Volcano Country

Current location : Gattières, France

 12/Mar/09 to 15/Mar/09 : from Surabaya up to Mt. Bromo, East Java

A rare sight : 2 active volcanoes in close proximity. Clockwise from left is Mt. Bromo  2329mtrs, Mt. Semeru 3676mtrs (highest mountain on Java), and the dormant Mt. Batok in the foreground.


Since the start of my trail to Australia, I’ve criss-crossed different landscapes – from deserts to mountains to jungles – but never got anywhere near to volcanoes. When the ferry from Kalimantan let me off late afternoon in Surabaya port, Java, suddenly I was in Volcano Country – there’re more than 40 volcanoes on the island of Java, at least 20 are considered active, and these actives ones don’t seem too far away …. according to my map. It’ll be a shame to ride pass it – it’ll be like “going to Paris without seeing Eiffel Tower”. Bali can wait.

Guess which is my horse ?

Meanwhile, riding on Java’s main trunk roads is similar to riding in India. It took 2 hrs to get to the eastern outskirts of Surabaya city, another 2-1/2 hrs in the early nightfall zig-zagging between long queues of trucks : total 4-1/2 hrs for 150km covered to get to Probolinggo. Tired.

Yes, I like to ride up there

Next day, I turned towards eastern Java’s Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, where Mt. Bromo is located. The Tengger people, with their fascinating cultural history and their Hindu religion roots, live here on the fertile highlands. These are very friendly and simple farming folks. What’s amazing are the sights of unending hill slopes of vegetable plots, the slow pace of life and the spectacular views of the trio Mt. Bromo, Mt. Semeru, Mt. Batok from the village of Cemoro Lawang at the edge of the caldera.

Kicking up sand in the caldera

Mt. Bromo is a beautiful active volcano – quite stunning against a clear morning sky. I couldn’t help but enjoy rambling around its “sea-of-sand”, even up to the crater (well, almost) during my 3 days stay. I like this place … well worth a re-visit in the future … if it doesn’t blow off its top (the crater is currently off limits to visitors due to high seismic activity).

Time out with fellow travellers

More pics below