Indonesia. Java. Volcano Bromo
Indonesia is located in the zone of tectonic faults. The process of mountain building has not yet been completed. Therefore, there are so many volcanoes. The formidable forces of nature are in a dormant state, sometimes waking up for a short while. But, while volcanoes do not show dangerous activity, they become a place of pilgrimage for tourists.
Many islands of Indonesia have volcanoes that are a local attraction. We will visit one of them – Bromo. This volcano is so popular that tours on it can be bought not only on the island of Java, but also on the neighboring island of Bali. Independent travelers can try to go this route without a tour, but apart from a bunch of additional organizational problems and severe fatigue, nothing will benefit. Therefore, you can safely take a tour and hit the road.
The highlight of Bromo’s visit is the meeting of sunrise on the edge of a huge crater, inside of which Bromo himself is located. This spectacle is fleeting, but is remembered for a lifetime. In the middle of a huge valley, ideally flat as a table, surrounded by steep slopes, there are a couple of embossed hills. The night haze gradually dissipates and the silhouette of Bromo is more clearly guessed. The sun is not yet visible, but the first rays, timidly climbing over the steep wall of a distant ridge, increase the contrast of shadows in the folds of the volcano slope. This fleeting moment can be captured only by the camera, but it cannot transmit all greatness. Memory cannot select any single frame, because the action develops with rapid speed. The movement of the sun cannot be stopped. And no longer timid rays, but a wall of light comes through the valley, driving the darkness of the night into cracks and crevices. The struggle between light and shadow lasts only a few minutes and I want to absorb in myself, like a sponge, this is an unforgettable sight. Finally, sunlight filled the entire valley. From the observation platform you can see how several jeeps, no larger than an ant, rush towards Bromo, raising clouds of black volcanic ash. It’s time for us to go down.
The cars that brought us to the observation deck patiently wait along the curb on a narrow winding mountain road. All of them are on one person, differ only in color and registration numbers. To forget your jeep number is to leave last. Because at night, after disembarking passengers, cars can change the parking place. And finding your vehicle in a string of your own kind is like looking for a needle in a haystack. But, in the end, all jeeps descend into the valley, from where the ascent to Bromo volcano begins. From the parking place to the foot go about a kilometer. Where one has to step on the ashes disturbed by the feet of the predecessors, the feet fall deep into the sand. From all sides, the wind drives black dust, clogging eyes and nose. It seems that you yourself are turning to ashes. After a night’s coolness, it becomes unbearably hot. To facilitate the way, you can use the services of local breeders, and drive to the volcano on horseback. But you only facilitate, not accelerate. Because the breeders are leading the horse under the bridle. You will still have to climb to the top of the volcano on your own. On the way you will meet a Buddhist temple, which is periodically drifted with ashes and digs out again.
A steep staircase leads to the top of the crater. The rise is complicated by black ash falling asleep to the steps. The flow of people in two directions does not stop for a minute. Some wear respirators to protect themselves from black volcanic dust. But it helps a little. Having defeated yourself, you rise to the top. Around the vent there is a narrow path on which it is difficult for two to disperse. There, even one by one, it is not entirely comfortable. On the one hand, the bottomless vent of the volcano, and on the other – a steep slope. Local residents, in deference to the formidable forces of nature, throw dry bouquets of flowers into the crater. Such gods must be respected. Walking to a dormant volcano is something like trying to pull a dormant lion by the tail brush. There is always a certain risk. From the edge of the crater you can see how, somewhere in the depths, some mysterious processes are going on. White boiling smoke keeps this secret, sometimes rising by a pillar to the sky.
Even if you come to soak up the sandy beaches of Bali, take some time to visit the Bromo volcano. The impression of him will overpower everything you have ever seen.