Ilugaimo and Yakop, Thank You.

    Ilugaimo, where we tasted the salty water from the freshwater 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 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!


    1. It’s amazing how when we accomplish something so difficult together with strangers, we instantly become friends. The trust thing comes into play a lot when we are traveling (especially solo) and it’s something I’ve learned to embrace. This article is a great reminder 🙂

    2. I enjoyed reading your post so much! I was wondering where in Indonesia this exactly is? Sounds like an amazing adventure 🙂

      • Hi Anne, the place is at Wamena, one of the cities in Papua, Indonesia. Travelling in Papua is different insight than to travel in other places in Indonesia. It has not been so much explored yet and we still can see the tribes with their original dressing and living style. 🙂 And many villages around that area are not accessible by transportation, so we have to walk hours just to reach them. It’s an interesting trip. 🙂

    3. Totally agree with beautiful line you quote: No trails are too difficult when you are with the right people! I was walking to the first hut to Kilimanjaro and without my patient guide would never make it. Was really grateful for his patience and encouragement along the way..

    4. A beautiful travel story and a pleasure to read. I’m dreaming to go to Indonesia once and would be also interested to know where this place exactly is.

    5. It’s so nice of you to share this story. Often we go to far places and do all kinds of adventurous things completely relying on the strangers, but never really acknowledging how much we owe to them. I always have so much admiration for the anonymous sherpas making the Everest climb possible for the others, for all the people carrying tourists’ luggage all the way to Kilimanjaro, etc. Great post – truly enjoyed reading it!

      • I am always..always…grateful for all friends and guides that I meet along my trekking trip. I just started to go into this trekking, hiking and all sort of outdoor stuffs like about 2 years ago. I started late and if not because of the encouragement from all those peoples, I won’t make it for sure. Like what you said, they make the climb possible. So, they are my heroes! 😀

    6. I’ve never done a big trek like this, so kudos to you! I can only imagine how tough it is, and I love how you’ve acknowledged the guide who helped! There’s so many people who make our travels possible, and it’s lovely how you brought them to light!

      • I would say trekking trail in Indonesia mostly are not properly paved so need an extra efforts to walk through it but unexpected this one is so challenging. But I believe for the locals, such trail is normal for them or ok..not that difficult. Haha..Just imagine they can walk barefooted on that rocky path. I was totally amazed with it.

    7. Oh well done! And I remember you posting that photo on Instagram – it was amazing to hear the stories behind it.

    8. I love this story and I also try to capture those little moments when a complete stranger willfully helps me without any expectations.
      I also read through your “About Me” section and I LOVE YOUR STORY. Kudos to you for pursuing your dream, I know you will be successful! It’s also so cute how you reacted to snow I’m from Canada and I hate the snow. It’s too cold!
      And lastly, I am ENFJ! Although I grew up INFJ and converted over time because of my career. I still identify more with being an introvert though because I need a LOT of alone time to recharge haha

      • Hahaha..thank you, Nancy! I think those little moments and people are what make the journey memorable. 🙂
        Thank you again for your words of encouragement! I really need that! I often heard my sister in Canada saying that as well. But then when the winter comes, she will wish for snow. She can’t make up her mind what weather she wants I guess. Haha..
        I took the test few times and all showed up as INFJ. And when I tell my friends that I am INFJ, no one seems to believe that. Hahaha…probably like you, because of the environment, situation and profession I am in, I am more outspoken and don’t look like an introvert at all. And yes, I also need a lot of alone time to recharge after spending time with many people. Even going to a party for a short while will somehow make me more exhausted than doing other heavy tasks. Ah…introvert! Lol..


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