Moonscapes and volcanoes!

Trip Start Nov 25, 2004
Trip End Jan 26, 2005

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

We caught an early bus next morning to reach our final destination - Gunung Bromo! It's an active volcanoe lying at the centre of the Tengger Massif - a stunning volcanic landscape like something you've never seen before and to quote the guide book 'one of the most impressive sights in Indonesia'. It's so bizarre our photos don't even look real!

The journey up there is one of the most steep & windy we've had yet with vegetable gardens on near vertical hills and beautiful green slopes forming the crater walls! It was surreal arriving at the guesthouse, we literally got out of the bus and there it was, right infront of us, the most amazing and bizarre view ever! It was the first time both of us had seen an active volcanoe but it wasn't just that, it was the whole view! The crater stretches 10km across and its walls plunge down to a vast floor made of lava sand with Gunung Bromo and its smoky peak emerging from it and in the middle of it all, there's a Hindu temple!!! Am I painting a surreal enough picture? It literally was out-of-this world, like something out of Star Wars or a movie depicting the end-of-the-world! We decided to head down into the crate and see the whole thing up, close and personal!!!

It literally was like walking in sand, but black sand and as we got closer to the crater the undeniable smell of rotten eggs hit our noses! Climbing the steps to Bromo you get harrassed by the locals trying to sell you flowers to throw into the crater as an offering - I gave in eventually, you really don't have much choice if you want any peace & quiet - and threw it about 5m! Excellent - obviously my sporting prowess has taken a turn for the worse! Paul got told off for throwing a stone in... hee hee! Don't think we would have laughed if the thing had started making noises though!!!!! While we were up there, the clouds rolled in making the whole scene even more spooky, like being on the moon! It would be great to film a movie there!!!

Anyway we decided to continue our explorations and wandered round the base of the mighty Batok and it's perfect cone! The whole place was amazing and just looking at the rocks on the crater floor made you wish you knew more about geology, etc! Paul did one experiment and threw a rock down really hard on the floor - so bizarre - the ground sounded as if it was hollow! Seriously mad! I had to put up with Paul spending the whole afternoon doing John Wayne impressions...or trying..."Get off yer hooorse!" as you could choose to go into the crater on horseback! You had to be there!! With our severe lack of equestrian skills, we decided to walk! As you can imagine sunset on the crater was beautiful but again it was mad how quickly the clouds came in! Got our perfect photos just in the nick of time though! :0)

Sunrise the next morning was even more impressive and an even earlier 3 o'clock start! All was going well until we entered the woods and ended up getting lost and then rushing around trying to find the path before the sun came up! No luck unfortunately but we managed to find an almost perfect spot and still managed to get some unbelievable photos! Even better - from our viewpoint you could see Gunung Semeru which is the highest mountain in Java and the most active volcanoe in the highlands - mad seeing it puff out lots of black smoke!!! Again the photos don't look real - can't wait to show you!!!! Not something you normally wake up and see in the morning put it that way... and even better when you enjoy the experience with an icecream!!!!
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cielo_ijo on

Through Foreigners' eyes
Quote'Am I painting a surreal enough picture? It literally was out-of-this world, like something out of Star Wars or a movie depicting the end-of-the-world!'Unquote

I really enjoy reading your story. FYI I'm Javanese native and had several times gone to Bromo and for me it's like just another stunning natural landscape we can easily get around east java because there so many others. But after reading your story which is full of emotion I start to feel the greatness of Bromo again. I think you are lucky people, can get rare opportunity to see it by your own eyes. And thanks for let me see it through your them aswell.

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