Ilugaimo, where we tasted the salty water from the fresh water little falls in Kurulu district and that’s also where we get to know him.

I called him ‘Kak’ and sometimes ‘Pak’. That’s one of the ways to call someone (male) in Indonesia language if we don’t know his name. We were there in a group of eight. After visiting Ilugaimo, we decided to go further up to the top of the hill together to see the panorama view of Wamena, one of the city in Papua – Indonesia, which from there, we could also see the venue of Baliem Valley Festival from far. Everything was going alright until the unexpected descending route that we had to go through.


To see one’s real character, just bring them to the nature.

I was weak because of the heat from the sun and that day I could feel that the sun was just right on top of me as we rushed our way back to our car. I started feeling giddy, I couldn’t concentrate and accidentally I stepped on the mud pool which got one of my legs stuck right in without mercy. Heavy. The mud was too sticky for me to get my foot out from there. I pulled my leg hard but it didn’t work. I felt helpless until he came and without hesitation, he dug the mud with his both hands and pulled my leg out.

I took a rest sitting on the small rock not too far from that muddy area, getting back all my breath and consciousness at the same time. All my worries have gone because I knew that the rest of the people in the group have made it back to the car safely. Only one guy was behind me with our another guide. I was looking at him who was patiently waiting for me, making sure I was doing alright, too. I could tell that he was worried and exhausted as well for helping us one by one going through the trails that for us, were very challenging. A little of everything – trekking, rock climbing and sliding down on the hill.

No trails are too difficult when you are with the right people.

I smiled a little to break the cold situation. Despite all the unexpected things, rather than feeling upset, I was feeling grateful instead. Really. Who are they and who are we to them till they take care of us so much? We only met like about a few hours ago. However, my trust to him gradually grew during that five hours trek and at that difficult point during descending, I know I could only trust him.

He is a decent guy, walking barefoot throughout the trek. He is our guide, my hero, and his name is Yakop.

Do you ever have any unexpected experiences during trekking? I would love to hear from you!