Friday, August 12, 2016


Originally we had planned to leave Pacitan early on the the 3rd so that we could stop at the hot mud flow at Sidoarjo and then drive on to Mt. Bromo (two places geologists would love). But BPBD arranged a final meeting for us at a power plant on the south cost of Java about an hour and a half east of Pacitan for Wednesday morning at 10:00. We arrived early giving us time for a tour of the large coal (from Kalimantan) power plant. Then waited until 10:30 to start. We hustled out of there at noon with boxed lunches in hand.

We were now well south of the main road across south Java so once again our three small buses navigated the winding, up and down, less traveled, slow roads (shown in white on my travel atlas map).

Villages along the way were decorated in red and white banners for Independence day on August 17th.

Well before Blitar (hometown of president Sukarno) we hit the main road. We had a late dinner (Pizza Hut) in Malang. Then slogged on to Bromo arriving after midnight and not getting to bed until 1:30.

I recommended that we all get up at 4:30 so we could see the sunrise along the way. Ron Harris is not a fan of hiking in the dark ("you can't see anything"--something I agree is true, but not in the case of catching early morning light and a sunrise from or enroute to magical Bromo) so he recommended sleeping a few hours more, eating breakfast at the hotel when service began at 7:00 and then starting the hike. Four others from our group of 19 liked my idea (two got up at 4:00 instead of 4:30 and we missed each other so they waited for the later group) the rest opted for the sleep in plan. We three made a good choice.

Early morning appraoch. We were lucky the winds were from the north and blowing the steam away from our appraoch and the ascending stairs. When the winds are reversed access to Bromo is not allowed.

Looking back at teh rim of the ancient caldera. Our hotel--Bromo Permai was on the lower ridge.

Recent erruptions in the past few years have added new ash to the thick deposits over time.

A Hindu gate--which to me seemed to mark the entry to sacred space.

My travel buddies. Danny Horn--geology professor at UVU and Jeremy a UVU geology student. We bought bouquets of tiny red roses for offerings.

Steps buried in ash.

My offering which was thrown into the crater with a prayer in my heart. Local Hindus offer sacrifices of agricultural products and animals to the gods.

Makign the offering.

An ash covered portion of the crater trail. I had no interest.

Me descending by Jeremy

Arrival of the after breakfast crowds.

 Time lapse by Jeremy

Tree temple where offerings are made at the first appraoch.

Way too many visitors choose noisy jeep rides to Bromo. They churn up ash and make too much noise. I like the old days of just feet or horses.

I first visited Bromo on July 4, 1977. It was our missionary p-day (preparation day) and President Gout gave us special permission to leave Surabaya at 12:01 on Monday Morning (lest we break the Sabbath) in pre-hired Colts (vans). We arrived at the outer rim rim in time to hike across the sand/ash sea and then up to the summit of Bromo before Sunrise. It was the coldest we missionaries had ever been in Indonesia. I bundled up in layers of t-shirt, pajama top and sarong. On top we were offered a guided tour down into the steaming crater. I opted not to, thinking that my mother's prayers for protection were only good for rims of volcanoes and not craters. We then all hiked around the entire rim. I remember as we navigated the narrow trail atop steep slopes that doing such a thing was not very smart. I was relieved when we finally made it back to the wider view spot atop the stairs.

He offered to take us down into this:

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