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Indonesia's thrilling secret: Mt Bromo

10:30 AEST Thu Mar 10 2011
If you imagine that Indonesia is always hot and humid, Jason Dundas can tell you it's not! At 4am, on his way to see dawn breaking over Mt Bromo, he was freezing in the 0°C temperature, but he said it was well worth all the shivering.

He joined a Gecko's Adventures tour to Tengger in East Java to visit the 2392m-hing Mt Bromo, one of Indonesia's most famous volcanoes. To this day it continually puffs out billowing clouds of sulphur. Last November its ash clouds were responsible for interrupting flights to Bali.

Bromo actually sits within a super-volcano, which has long run out of steam. The massive, ancient caldera surrounds Bromo and its non-active sister volcano, Mt Batok, and is known as the Sand Sea. Both volcanoes are within the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park.

It's not too difficult to climb to the lip of Mt Bromo, but even easier if you go on horseback as Jason did. You can also reach it by motorbike. Crossing the Sea of Sand must be like being on the moon or earth in its primeval stage. After passing through typical Indonesian lush greenery, all of a sudden you are faced with desolate beauty.

If you take the path on the left fork from Cemoro Lawang, you will see a Hindu temple. From there, a steep 250-step path leads to the crater.

To prevent the volcano erupting, locals go up every year and throw in offerings and sacrifices to the volcano god. Five centuries ago the locals used to offer children, but thankfully, these days it's flowers, fruit, vegetables and the occasional livestock.

By the way, Jason recommends wearing warm clothing you won't mind absorbing the sulphur smell, and wear sturdy shoes.

Location

Mt Bromo, a four-hour drive from Malang in East Java.

Cost

Gecko's Adventures has 22-day Indonesian Paradise tours from Yogyakarta. Accommodation, breakfast and transfers are included. They start at $2295 per person twin-share.

Prices correct at March 10, 2011.

For further information

Gecko's Adventures
Ph: 1300 854 444
www.geckosadventures.com

Visas: Australian passports must have a minimum validity of six months from the date of arrival. Seven-day and 30-day visas are available on arrival. Requirements and fees change regularly, so check with the Indonesia Consulate for current information.

Electricity: 22V at 50Hz. Sockets are two-pin plugs and adaptors and cheap and on sale everywhere.

Time zone: GMT +8.

Currency: Indonesian rupiah.

International dialling code: +62 361.

User comments
Indonesia is such an amazing country. I have had the good fortune to be able to travel to many of its islands and lived in Java for quite some time. It is a shame that very few Australians seem to be able to look past Bali.
Me and my family did the whole horseback andf Mt Bromo thing a couple of years ago, amazing experience!
What a priveliged lifestyle the reporter has to comment about locals throwing livestock into the volcano as an offering and laughing while he said it. Disgusting. I will never go there.
wow! shame on the journalist getting on such a small horse and riding it up a steep slope!! I was shocked as he is a big tall bloke- he showed no empathy at all for the horse and when he dismounted the horse was so much shorter than he was!! He didnt even look at the horse when he got off!! Wake up! it was a cruel thing to do- if you are tall, pick a big horse or bloody walk up the hill yourself!!

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