9th January – Trail Running
God knows where the morning went – I think a large proportion of it was spent trying to do something on the Internet. The Internet connection is still marginal at best, making even the simple task of opening and replying to emails painstaking. By lunchtime the battle with the World Wide Web was taking its toll on my sanity – it was waging a war of attrition, my economy fast depleting. I decided to go for a run – burn away some of the stress. I’ve run up to the crater rim once before –it’s not easy, but it’s doable. This time I packed minimally, and left late (around 2.30pm) which would nearly be my undoing! Getting up to the crater rim (Plawangan Senaru) wasn’t a problem. What was the problem was my exhausted water supply. I’d taken 2 litres, with the plan of refilling at a stream near the top. “It’s rainy season”, I’d thought – “no problem!” Evidently it hasn’t been raining that much, or at least not for the past couple days! There was some water, but it was stagnant – pooling on flat sections of rock. I decided not to risk drinking it, thinking I’d try another spot near Pos3. There probably would have been water here, but the as time was moving on and I had failed to pack my head-torch, I decided to get off the mountain (and out of the jungle), before it got dark! By the time I passed Pos1 I was really thirsty and running in twilight. Thankfully where the park entrance arch is, I found an old man who’s ‘shop’ was still open. He kindly agreed to give me a drink, so long as I came back to pay the next day (I didn’t think to pack money). I’m a big fan of Pocari Sweat, the Japanese isotonic drink. With the mild state of dehydration I was in I had no problem sinking 2 bottles. I reached the RTC in complete darkness, but alive and in one piece. The experience had been a valuable reminder about the importance of hydration, planning, and the carrying of suitable equipment. In the future I’ll take some sort of nutrition as well – as by the time I made it back to the office / house I was feeling a tad drained of energy.