Wednesday, April 22, 2009


A small step for a man, but a giant leap (out of my bed) for my kind of mind.

It all started extremely early in the morning, around 3:30 AM or so in a cold and freezing night. The extraction from my cold and humid bed was in fact a salvation on the road of sickness. I don’t know why all beds at the lodge were all humid (dryer might have broken) but it was the consistent complain that I heard in our 4*4 road tour to the over expected Mont Bromo, the brochure highlight volcano cumulating at 2,392m above sea level.

What we discovered was in fact a sea of loud tourist concentrated on top of the Mount Penanjakan (2770m) our first stop of the program, the other volcano mountain from which you can observe the massive Tengger Caldera. We were hundred of tourists squeezed on top of the observatory to see the hypothetical paper guarantied sunrise. It did not really matter in fact that we only witness that morning the sunrise of mass human enthusiasm over a cloudy sky, because what we encounter later on was a fantastic experience with magazine pictures on our second and last stop.

After our cloudy sunrise, we found our way back to our 4*4 in the middle of hundred of them and drove down the volcanic craters. The car dropped us 3-km away from the foot of Mount Bromo, leaving us to the ultimate entertaining experience of walking among horses, clouds and loud tourists. From the Hindu temple a steep path of 250 recently arranged steps leads to the edge of the crater and a precarious meter-wide ledge from where to gaze into the volcano, leading finally to one of the most amazing landscape in East Java.

From atop of the Mont Bromo, one can observe the inside of the caldera, rightly named the Laut Pasir (Sea of Sand), covered with fine dark grey volcanic sand and the overall effect is mind blowing, when compared to the lush green valleys around, the cloudy white blanket surrounding the friendly volcanoes and the raw and unhealthy white sulphurous smoke coming out of the Mont Bromo.

The giant Hindu temple at the entrance of the moon landscape at the feet of Mt. Bromo looks ridiculously fragile in comparison to the fearful natural force that radiates from the perfectly 10 km round caldera. Nature imposed its respect and no one should be foolish enough to think differently.

That day, “Earth: was my final frontier”