Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Bromo experience

Lauded as one of Java's must sees, the trip to Gunung Bromo is an easy sell. Picture perfect shots of the sun rising behind a still active volcano in a lunaresque landscape. Bromo was easily the most anticipated part of my visit to Java. Signing up for a pretty decent tour offer from Yogya we piled into a minibus and spent ten hours travelling the road close to Cemoro Lawang - the gateway to Bromo. Our hotel was up a notch or two from the standards I've become accustomed to - hot water for Christ's sake - but nobody got to enjoy their sleep there as a 2.30am wake up call loomed over all of us in anticipation of the big event.
Wisely informed to wrap up as the temperature would be around 4 C up there, we set off in our bus initially and then transferred to 4WD for the ascent of Bromo's neighbour Tengger Caldera. It was misty as we made our way up but I assumed that this would disappear in time for us to enjoy the spectacle. It could well have been the Champs Elysée when we got to the summit - I was the sole native English speaker in a crowd thronged with French men and women (and one who - pompously - explained to me that he was not French, he was from Bretangne - the equivalent of a Corkonian taking himself a wee bit too seriously).
Regardless, as the dawn approached it became clear (no pun intended of course) that the big event would not be happening. As an Irishman I felt almost responsible for the sickeningly shitty mist which clung stubbornly to the mountain all through the morning, only disappearing as we arrived back at our hotel, suitably chastened by Mother Nature without the expected money shots of Bromo doing her thing. Today's selection of snaps are appropriately grey. Sad then that my favourite snap of the day was of a gecko clinging to a bathroom ceiling. It's not all fun and games you know.

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