Beautiful Bromo

Halfway up the volcano

I rose before the sun, to climb a volcano.

Five years ago I probably never would have thought that I would utter that sentance. But now, I am so happy that I have.

Bromo is said to be natures Borobudur, the landscape is as vibrantly evocative and resonant as any other in South East Asia. The volcano itself is a midget, standing only 2392m high, but its height isn’t what draws the crowds. People come here because this active volcano stands in one of the most beautiful national parks in the area and is surrounded by other volcanoes and spectacular mountain ranges. Bromo has emerged from a vast crater, which we trekked across at 4.30am in the morning.

The beautiful thing about Bromo is once you get to the entrance of the park you are already at a higher altitude, which means relief from the heat that has been surrounding me for months. Cool air bites your face and the refreshing cleansing lightness of this air in your lungs feels amazing after a year of sweat and humidity.

On the top at dawn

We climbed up taking the Probolinggo approach where we walked 3 km’s down the crater wall and across the white sand sea to reach the volcano. From there its an uphill climb to reach the smoking top. We got to the base of the volcano as the sun was peeking over the crest of the hills behind us. The call from hawkers begging us to take a horse up across the sands and to the volcano were easily ignored. The walk was spectacular under a full blue moon.

We sat on the ridge of the volcano after a steep climb up and watched the sun break through the clouds and reveal the spectacular colours that lay hidden by the darkness.

There are many myths and ledgends about this part of Indonesia, in fact it is said that the crater was created by an ogre, who dug it out with nothing but a coconut shell to show his love for a princess.

The beauty of the sunrise and the cool morning air certainly was an experience. Fresh and clean and undamaged by tourism, this volcano is nature at its finest in a world where accessing true nature is becoming more and more difficult.

After sunrise, the view from the top

Barefoot climbed and saw and marvelled at it all.

After the climb up the volcano, I spent the next two days on public transport to get home, 30+ hours on sweaty busses, remote bus terminals, testing my Indonesian language skills, crammed on busses with 50 other people and only 20 seats, glowing like a jelly fish in a sea of batik….

It’s always good to be home again.

2 Responses to “Beautiful Bromo”
  1. Jason says:

    You did it! Did you climb barefoot?
    The ride back doesn’t sound so great. I remember riding on Javanese trains and the rice vendors walking the aisle saying “nasi, nasi, nasi.”
    (Mmmm…a nasi goreng sounds real good)
    Great trip, great climb. Keep up the blog.
    Jason (Alpaca)

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