Temples & Volcanoes

After two days exploring Yogyakarta on my own, the British fellow backpacker Sue joined me. With here I would eventually make it all the way to Bali.
First stop; the Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple. Our alarm was set at 3 AM. A few hours later, we were standing up in the hills to see the sun rise above the Borobudur Temple, together with 2 dozens of others.


“The sun still has to come …”
“Nah, sun has already set …”
The unexpected, cynical answer said by a British guy. And he was right. It was misty that day, but in the end we were able to enjoy a nice view, make a view nice picture and get to know our new and cynical travelling companion for the rest of Java, Matt.

I won’t spend many words about the temples. Short said: it is gorgeous, big and impressive and I am very happy I have been able to see them in real life. I could have shown some photos to make you guys jealous, but I can’t compete with one of the many search engines.

The temples were visited. On to the next part of Java; the volcanoes.

Bromo Selfie
Bromo Selfie

Along with 2 Brits and 1 Scot (I was made very clear that a Scot is not the same as a Brit), I travelled to Bali, making 2 stops: Mount Bromo and the Ijen volcano.

To see the sunrise at Mount Bromo, a jeep dropped us off on a hill packed with tourists. ¬†Jeeps and Ojeks combined with the fact it was still midnight and thus pitchblack, made the last part that we had to walk quite a challenge (in that way to make sure you don’t get hit or don’t know where you set your feet and drop down the mountain and say farewell to the whole journey).

We situated ourselves at this great spot with a nice view over the whole area to make a well-known ‘selfie’, with Bromo in the background.
You know those kind of persons applauding when a plane lands? Well, something similar happened here, although here people applauded to see the first sunrays. It was beautiful! After seeing the sun rise, we jumped in our jeep again and made our way all the way to the crater itself. The top of the crater gives you an amazing view over the Savannah the multiple eruptions created around the volcano. Stinging eyes and the smell of rotten eggs, caused by the sulfur fumes were taken for granted.

The next night the Ijen volcano was planned. This volcano is known for the sulfur miners en the lave that turns blue at night.
The serene sounds and singing birds of my alarm woke me up at 1 ‘o clock at night. 4 hours of sleep in 2 days and still going strong. Jacket on, boots on, backpack with me and back in the car again, off to the second and last volcano we would see on Java before we would reach Bali.
An 1.5 hour hike brought us all the way to the top of the volcano. Next, 600 meters of loose rubble and steep paths right down the crater, where the only light was created by our torch. Here we could see the sulfur miners in action and the blue flames. The whole way we were guided by a miner. This man walks up the volcano, down into the crater, up out of the crater, down the volcano, and that twice a day. The whole way back including 70 kilos of sulfur in baskets supported by his shoulder. The conversation we had with this gentleman and seeing all the miners doing their daily work, earning close to nothing, made complaining about delayed trains and full busses seem so stupid… We really complain to much. Eventually, we don’t have to risk our lives into a volcano or walk for hours to get some water, like people in Africa.
All and all, the volcano gave us beautiful scenery, experiences and a new way of thinking. We can continue our way to Bali once again.

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