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Journal Merabu Village - Day #03

Updated: Nov 30, 2018

On our third day, some of us were still worn out from last day trekking, so relaxing was not an option for us. With limited time given, we could not afford to waste time because Nyadeng Lake and the top of Ketepu Mountain were waiting for us.

We left really early this time, to be more precise at 6 in the morning.


We could feel the morning dew as we walk through green grasses right behind Merabu Village leaving home on our way to Lesan River. Once we’ve arrived, Chris arranged three “Ketinting’s” a dainty local boat made to fit 2 - 3 people to sail across the Lesan River. We went to Nyadeng Lake separately only by Ketinting. It was really serene when we were cruising the river, breezy wind hit us swiftly, only big trees could be found left and right. Luckily the stream was quite rising, at certain spots we had to get off the Ketinting and push it further.



Killing two birds with one stone, Nyadeng Lake and Ketepu Mountain were luckily in the same area. First we walked around 30 - 40 minutes long from the Ketinting stop over to Nyadeng Lake. The track was not too challenging, but some areas along the road were mushy and slippery.


We were stunned to see Nyadeng Lake, the turquoise colored lake is a perfection. Translated in Bahasa as “Danau yang Tenang” or “The Peaceful Lake. The water came from karst mountains that are circling the lake, Ketepu Mountain is one of them. The locals believe in a glorious Goddess coming from above and come down to take a bath regularly, since then if any locals or visitors take a dip, they highly believe that you’re fortuned enough to live longer and find your true love very soon.



After hearing that story, we wanted to dive in, but unfortunately Chris advised us to continue our trip to the top of Ketepu Mountain.


The road to the top was extremely exhausting for us city boys. To conquer the 426m tall karst mountain of Ketepu requires a fit mental and physic. It was not easy, the track was rocky, slippery, and quite vertical. The locals made it looks so easy for us, but their spirits inspired us. If we can say it over and over again, it was not easy at all.We noticed that our documentation team and the artists were rarely talking to each other, every breath counted, every focus we had were set to see the top of Ketepu Mountatin.


1 hour of exhausting trekking later, Bayu from Survive Garage, Andang from Art Space Humanika Bandung, Andri and Putra from ARTOTEL, and Chris from Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara finally reached the top. The magnificent karst scenery we saw, left us a moment of silence, to appreciate the beauty of Merabu and the beauty of Indonesia. We could not help ourselves not to take some photographs of the view and also of ourselves.


We spent quite sometime at the top, catching breath before we finally went down to dive in Nyadang Lake! Trekking down from the top was not not an easy journey, twice as hard, twice as alarming, and twice the thrill! But we needed to go down because the lake was calling us.



The moment we put our toes in the lake, the icy water bit us for a wake up call. to cool down the heat, to refresh our worn out feet, and to enjoy the beauty of the lake. We stayed in the water for half an hour before our lunch box was served.

We had more than 6 hours to explore the area, it would be a wise decision for us to head back home and call it a day. We deserved a much needed rest after a two days full of trekking, hiking, and cave exploring. Sleeping for hours and a hot pot of tea was enough to make us happy.


During our talk with the artists, Bayu from Survive Garage Yogyakarta said that he was captivated by the beauty of its locals, the culture and the interaction between one another, which can be his main inspiration for the outcomes. At the other hand, Andang from Art Space Humanika Bandung told us that he treasures the disconnection he had during this trip, with no signal from the outside world, it’s just him, the locals, and the nature.

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