Sleeping with Guts
Our contributor Tissa shared her experience staying in the world’s highest sky lodge...
December 14, 2017. My friends and I took a train from Jakarta to Purwakarta in West Java. Sitting in the Argo Parahyangan 22, we prepared ourselves for a trip of a lifetime. We had been planning it for a month, so I was really excited that we were on our way to our destination.
After about a one and a half hour of train ride, we finally arrived at Purwakarta Station. Before we left the train, I did a final check on my belongings and made sure that I had the letter that my husband signed the other day – it was a crucial letter requested by the hotel we were going to stay at. I also sent a short message to my parents, just so they wouldn’t worry too much about me. “We are going to hike a mountain in Purwakarta,” I told them.
We are not hikers, let alone mountaineers. We are just three ordinary women who like to have extraordinary experiences. So, when we came across some pictures of Skylodge Pajajaran Anyar on the social media, we were determined to stay there, at least once in our lives. Hanging on the side of the cliff on Mount Parang, Skylodge Pajajaran Anyar is the world’s highest “hanging hotel” as well as the first in Asia. That’s where we planned to spend our nights in Purwakarta.
Up to the Lodge
It was 11 a.m. when the staff from Skylodge Pajajaran Anyar picked us up at Purwarkarta Station. We spent another two hours to get to Mount Parang by car, where the lodge is located. Two hours of driving may sound so long, but the view of West Java’s beautiful landscapes made our journey worthwhile.
Once we arrived at the hotel, we had to climb the cliff for another one and a half hours to reach our sky lodge that hangs around 500 meters above the ground. I could feel I was quite nervous, but the staff eased my nerves with their warm welcome as they took us to the dining area where we indulged in a good lunch under the sun. Having something to eat before the climb is pretty important to reenergize, and so is going to the restroom because the water in the sky lodge is limited.
The clock struck 3 p.m. when we started to climb the cliff. We were almost half way through when we took a break before continuing our journey using the iron stairs known as the ‘via ferrata’ route – and that was when I realized that I didn’t wear proper shoes as I slipped on the iron ladder a couple of times. Yet, the challenge was not over.
After climbing through the ‘via ferrata’ route, we still had to slide 100 meters to get to the door of our room. We hung on a single rope and surrendered ourselves as the staff helped us slide. I was so nervous that I got stuck a little while in the middle of the slide – it was my first mount-climbing ever, how could I not be anxious? But then, I reminded myself that I was accompanied by a well trained and experienced hotel crew. I had nothing to be worried about.
The Sky View
When I finally reached the sky lodge, everything was well worth it – the one-month arrangement, the climb, the struggle to overcome my fear, and of course, the effort to get my husband’s approval and his signature for the letter.
The lodge was surprisingly comfortable as it is equipped with complete facilities. Each one is filled with a bed for a maximum of four people, a table, a water dispenser and electricity. It is even more convenient with an air-conditioning, a sink and a toilet – but guests need to go down to the ground for a bath. The lodge also provides some food and instant cup noodles which we can reheat using the in-room microwave, so we didn’t have to leave the lodge every time we felt hungry.
There is also a television for entertainment – but who needs to watch a TV when there is a magnificent scenery of the natural surroundings to please our eyes? Lounging in the lodge, we found ourselves speechless as we treasured the view of West Java skyline. We could also see Jatiluhur reservoir from afar. After taking a bold (and brave) move to stay in a sky lodge, I believe we deserve to take a thousand pictures and selfies to capture the moment.
Skylodge Pajajaran Anyar Pasanggrahan, Tegal Waru, Purwakarta, West Java
SAFETY COMES FIRST!
• Don’t get out of the lodge without any safety ropes, even just to take some photos or selfi es.
• Don’t use any gadgets especially cellphones when there is a lightning in the sky.
By Tissa Setianingrum Wira
Magazine issue > Rest&Relaxation