The country of volcanoes
Indonesia has the most volcanoes of any country in the world, around 130 active ones. Among them 76 have erupted at least once. The country is also part of the ’Ring of Fire’*. We can prove this as well, as we already experienced a few earthquakes in the past 9 months in Bali. However we have an increased heart-rate every time we feel one, these natural events have a weird attractiveness. We have the same feeling if we think about volcanoes or the infinity of the ocean. The view is always stunning and we can experience the power of Earth and nature directly.
Although volcanologists are observing these beauties continuously, being close to them we feel that an eruption is possible anytime. This is what Mount Bromo did in 2016. Luckily we had the opportunity by Darmasiswa program to visit the caldera one year after its eruption.
The Bromo tour begins
Our 1 hour long flight from Denpasar to Surabaya was quite endurable. After that we suffered from a 3 hour long bus trip to our accommodation in Malang. Finally, at the end of the second day, around midnight we started our exciting volcano tour. After another 2 hour long bus ride we arrived to Mount Penanjakan in Bromo-Tengger-Semeru Narional Park, East Java. There we switched vehicle to a less comfortable jeep (no complaint, this is not about comfort) and we bumped along to the viewpoint, which was on the top of the mountain, above the clouds (2770 m). Awaiting time for the sunrise just began at 3 am. Some people were sitting patiently, while others (me) were scrambling for the perfect position to take beautiful photos.
Sunrise at Penanjakan viewpoint
It was one of those rare moments in Indonesia when we were freezing, even my fingers were almost frozen to my camera. But it was absolutely worth it as close to the sunrise clouds started vanishing and we had a clear view to Mount Bromo (2329 m), the lightly erupting Mount Semeru (3676 m – the highest in Java) and the valley in front of them. It was like a painting. Now we believe why people call this viewpoint one of the world’s most beautiful sunrise spots. Even those pushy ’selfie-king’ tourists could not put us off from harmony at this point.
Crater climbing at Mount Bromo
Due to our strict schedule in a quick moment we found ourselves in the jeep again, on the jolting way to the caldera. Riding out of the clouds, down on the mountain, through the Sea of Sand, into the clouds again, jumping out from the car and then starting to walk to the crater. Looking at all the people marching towards by foot or on horses with the help of locals in the volcanic sand, among clouds brought us into a mystical adventure mood. After climbing 240 stairs we could hear the deep roar of the crater. Reaching the top we saw its diameter of 800 m and 200 m of depth. It was an indescribable feeling walking on its 40 cm wide edge, keeping out of others’ way, watching the crater steaming, listening to the sound of Earth. Mother nature ’touched’ us by this powerful natural creation. We feel many times in Indonesia how wonderful place our Earth is. So did we here.
*The Ring of Fire is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. (wikipedia)
Here you can find some additional photos about our trip: