"Gunung Merapi" Salatiga Travelogue by theo1006
Salatiga Travel Guide: 70 reviews and 323 photos
The distance from Plalangan hamlet to the top of the Merapi is actually quite short, not more than 5 km, but it is rising steeply most of the way. See the red dots going straight south from Plalangan. Only when you have reached 2650 m there is a relatively flat plain named "Pasar Grubah" which is used as camp site.
An alternative trail named the "Kartini trail" comes up from Rogobelah more to the east. We took this going down because it is less eroded. But it means an extra 1.5 km to go.
The 1939 map gives a height of 2911 m, but due to later eruptions Merapi mountain is higher now, about 2970 m.
At the new Selo parking, a few 100 m south of Plalangan hamlet, you can park your car, and usually some villagers are waiting here to be hired as porters or guides. If you do not find them here, apply to the "base camp" in the village.
The parking has a few food stalls and toilets.
Below the tree boundary the trail is mostly sandy, you easily slide on the loose sand especially when going down. Higher up as in this picture the trail becomes rocky and sometimes you have to climb on all fours.
In what is called the old crater there is no activity, and one can actually go down to the bottom. We were content to stay on the rim.
From the old crater it is only a short climb to the new one (as well as the highest point "Puncak Garuda"). We were told that this crater has become active, spewing sulphurous vapours, since the eruption of 2006. However it was relatively quiet when we stood on its edge.
From the Pasar Grubah camp site one has an unobstructed view of Merbabu mountain, 10 km to the north. Down below is the pass between Merapi and Merbabu mountains. Right from he centre is just visible Plalangan hamlet, from where we started our ascent.
Sumbing and Sundoro mountains, farther away, were also visible.
Going down from the camp site Pasar Grubah, this stretch is the most difficult, because it is badly eroded. When going up in the dark we hardly noticed it, but going down we had to pick our way slowly and carefully.
MONUMEN KENANGAN (Memorial)
ACHMAD AL HABSJI
PAULUS HARYO SULAKSONO
PELAJAR PENCINTA ALAM (Nature loving students)
SMA NEGERI IV (State high school no IV)
WAFAT 1-3 MARET 1977 (Died 1-3 March 1977)
DIPERBARUI 28 FEB 1980 (Renovated 28 Feb 1980)
There is another memorial stone for Sumarno alias the Joker, from Sragen, who died on the Merapi at the age of 18 on 20 March 1999.
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