Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mount Bromo

Reaching Mount Bromo involved driving across east Java for almost a whole day. We left Yogyakarta around ten in the morning, reaching the base village of Ngadisari late at night in cold, wet weather. I think I slept for all of two hours, before being woken up an ungodly hour – three in the morning – so that we could make our way up the hills to watch the sunrise.

It was ridiculously cold. I had ended up renting a jacket from our guest house without which the cold would really have been too much to handle. I usually find sunrises a bit of a hit or miss and waiting in the cold waiting for the sun’s rays to make an appearance was akin to watching paint dry. It was worth it though, when those rays did make an appearance. The fumes from Bromo and the periodically erupting Mount Sumeru made the sky take on rather fantastic colours as the light increased and the mist below made for rather lovely views.

Of course, once the sun was out we could clearly see the rather cute Mount Batok in the foreground (never mind that till I actually reached Bromo later on I actually thought Batok was Bromo), Bromo with half of its top blown off, white smoke billowing out and Sumeru in the background, a perfectly triangular peak puffing out dark smoke every twenty minutes or so.

We made our way to the volcano after that – deciding to climb our way up the rim rather than falling prey to the many touts with their horses. It’s an interesting walk, across a sea of black sand, up the 253 steps that take you to the rim. The scenery was strange – more barren Mongolia or Central Asia than tropical Indonesia. All the horses there just added to the surrealism (photos on that later). There was also the awful stench of sulphur that becomes more powerful as one climbs up. I reached the rim out breath, hoping to gulp in large amounts of oxygen only to have a gust of wind make the stench truly unbearable and me nauseas.

Though that nausea quickly evaporated, given the opportunity to peer into the belly of a live volcano. I spent a good deal of time watching the ebb and flow of the smoke from the cracks in the volcano, wondering if this live volcano might just suddenly have a change in mood and decide to blow up. It did not.


Roxana said...

oh my god, these pictures are gorgeous! are these mountains real? WOW.

??! said...

Pic 2, easily. It's very Mount Orodruin-like.

Szerelem said...

thanks R :)
They look almost dreamlike with the mist, no? It was quite a spectacular sight honestly.

??!: I agree. Though my favourite is picture 4, mostly because of the colours and the peek of the sun you can see.

Roxana said...

my favourite one is 5 :-) I like the strange shapes and textures...
and yes, I have thought that too, about the mountain coincidence :-)