04-Jan-2013 -- The story starts at 43°S 147°E and continues from 17°S 144°E.
After two months of cycling in Australia I met with Elionora in Jakarta. Our original plan was to ride across the island of Java by bicycle. But after one day of experiencing terrifying cycling due to the dense traffic, we abandoned our bicycles and switched to a combined travelling mode of hiking and public transportation.
This attempt was part of a three day hiking tour from Malang (in the west) to Lumajang (in the east). Our plan was to cross the whole Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park on foot and thereby pick up the confluence point. The Bromo volcano is a famous tourist attraction, such that accommodation and infrastructure is abundantly available. However, the confluence is located in an outlying area at the slope of the volcano.
On confluence day, we started hiking from the touristy town Cemoro Lawang (10 km beeline) located at the crater's edge. We got up at 5:00 AM and our hike began at 5:45 AM. At first, we hiked along the crater's edge with great views on the Bromo volcano. But soon, the nice path came to an end and we had to climb down into the caldera's flat bottom and on the southern side up again to the crater's southern edge (3.8 km to CP). The weather changed quickly from sunny to pouring tropical rain. Nevertheless we kept on going down further south until we reached the village Argosari (2.4 km). Now, the question was how to do the final approach. Google Earth only shows a white sea of clouds, so not much information from that side (i.e. the top view). We walked a bit further down along the road until we found a little footpath (1.9 km). Actually, we found a network of paths, but none of them would point to the right direction. This is no wonder, because the direction towards the CP was perpendicular to the valley structure. We tried to climb down the first deep ravine, but the paths always came to an end. And without path, it was almost impossible to advance further. The vegetation was too dense and the inclination too steep.
At a minimal distance of 1.8 km we gave up and hiked further towards Lumajang.
There is no real advice I could give for future visitors. If I would go again, I would probably try to approach the point such that the hike is not against the valley structure (i.e. from the north). But in any case, I would ask in Argosari for a local guide. I am convinced that there are some footpaths that will come close to the confluence and locals will know about them.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 1.9 km
- Distance to a path: 1.7 km
- Distance of tracking start: 9.6 km
- Time to reach CP turnaround from road: 1 hour
- Time at turn around: 1:30 PM
- Measured height: 1537 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1780 m
- Topography: steep ravines in north-southern direction
- Vegetation: deep tropical jungle
- Weather: rainy, 20° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Mysterious Argosari Confluence
More pictures of the trip can found at mautz.net.
The story continues at confluence 21S 165E.