Mt Merapi, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

The highlight of my trip was Mount Merapi. I’m so happy to have been so close to it, to have stared into its crater. There are few things that can incite that buzz of excitement like seeing the things you’ve learnt about in books, come to life.

I wrote a draft, but it disappeared 😦 here’s repeating it round 2

The day before the ascent we watched the sunrise, looking at its golden rays above Mount Merapi. I thought: 24 hours on (or less), I will be there, at its tip. Hopefully. I was jittery and nervous. I tried not to think about it. I tried to stifle thoughts of eruptions and rain and other possibilities.
We set off for the base of Mt Merapi in the night. 
It rained a little, and at 3.30am or so, we stopped and they set up a fire for us. We huddled closer for warmth. Here, I learnt from a fellow traveller about a trail mix: his consisted of peanuts, raisins and M&Ms. Yummy!!
I remember taking this photo. At this point, it was my first glimpse of the layer of clouds. I knew we were reaching, 20 minutes away. Almost, WE WERE ALMOST THERE!!!! The city was waking up, the lights. The sun was rising. I was excited, pumped by adrenaline that fought the fatigue.

so happy :’)

so proud of US!!!! despite the rain and the cold and the fatigue we fought our ways up relentlessly. HAPPY!!!! 😀 😀 😀

then the downward descent begins

​Ramly has been a guide since he was 19, now he’s 41
Walkie talkie warning system
Ramly, my dear guide, holds a walkie talkie in his hand. It’s what he uses to communicate with others regarding the situation in merapi (fogginess at the peak, vulcanicity)
I asked how he might feel about his son being a guide. He seemed hesitant, highlighting the risks involved, and the fact that his son does not know of how to watch out for levels of vulcanicity

The government built the signs to stop visitors from proceeding; going nearer proved risky
Nonetheless tourists continue to proceed, except perhaps those people that come without a guide
You could see the equipments for measuring vulcanicity from a distance

Learnt many interesting things. Apparently, every year they do throw cows’ heads into the crater during some festivals as a form of offering. This explains the small bouquet of flowers we saw them selling in Mount Bromo.

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