18 June 2015

I Survived Aki's Wrath (Part 3)

The mountain guides too were getting angry. We were already standing in groups, because we were told that the helicopter was coming. We felt cheated and I know that the guides were too... Not to mention that we had already eaten our last slice of bread; we didn’t know when our next meal would be.

Bekumpul suda kenen kami ingat ada heli :(
Screencaptured from Lilian's video. Sama-sama naik, sama-sama makan.
The guides then confer among themselves and they gave us two options. To die of hypothermia at the summit or die trying to descend. Since there’s no shelter and our clothing were not adequate for a night in the cold, we opted for die trying. It was then 4.00pm. We’ve already been stranded for 9 hours. Daylight will also be gone soon.
Not wanting to spend anymore precious minutes at the top and afraid that thick fog might blanket the peak once again, we finally started our dangerous descend. We were already drained out but the thought of coming down and seeing our family again gave us the courage. The mountain guides had told us beforehand how dangerous the trail might be and we had to be extra careful.

beginilah kami turun.
The journey down was very challenging. We followed the new trails made by the mountain guides, and we were told to walk in line. There were times where we have to wait for more than 30 minutes before we were allowed to pass because the mountain guides were re-tying the broken ropes and checking the loose rocks for us. Standing there waiting was nerve-wrecking because should there be an aftershock I know that the boulders and loose rocks could rain down on us anytime and wipe us out! Not only that, we also had to withstand the sight of dead bodies and severed limbs while waiting for the makeshift trail to be made. It was not far from where I was standing, but the guide had already warned us to stay calm if we saw anything on our way down. It really made me sad. I know it could have been me, but God had let me survive.

At 7.30pm, we reached Gunting Lagadan Hut, the place where we stayed the night before. Thanks be to God, it was not badly damaged and I could still go inside to retrieve my backpack. At around 7.41pm, we started the journey from Laban Rata to Timpohon gate. It was horrible. They were many landslides, and the earth beneath our feet was cracked. The mountains kept on shaking and the sound of the boulders falling down the mountainside really terrified us. We forced ourselves to run, even in pain, because the will to survive was very-very strong. Dakat suda kubuang begku tau. Bikin berat saja. At 12.18am, we safely reached Timpohon Gate (Idil and I was among the last in our group). I cannot express how relieved I was to see all the people who had been waiting since morning. Thank u mountain guides for making it possible for us to survive and for being there with us all the way. And thanks to the firemen at Timpohon Gate as well, who gave me bottled water and who helped me to carry my backpack to the gate.


My family and friends told me that actually we were one of the luckiest. We got to witness the before, during and after of the majestic mountain’s near destruction. I am very thankful and grateful that I made it to the top because even if new trails will be made to enable climbers to scale its summit once again, it will never be the same. Thank God for taking care of me and holding my hands throughout my ordeal and thank u Aki for knowing that I do care and respect you. I might climb and visit you again in future when the new trails to your summit are made. Not all of us who made it to the summit that day were lucky, some perished during the earthquake. My heartfelt condolences to the family of climbers and mountain guides who lost their lives that day. 

8 comments:

sslts said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I couldn't imagine how terrifying it has been for each one of you. Stay strong and be an inspiration to others.

einstein junior said...

Great story from a small person with a big heart..I couldn't believe that the story will end in part 3..I feel like I was watching Harry Potter whereby I could stand 8 years to wait until the last episode..but what could I say. No matter what, u successfully knock my head to wait ur another interesting piece and I know it would be awesome..my hat off to you mandak

Gaby said...

Thank u :) We are safe bcoz of everyone's prayers... :)

Gaby said...

Thank u :)

Just said...

Reading with teary eyes! I feel u mandak! Glad that you guys made it..

Gaby said...

Thank u so much sis... Yaa... I am sooo grateful that we all made it... :'( buli nangis o klu ingat balik...

Eudora Priscilla said...

You all are the only thing I could think of the entire time. I prayed that no one I know got into serious injuries or something worse. Glad you all make it out safe and sound!

ZeLL~LeaH said...

Thought of you guys sj masa tu. Berdebar jg tggu khabar di whatsapp GCC. Syukurla kamu teda apa2. praise God.