Mount Bromo [ Java, Indonesia ]

Another thing I’ve been thinking of trying to do regularly in this blog is feature photographs I’ve taken from places I’ve been and write a blurb about said place, or an experience there. I always wanted this to be a travel blog, but sadly, I don’t really travel enough to keep writing about new places I’ve been on a very regular basis. And the future of travel looks kinda grim, as currently, everywhere I’ve got lined up to go is somewhere both utterly without exotica and a repeat location. It’s a bummer. It’s better than no travel though, I suppose, but then again – any opportunity to have a whine and a moan!

I’d like to try this featured photo thing on a weekly/semi-weekly basis, but I can tell already that is seriously ambitious of me, because I sat on this idea/these photos for like 3 weeks before I finally got around to writing this. In my defense, these photos would have been up like 3 weeks ago, but the files I transferred to work with ended up being corrupt resulting in my immediate loss of motivation.

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I took this one early, terrible, unpleasant, and worst of all cold morning on the caldera of one of Java’s many (active) volcanoes, Mount Bromo. I had gotten not an ounce of sleep the night before (not that there was much of a night – I think we were up and out around 4AM to catch the sunrise) due to catching a cold and not being able to breath through a nose that was leaking so liberally, like nothing I had ever experienced before. In a matter of a couple hours we had gone from the lower tropical climate to the much colder, dryer climate of the volcano top and it really screwed with my health. Anyway, not even a minute of much-needed sleep, while the boyfriend dozed away and I SO badly wanted to wake him up and make him suffer through the night with me because I was just so incredibly uncomfortable (and cold!) and then I had to get herded to some sunrise viewpoint that at the time I couldn’t have cared less about.

I was not in the greatest mood. And I can’t express how cold it was. And I didn’t bring any cold weather clothes on this trip because, y’know, it was Indonesia.

But, I really like this photo. I’ve always been happy with how clear it came out and, for better or worse, has something of a postcard-y look to it. I suppose I can begrudgingly admit here that cold, crisp weather may have its advantages when taking photos.

OK, but my morning wasn’t over yet! If you click the photo and look towards the bottom left corner, you’ll see a small temple. Near this temple is a pathway of steps that leads all the way up that smoking crater. And that was where I ended up next. Walking up like, I swear, a million steps, without any sleep, in a severely (yes, I’m calling it severely) weakened state. I hate steps! Don’t even get me started on all the steps in the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. It’s all I can think about when I see stone steps now. But anyway, I am barely able to drag myself up these steps, I have to constantly stop for breaks. And to top it off, my nose is no longer that clogged and all I can smell is sulfur. I was so close to tears. A couple may have even leaked out. I probably started whimpering.

It was a bummer. I really wanted to enjoy that; I’ve always walked to check out a volcano up close and personal, ever since I was a kid. Apparently, if you could stick your face in the sulfur smoke once you got to the top and look down, you could even see some lava bubbling up. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was tempted to toss myself down into the pit though. I felt really awful.

It was a pretty miserable volcano experience all told, but I’d still kill to visit Hawaii’s Volcano National Park.

that miserable sunrise over the crater actually did look rather nice.
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