Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java


Rings of Fire
Semeru (in the distance) and Bromo volcanoes in full swing.
steps to hell
Wooden staircase leads to Bromo volcano crater.
Tengger natives
Owner of one of the horses that transport visitors on the Tengger Sand Sea.
erupting
Ash and gases flow from the crater of the Semeru volcano into the skies over Java.
Sulfur mound
The smoky and toxic crater of the Bromo volcano, one of the lowest but most active in the Tengger Sand Sea.
A Java Profile
Javanese visitor on the summit of Mount Penanjakan (2770 m), which offers a privileged view of the remaining volcanoes.
little dark night
Full moon lurks over the rim of Tennger's caldera.
for later recall
European traveler photographs the cluster of volcanoes in the Tengger caldera
faith in mercy
The Hindu temple Luhur Poten, built by the Tengger people in reverence to their gods and volcanoes.
The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.

Always faithful to their posts in Surabaya and zealous for that particular mission, the pair of Indonesian Ministry of Tourism officials Widarto and Bambang assure us that the awakening must be at three in the morning.

We frown, but we are mere strangers in those distant lands of Bromo Tengger Semeru.

Even reluctant, we obeyed the indication and returned to the room resigned to the certainty that, once again, little or nothing would go to sleep.

At the exact hour, there is a knock at our door. Already dressed in his olive green semi-uniform, Mr. Bambang makes sure of our awakening with a stamped smile that tastes of sadism. "Are ready? We wait for you inside the jeep.” We left prepared for everything but the outside temperature.

We've been traveling for months. Certainly, bordering 4 or 5 degrees, that was the only cold worthy of the name that Southeast Asia offered us. We got into the jeep.

Having exhausted a few words of ceremony, the local driver turns on the lights and, slowly and slowly, he makes him plow through the pitch of an almost full moon over the sandy soil of the 50km caldera2 who had admitted us.

Evening on the edge of the Tennger caldera in Java, Indonesia

Full moon lurks over the rim of Tennger's caldera.

The Night Ascent to Mount Penanjakan

More jeeps appear out of nowhere. Some surpass us.

Others remain in the background. This motorized dance ends in a caravan of six or seven vehicles that then make their way to the steep and worse-than-goat path that would take us to the top of a hill called Mount Penanjakan.

When we reach the 2770 meters of its summit, even without a big wind, the frigidity intensifies, we estimate that it skims 0 degrees. A battalion of resident vendors profit from the plight of the most incautious visitors.

Minute after minute, they rent coats, sell gloves, bonnets and scarves and serve teas, coffees and hot chocolates at prices inflated according to the early hour and the urgent need for their services.

The lights that illuminate the operation make it more difficult to recognize the configuration of the surrounding landscape. At the same time, foci of different spectra generated by the lanterns and headlamps of hikers on their paths across the Sea of ​​Sand in the depths, spotlight the blackness.

We could be in the dark about the landscape, but we knew one thing: in a little while, that section of the summit would be full of people and, as Sylvia and Rafael, a Spanish couple of travelers had told us, the dispute for the ideal contemplation of the dawn would be fierce. returning colors to the sky and to the renowned volcano constellation of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.

The Shining View of Java's Great Volcanoes

We inaugurated a reconnaissance tour. We do our studies. We inquire enough not to make harmful mistakes.

Following the process, even though there was no competition, we set up the tripod at the end of a concrete slab facing where we had concluded the volcanoes were, to the detriment of the direction from which the dawn would appear.

For half an hour, we endure the cold practically alone.

Soon, more and larger caravans composed in other hotels and inns intersect at the base of the mountain and complete its ascent.

Visitors on top of Mount Penanjakan in Java, Indonesia

Javanese visitor on the summit of Mount Penanjakan (2770 m), which offers a privileged view of the remaining volcanoes.

Gradually, the brightness increases. The newly arrived passengers quickly form the crowd and animosity that had been augured for us.

The sun re-emerges from behind opposing mountains. Much of the public prefers to accompany him. We, like the evolution of tones from the volcanic ensemble onwards: Mount Batok below. Behind, slightly to the left, gray instead of ocher, with its sides also striped, the steaming volcano Bromo.

Finally, in the apparent projection of Mount Batok but at a great distance to the south and much higher, the upper mountain of the island of Java, the Semeru volcano, with its majestic 3.676 meters, well above the poison crater of Ijen where we had recently been.

Semeru: a Giant of the Ring of Fire

The great star reveals itself in all its splendor and warms the atmosphere above the caldera. At that time, the first illuminated – and visible – eruption of Semeru occurs, which generates them at regular intervals.

Semeru (far) and Bromo volcanoes in Java, Indonesia

Semeru (in the distance) and Bromo volcanoes in full swing.

Stunned by the spectacle of the inverted cone fluttering with ash and gas, the crowd runs from the side facing the dawn to the side facing the volcanoes and disputes every vacant nook.

With the strongest luminosity, that eccentric volcanic assortment revealed to us its shapes and lines in detail. Informed that Semeru's mini-eruptions repeated every twenty minutes, we waited for three more.

All proved to be spectacular. All had their burning clouds swept west by the wind that blew steadily in that direction.

With the last cloud gone, around seven in the morning, we return to the jeep, descending to the bubbling flatness of the Tengger Sand Sea, the only protected ecosystem with a somewhat desert look in Java.

Eruption of Semeru volcano, Java, Indonesia

Ash and gases flow from the crater of the Semeru volcano into the skies over Java.

Tengger's complex is as eccentric as possible. Product of the incessant volcanic activity characteristic of the Ring of Fire, five volcanoes share the interior of the 200 to 600 meter walls of its caldera.

They are the Batok and the Bromo, the Kursi (2.581 m), the Watangan (2.661 m) and the Widodaren (2.650 m). Of the quintet, Batok is the only one inactive.

Several other mountains above 2000 meters rise around the Tengger caldera. The Semeru volcano, which had kept us busy all dawn, – also referred to by Mahameru (The Great Mountain) – polarizes its own complex.

At that moment, it was Bromo that interested us. That's where we point.

To the Conquest of the Sacred Bromine

With so much reverence for Semeru, when we arrived at the base of the Bromo, the flow of visitors was already coming down the slope, on their way to the vehicles. Some descended on foot, others on horseback.

Strand of the Bromo volcano, Java, Indonesia

Wooden staircase leads to Bromo volcano crater.

Dozens of natives from the village of Cemoro Lawang and elsewhere had tried to rent their little horses to them and thus spare the more indolent or unprepared strangers from the drudgery of ascent.

We went up the long wooden staircase. On the edge of the summit, we can see the smoky and sulphurous bowels of the volcano. As a rule, Bromine is limited to expelling gases. From time to time it becomes capricious and erupts.

In 2004, two people succumbed to rocks thrown up by their explosion. In 2010 and 2011, the lingering prospect of a truly catastrophic eruption worried authorities and people more than ever.

The establishment of an exclusion zone that ranged between two and three kilometers has ruined tourism.

Eruptions that released huge amounts of ash at high altitudes forced the cancellation of dozens of flights to Bali, Lombok and other destinations with nearby routes.

The authorities also warned the natives of the risk of roofs collapsing in their houses due to the accumulation of ash, from time to time wetted by rain.

The Balinese Hinduism Legacy of the Majapahit Empire

But the threats from volcanoes are nothing new for these people who have inhabited villages in the Tengger Mountains since the 1293th century. The Tengger are believed to have originated in the Hindu Majapahit Empire (1500 – XNUMX) which, at its height, conquered or subdued much of Southeast Asia.

In the XNUMXth century, in a context in which Portuguese navigators and conquerors already had their role based on the recently taken over Malacca, the Muslim Sultanate of Demak achieved political-military supremacy on the island of Java. Defeated the descendants of the Majapahit Empire who were warring with each other,

Of Hindu faith, these were forced to seek refuge. Courtiers, artisans, priests and royalty moved to Bali where their lineage and religion are now predominant.

With the strengthening of Muslim rule in Java, the Hindu kingdoms gave way where they still resisted there. Only the havens of Bali, Lombok and the eastern Java ranges saved them from more than likely annihilation.

The Tenggers, today farmers and cattle raisers, including the horses that carry visitors, “guardians” vulnerable to the whims of Bromo and other volcanoes but believers in their mercy and that of the gods, come from these conflicting times.

Horse owner in the Tengger Sand Sea in Java, Indonesia

Owner of one of the horses that transport visitors on the Tengger Sand Sea

With the subsequent overpopulation of the island of Madura, its powerful Muslims began to settle in the fertile and sacred lands of the Tenggers. Many Tengger eventually converted to Islam.

This concession displeased their leaders. They turned to Balinese Hindus to help them reform their culture and bring it closer to the purest Hinduism of Bali.

The Divine Stronghold is now Protected from Bromo-Tengger-Semeru

In much more recent years, the authorities of the Indonesia they chose to respect the Tengger's demands. They declared “their” mountains and volcanoes a natural and cultural reserve. They banned several of the earlier blemishes.

From the top of the Bromo, as Widarto and Bambang wait and despair in the car park, we detect the rectangular silhouette of the Luhur Poten temple.

This temple embodies the Tengger's faith in the blessing and mercy of Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa and the god of Mahameru (of the Semeru volcano). But the temple, by itself, does not seem to satisfy some of them.

Hindu Temple Luhur Poten, Java, Indonesia

The Luhur Poten Hindu Temple, erected by the Tengger people in reverence to their gods and volcanoes

On the fourteenth day of the Yadnya Kasada festival, after meeting and praying, the Tenggers from a village called Prolinggo climb to the summit of Bromo.

Over the narrow edge of the volcano, overlooking the effervescent abyss and certain death, hundreds of worshipers throw fruit, rice, vegetables, flowers and small livestock into the crater's interior, as offerings or sacrifices.

The ceremony was conceived with the dignity and elegance so typical of Balinese Hinduism. And yet, over time, this very double characteristic contributed to admit that several needy natives began to risk their lives armed with nets and other tools below, prepared to collect as much as possible of what was thrown close to them.

Some believe that, more than precious food, the offerings will bring them good luck. Truth be told, the day is yet to come when volcanoes drive out or destroy the Tenggers.

Until then, these once marginalized people will continue to thrive on the fertility and geological exuberance of their mountains of fire.

More information about PN Bromo-Tengger-Semeru on the respective page of UNESCO.

Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fire

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Volcanoes

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Moyo Island, Indonesia

Moyo: An Indonesian Island Just for a Few

Few people know or have had the privilege of exploring the Moyo nature reserve. One of them was Princess Diana who, in 1993, took refuge there from the media oppression that would later victimize her.
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok. The Bali Sea Deserves such a Sonda

Long overshadowed by the neighboring island's fame, Lombok's exotic settings remain unrevealed, under the sacred protection of guardian Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia's second-largest volcano.
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea: the Volcano with an Eye out in Space

The roof of Hawaii was off-limits to natives because it housed benevolent deities. But since 1968, several nations sacrificed the peace of the gods and built the greatest astronomical station on the face of the Earth.
Villarrica Volcano, Chile

Ascent to the Villarrica Volcano Crater, in Full Activity

Pucón abuses nature's trust and thrives at the foot of the Villarrica mountain. We follow this bad example along icy trails and conquer the crater of one of the most active volcanoes in South America.
Gili Islands, Indonesia

Gili: the Indonesian Islands the World Calls "Islands"

They are so humble that they are known by the term bahasa which means only islands. Despite being discreet, the Gili have become the favorite haunt of travelers who pass through Lombok or Bali.
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
safari
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Braga or Braka or Brakra in Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Sirocco, Arabia, Helsinki
Architecture & Design
Helsinki, Finland

The Design that Came from the Cold

With much of the territory above the Arctic Circle, Finns respond to the climate with efficient solutions and an obsession with art, aesthetics and modernism inspired by neighboring Scandinavia.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel
Adventure

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Ceremonies and Festivities
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul, Travel Korea, Color Maneuvers
Cities
Alone, South Korea

A Glimpse of Medieval Korea

Gyeongbokgung Palace stands guarded by guardians in silken robes. Together they form a symbol of South Korean identity. Without waiting for it, we ended up finding ourselves in the imperial era of these Asian places.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi
Meal
Singapore

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
intersection
Culture
Hungduan, Philippines

Country Style Philippines

The GI's left with the end of World War II, but the music from the interior of the USA that they heard still enlivens the Cordillera de Luzon. It's by tricycle and at your own pace that we visit the Hungduan rice terraces.
Sport
Competitions

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Alaska, by Homer in Search of Whittier
Traveling
Homer a Whittier, Alaska

In Search of the Stealth Whittier

We leave Homer in search of Whittier, a refuge built in World War II and housing two hundred or so people, almost all in a single building.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Ethnic
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

shadow vs light
History
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Islands
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Literature
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Entrance to Dunhuang Sand City, China
Nature
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Natural Parks
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Kayaking on Lake Sinclair, Cradle Mountain - Lake Sinclair National Park, Tasmania, Australia
UNESCO World Heritage
Discovering tassie, Part 4 - Devonport to Strahan, Australia

Through the Tasmanian Wild West

If the almost antipode tazzie is already a australian world apart, what about its inhospitable western region. Between Devonport and Strahan, dense forests, elusive rivers and a rugged coastline beaten by an almost Antarctic Indian ocean generate enigma and respect.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Characters
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Drums and Tattoos
Beaches
Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti Beyond the Cliché

Neighbors Bora Bora and Maupiti have superior scenery but Tahiti has long been known as paradise and there is more life on the largest and most populous island of French Polynesia, its ancient cultural heart.
Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Religion
Tawang, India

The Mystic Valley of Deep Discord

On the northern edge of the Indian province of Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is home to dramatic mountain scenery, ethnic Mompa villages and majestic Buddhist monasteries. Even if Chinese rivals have not passed him since 1962, Beijing look at this domain as part of your Tibet. Accordingly, religiosity and spiritualism there have long shared with a strong militarism.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Society
Markets

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Wildlife
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.