Hiking to the active volcano in Indonesia
Have you ever thought about visiting the active volcano? The volcano is the living evidence of the life of the earth. As a science-minded person, I was always wondering what would it like to see the exploding lava from the mountain top. Maybe that’s why places like Hawaii and Iceland were always on my list to travel. This year, I fulfilled one of the travel dreams: visiting the active volcano, in the place I haven’t thought about. Due to the geographic feature, Indonesia has 127 active volcanos and many more inactive ones. The movement between the Eurasian Plate and the Indo-Australian plate is creating a vibrant action.
Mount Bromo (Gunung Bromo) is an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia. It is one of the most visited areas in East Java, and it’s not hard to see why. From the popular sunrise watching spot, Mount Pananjakan, you can look down the area with three major volcanos: Batok, Semeru and Bromo. These volcanos and the land we were to watch the sunrise is actually an ancient caldera from the volcano that blew up many-many years ago. Very cool, I know. After the sun was fully rose up on the horizon, we continued our journey to Bromo, which named after Brahma, the Hindu creator god.
The drive to Mt. Bromo was nothing like I was expected. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the starters. We were driving the 4WD on the super dusty desert-like flat field. Literally the grey dust cloud was forming behind our car, and the volcanos were standing tall on the volcanic ash field. If the volcanic ash is red and there’s no air, this can be the surface of Mars. A dozen of people warned me about the mask, and now I could see why. This is a dry and dusty area, with volcanic ash. While having a hard time breathing, I couldn’t get over how cool that was.
We got out of the car, and start walking on the trail. You can also ride a horse if you want. Just pick the healthiest looking one and the horse and the guide will lead you to the top. I choose to walk. The curvy pathway was covered with thick volcanic ash. Do you know how hard it is to run or walk fast on the beach? Just like that; every step was sinking in the fine sand, and the sandy wind was blowing toward us the whole time. It wasn’t an easy walk but I appreciated the surroundings every time I looked far to breathe easier.
The toughest part was right near the top. The staircase leading to the peak of Mount Bromo was not only the stiffest but also it’s the place where the wind was blowing the hardest. I don’t exactly know why, but the volcanic ash wind was blowing like a storm at the top. It made us hard to breathe and it was hurting my face. The fine particles can be mean to the soft girly skin I have. We beat the obstacles and reached the top where the smoke is coming out.
Unbelievable it was; I was looking at the active volcano. This could blow up anytime! Well, actually not true but how awesome it would be. We’ve heard from our guide that we can see the red flame if we hike up here before the sunrise. I didn’t have a chance to do that but if you are willing to, please try it and let me know. I would love to see that. The formations of the rocks and the ash piles around the crater show the age of this crater. The rough repetitive eruption, rain and wind, earthquake, and many more natural phenomenon have been affecting this volcano and it would never stop, not anytime soon. We may hear about the Bromo eruption in the news sooner than we think. All the thinking aside, at this point the ash-wind was blowing from every direction. We walked around the crater as much we could and stepped down as fast we could. Still, it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my travels.
#Disclosure: My visit to Mount Bromo was sponsored by Indonesia.Travel due to the #Travel2Indonesia project. However, all the contents are reflecting my own opinions, not theirs.