East Java - Volcano Trekking and Suphur poisoning!

Trip Start Jul 10, 2010
1
10
17
Trip End Sep 17, 2010


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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Thursday, August 12, 2010

So the doctor told me to rest up for a few days, after two however I go volcano hiking..........I'm such a bloody idiot! No, this was out of my control really. I needed to get out of Bali and transport companies will only go when there is at least two people so that made me travel slightly earlier than hoped.

I moved east onto the island of Java. Which can I say is bloody massive, with about 100 million people living on it. As a result getting from A to B involves very long days of transport e.g. 10 hours. Seems my spot of bad luck continued with our first bus breaking down after 2.5 hours. The company claimed the buses would be a/c and the driver english speaking...neither was the case. Excellent! So it took him say 90 mins to realise he couldnt fix the bus so he shoved us on public transport. Which let's say was an experience. Or....character building! Funny how people describe CRAP situations as character building. The 7 of us and our bags were crammed in with some indonesian techno for entertainment......urgh. That aside, the first stop was Mt Ijen, the first volcano I'd be checking out. It involved say a 3km "light" trek up. Was a little worried as I still was feeling a bit weak in all honesty but once I got started with my sweeties and Pocari Sweat I was fine! Once I was up the the top of the volcano it looked amazing as well. The crater of the volcano is filled with a boiling greeny/bluey lake and also pumps out heaps of sulphorous gas. So I climbed down to check it out. Locals work down there to dig out massive rock slabs which they then carry. They get paid by weight and can carry up to 80kg, just like Kinabalu I couldn't believe it. But yes, it all looked very impressive and grand, but when down there, right by the smoke the damn wind changed direction and so instead of going over the lake I was engulfed in a sulphur cloud. The whole pathway to the crater was. Couldn't see a thing, eyes watering and spluttering a worker just comes along and shoves a towel into my mouth so I stopped breathing it in. Aww man, mental. I probably now have the lungs of a chronic smoker. Excellent! Ha.

Next volcano, Bromo, was completely different. It's much more popular to go to with tourists. Got up at 3am (urgh) to go up in a jeep to watch from a view point sunrise over bromo. I'm not very good at explaining sights but honestly it was impressive. Below the volcano was just a floor of thick fog so it was quite mystical. Liked it. Once the sun was up we actually went to Bromo to clamber up it. All the tourists went in 4 by 4s. Haha! The jeeps. Thankfully ours was quicker off the mark and so we were there slightly earlier and managed to get photos that looked like it was only us there (find attached). On this tour the original 7 were split and I ended up being with 2 men from korea who knew little english and so I was a touch conversation deprived. A guy I bumped into from the UK I think was in the same  boat! I asked him his travel plans and he bought one ticket out and was unsure when he was returning home. Can you believe that?? Pretty admirable I think! OHHHH and I found someone at the sunrise point wearing an Aberdeen Uni hoodie! I was like, it is my right to talk to you!! Small world eh?

So yes, after bromo the longest bus journey ever to Yogyakarta. I'm now absolutely bloody knackered and so have a feeling I'll be sleeping for an age. It's now Ramadan over here, which is where some people fast between 12am and 6pm for a month. Combined with the heat as well (this is DEFINITELY the hottest place so far, too hot to do anything but hide from the sun) many people just sleep in the afternoon. So I'll fit in. Ahh well, live like the locals I'm sure they tell you to do.

Until next time!
Love Heather xxx







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Comments

Dad on

Thanks for the birtday wishes Heather. So glad that you are back, almost, at full strength. Pictures are amazing again, see all those years of watching me have paid off ! Everywhere you go you just hit such wonderful things to see, you will need to stop calling it a holiday as it is now way more than that. Take care and finish your recovery.

Pam Leighton on

Looking good Heather. Lovely photo's x

Holly! on

Did you know that there are a couple of Aberdeen Uni's in America?? Weird eh? And another few Glasgow's too... I thought one was enough! xxx

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