit.

Location map:

Trekking @ Indonesian Volcano Adventures

 

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  • Welcome to Trekking and Volcano Adventures in Indonesia

    Unfortunately Indonesia is far too often for the wrong reasons in the lime light of the world press. Terror, tsunamis, earthquakes, destructions of rain forest and corruption seem to be the favorite subject of the media. To my great disappointment far too few people talk about the incredible cultural diversity of the nation, the enormous size, and totally forget to focus on the unbelievable beauty of this great nation.
Beside the incredible beauty of Indonesia, a nation is only as good as its inhabitants. I cannot think of another place on earth where you would find so many incredible kind people that will be delighted to look after you in a way normally only kings and royalty are treated.
 Hopefully these colorful stories will encourage many readers to pack a good pair of quality hiking boots and a backpack big enough to store the impressions of the countless memorable discoveries awaiting one throughout Indonesia. Selamat Jalan and happy trekking Heinz von Holzen Trekking @ Indonesian Trekking Adventure
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