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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Day 224-225: This is when we were interviewed for Indonesian National television infront of an erupting volcano

Oh! It's all in a days work for your intrepid Team 365... :)

Let me start at the beginning - which is in the dark and distant past before a 12-hour day in a number of minibuses from Yogyakarta to Ceromo Lewang, a small and sleepy village positioned in the Javanese mountains with a picture-perfect view of Mount Bromo. We had heard of lots of scams (faux break-downs conveniently next to high-charging hotels that were mates with the driver etc.) on this particular route but - apart from sever numb-bum experienced by all - our trip went without a hitch. We even managed to negotiate ourselves a discount for the drive to Mount Bromo in the morning.

And it was an early start; we left our wonderful guest house, Yoschis, at the un-godly hour of 4am and made the short and winding drive up to the view-point in the dark. From the viewpoint we got our first glimpse of Bromo; surrounded by soft white mist like an island in a cloudy ocean, the sight was spectacular. From the view-point we walked about 2km further up the mountain (4x4s can't go there but horses and feet can) for an even more panoramic view. By now the sun was rising and the golden and pinks in the sky were turning to blues.

Ash was billowing out of Mount Bromo at a fairly constant rate, with occasional bigger bursts and even a few puffs from the volcano behind it (apologies, I'm not sure of the name) - it was incredible. Now I've never seen a volcano before so I can't really compare but surely this is one of the most breath-taking views of tectonic activity that it is safe to see in person?

Which leads me on nicely to the interview. Was it our good looks and charm? Our obvious on-screen chemistry? Was it that they recognised us from those Bollywood roles that bagged us this slot on Indonesian TV? Who knows...though I would hazard a guess that just being English was what swung it. We shared our awe at Bromo and confirmed that we felt perfectly safe in its presence.

Little did we know that the safety-line of questioning was probably because Bromo has only done the ash-billowing thing 3 times in the last 10 years (last in 2006) and what we were watching and happily smiling-for-the-camera in front of was considered an eruption. A real eruption. A very unusual, real, volcano erupting - and us. Finally it seemed our luck with volcanoes was in!

Some people arrive in the evening, like we did, see Bromo in the morning, like we did, and jump straight onto a bus to Bali; we did not do this. Instead we decided to spend the day wandering around Ceromo Lewang - there's not much going on, but the locals are friendly and the cool climate was a welcome relief, I'd definitely recommend it. It's certainly better than back-to-back days on a minibus.

This was one of our shortest stays but it was certainly one of the most memorable.


  1. Trish says:

    Wow, and wow again! Another classic 365 experience! xxxx