The Rookie Blessed Adventure (4): The Garden of God
July 10, 2001
The love concoction was still lingering on, putting me into a deep and long sleep. It evaporated as the sun reigned over the dark night. I didn’t dare to swim for I was afraid of her spell, actually, because I was hungry. *smile* I guess the sausage-scrambled eggs-pancake trio for our breakfast surely put wider smile into Oom J’s face… after those four consecutive rice meals!
Today’s day trip was a hike to the other land across our campsite, where Kidney Lake laid on the way to the top of hiking trail. After packing for a day trip, off we canoed to the 1,440m portage on the SE direction of our campsite. We didn’t portage this time, but left our canoes, PFDs (Portable Floating Devices), and paddles on the ground near the portage site. At the end of this portage trail, we stopped… thinking what we’re going to do next: continued to get to the top and had our lunch there, or had lunch now and would have more time to explore.
The site for our lunch stop was a little open space, the meeting point of canoe launch site on the east and hiking trail on the north. This canoe launch site had a very muddy bottom… and you could tell that most sites like this always had lots of mosquitoes and bugs. Ayrin, Trisna and Oom J were preparing our lunch… sandwich with cold cut. Oom J couldn’t help to tease some passers-by that happened to pass this site: “Sandwich Buffet for $10”. Well, he should know that in Indonesia there always be stalls at these kind of sites, offering meals, drinks, and cigarette. *smile*
We followed the hiking trail to reach the top of Killarney Ridge. The trails under pine trees is always nice, it gives cool breeze and fragrant pine scent. Here and there we could see moose dunk. We also saw grasshoppers with transparent but shiny wings, thick moss, and large mushrooms. And, then there came the first “whitish rock” to climb… my blood ran through all the vessels in my body, come and stay with me my love.
The nice thing to be a rookie is that you follow where your fellow campers want to go. You just have to follow and enjoy it. We took some pictures as we caught our breath before continued to ascend the second hike. On the way to the second hike, we met a lady with French’s accent that seemed lost… I saw she only had a map, a little backpack, casual outfit, and many mosquitoes or bugs bites on her legs. Oom J told her the direction of her target site. Yes, the second hike along the trail took us further up Killarney Ridge… and, then less than half-an-hour later came a huge “whitish” ridge. This is the Garden of God! I thought Monic, our youngest camper, might have the same feeling as I. She ran to the top, not a dash of nervousness in her stable steps!
The Garden of God:
At this moment we are
the butterfly, the grasshopper and the bee
in the Garden of God.
We fly around this gorgeous bloom,
hop up and down this jewel of Killarney,
and draw off your blueberries
Oh, how sweet Thy Love…
We took as many pictures as we could, afraid to miss a single drop of its intoxicated beauty (you may enjoy our pictures later). Oom J slapped us from this dreamy trip; we had to return and had to well pass several of the “whitish” rocks before the rain fell. Rain would make the rocks became slippery, and careless steps on the slippery rocks would cause unwanted injury. We knew so well from Bang Jeha that Oom J was always right. *smile*
I hope the rain would stop so I can return to the Garden again. It is nice to be here as camper. As geologist on assignment, my return trip would not be as light as this. There’s a joke about it: Geologist carries a heavy load in the morning… meals, drink, map, compass, hammer, magnifying glass, and lots of sampling bags. The job needs your strong legs to bring you to every contact of formations, to every structure that this region had experienced, to every type of rocks. It also needs your strong arms to take fresh samples of the rocks. And, most of all it needs your sane head… to put all the rocks you find, all the formations, and the structures on the map. Thus, your backpack will be full with rock samples on the way home… never a “light load” moment.
The rain started soon after we reached the lower spine of this ridge. We walked quickly passing its trail, wondering how far the lady with French accent would go. We stopped for a break, and had our pudding.
We canoed to our base camp, accompanied by wind and rain. It’s nice to feel the rain trickled down your spine, cooled down your excited nerve. Soon, we reach our base camp. We were waiting for the rain to stop. The rain was not strong but the wind kept howling. Since there was nothing to do, I went to my tent to have a nap. Wow, the tent was still in good condition, not a single leak from the rain. Otherwise, Oom J and Cak had to share their tent with me :). Then, I recalled the New Year’s Eve on Sertung Island in the Krakatau Complex (Strait Sunda, Indonesia). I had to share the tent with four other male colleagues… everybody took a turn to drink from a can of Coca Cola and heard all New Year’s wishing from CB radio. It seemed like yesterday.
When I got up and passed the campfire, Mpok Cecil and her hubby were already there. I had my coffee… and soon afterwards, more people came to join us. During this time we saw a rainbow. Ayrin was able to capture its beauty… the perfect 180-degree arc curve. We enjoyed it while we’re eating our dinner.
While Cak did the pumping to get our drink water filtered, I practiced my steering on the back. I got two teachers this time, Cak and Trisna. Well, steering is not as easy as it looks. Fortunately, I had very patient teachers, they just laughed when I made this canoe zigzag or circled round and round :). When we met Bang Jeha and Mpok Cecil, they gave another input: the canoe was slanted to the front, made the steering harder. We saw the cloud behind us, and we headed back to the base camp.
This was my last night at Killarney, and I still counted my blessing…
Next episode: The Nice Intermission (July 11, 2001)