Day 217 – (8th Apr) Gunung Bromo Volcano

16 04 2011

You really couldn’t have asked for better weather in which to make the short climb up Mt. Batok (from where to view Mt Bromo), if you were a fish. The path up had in parts washed away in a series of small landslides and now a small stream ran in its place. To compound matters it was 4.30am and dark, furthermore Jen had chosen to leave her trainers in Australia and was negotiating the path/small stream in flip flops. Talk about trying to push water uphill with a fork. It was slow going with lots of sliding – all the while it kept chucking it down.

The goal of this ridiculous exercise was to see sunrise over the very active, smoking and rumbling Gunung Bromo Volcano. Unfortunately due to all the low cloud, instead of seeing the sun climb from behind the silhouette of a viciously smoking volcano, it just got lighter, that’s it. From complete darkness to the realisation you were soaking wet, muddy, and on the side of a mountain in very heavy fog.

We were then driven to within 150m of Gunung Bromo crater. Too active and dangerous to get any closer, it was still close enough to get a feel of the destructive capabilities of a volcano. The whole area was covered in a foot of thick black suffocating ash. The small mountain village we spent the night in, was covered in the stuff from a recent ash eruption. The houses, the streets, the fields, all black; the trees dead. I can’t begin to imagine the condition the villagers’ lungs must be in. Maybe I should consult Gavin’s university thesis on respiratory disease due to volcanic ash.

After brunch we got back on another sodding bus¸ this time bound for Solo.

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