Diary


06.07. Arrival after a long flight over Kuala Lumpur, meeting with the 8 members of the travelling-team and tourist-guide Chris, Hotel Duta Garden, the old town and the bird market of Yogyacarta. Details Yogyakarta
07.07. Hindu temple construction Prambanan, taking our lunch in an attractive restaurant inside the jungle, taking direction towards Merapi, apes, climbing up a ladder which was left without means of safety towards a view-point tower, the former village Kaliurang that had been destroyed during the last outbreak of the volcano, cosy atmosphere of the evening-time and the Merapi quite close to us, return to the hotel and supper. Details Prambanan
08.07. Dieng Plateo, journey through the jungle and through fields with rice, banana, coffee, tobacco, driving round the turquoise coloured sulphur-lake Gelage Warna Dieng, sludge volcano Kawah Sikisali, elephant’s soccer!, Kawah Sileri and driving back home. Details Dieng
09.07. Morning atmosphere at the south side of the Merapi, Borobudur, approaching to there through jungle and small villages, visiting the temple, continuous interview-attacks by Indonesian girl students who wanted to apply their English, attending a Wayang event. Details Borobudur
10.07. Driving to Selo, break at one observatory, very charming lodging-place at Selo, short ascent to a view-point and a good appearance of Merapi in the evening sun, supper and short sleep until midnight.
11.07. With a fascinating sky full of stars shining bright we made 1,200 height metres towards the top of the Merapi, there sunrise (respectively Detlef starting to sleep), forthcoming gas. A descent which we didn’t enjoy at all, ride towards Tawamangu for a check-in to the hotel Komajaya Komatatih (a mosque with muezzin was next to it), went to a waterfall with apes, break and supper.
12.07. Temple of fertility Sukuh, ramble through the fields back to the hotel, we made a long way of driving on our journey, waterfall Sodudu in the darkness (frogs and a worm with it’s tail glowing in the dark), luxurious hotel = cultural shock in Kediri. Details Tawamangu
13.07. Volcano Kelud, a short ramble onto the edge of the crater, the lava’s steamy crest, riding further to Songoriti, cosy afternoon in the jungle with singing birds and croaking frogs. Details volcano Kelud
14.07. Taking bath in hot thermal springs, riding further to Malang (our driver couldn’t control the way very well), ride to Tumpang, a typical farmer’s meal in the lodge of the ranger, taking a short sleep.
15.07. Departure by midnight with two Toyota Jeeps, observatory from where we should have been able to have a look at the glowing Semeru, but it was completely covered with clouds, breakfast, ride to Ranu Pani through the always fascinating jungle, simple lodging-place, stroll round the lake, early going to sleep.
16.07. Departure by 7 o’clock in the morning towards the base camp at the Semeru (we carried only a day-pack each, the rest e.g. the tent had been carried by native carriers), on the way we always had a good view at the eruptions, lunchtime-break with Nutella at one lake, ascent from the base camp up tu 2,700 metres, building up the tents, camp-fire, coldness, sleep.
17.07. Ascent towards the top with the moon and the stars shining bright, 45 degree steep walking on volcano-ashes, three of us had to give up, and we – the remaining part of the team – couldn’t reach at the top by the darkness and missed thereby the chance to see the red glowing-fire, the eruptions right in front of us nevertheless were great! Details volcano Semeru
18.07. One time later the descent, jumping over volcano-ashes, yeah, back at the base camp, refreshing and cleaning ourselves at one spring, cosy afternoon, descent (we were very lucky that the Semeru wasn’t covered with clouds, but it is now), chatting with Detlef, taking our lunch at Ranu Pani, ride with an open Jeep through the Tengger Caldera to Cemero Lawang and after all we could take a shower again, relaxing in the evening,
19.07. Sunrise with fantastic view to the Tengger Caldera, breakfast, ramble from the hotel to the edge of the crater Bromo, walking-tour round the edge of the crater Bromo, cookie-breaks, coffee-break, hotel, watching the sunset and falling asleep. Details Tengger Caldera
20.07. Ride to one coffee-plantation (Jampit), Detlef bought a pick-axe and a rice-hat on the way, we stopped at two lakes of volcanic origin, the farm was closed, the lodging-place was the worst of the whole journey, going to bed early.
21.07. Departure by 02:30 a. m. from Kawah Ijen, drizzle rain, ascent to the edge of the crater, descending the crater and arrival quite in time at the burning blue sulphur! Daylight, not respectful working-conditions of the sulphur-workers, watching the workers doing their strenuous job, snapping them pictures, unbelievable, and we were standing next to them wearing high-tech clothes, unforgettable experience. Ascent for getting a view into the lake of the crater, ride to Pos Paltuding, a nice hotel by the sea, strolling by the sea, supper with Bir Bintang enjoying cinnamon flavoured cigarettes. Details Kawah Ijen
22.07. Ride to Bali, ferry-boat, great landscapes, Kuta, a city based on tourism but a nice calm hotel, nice evening with a few Bintang.
23.07. Detlef killed a rat in the night with the pick-axe, ride to the volcano Batur, ramble to the top, then coffee-break in a nice stylish shop. Details Bali
24.07. Patient stay at the airport, Detlef had been booked at on earlier air-plane but nobody noticed it – how comes? – but then he was chanced to get his place with our plane – yeah! An enjoyable flight to Kuala Lumpur, continuing our flight (Jörg had already been announced but still got the flight), watching two films and landing in time.


Days 01, 04: Yogyakarta


In the morning of 6th July we were landing at Yogyakarta, where Chris, our tourist-guide, picked us from the airport and carried us to the hotel „Duta Garden“. There we discussed first who are the members of the journey (altogether 8 people) and got a little together. After a little pause we went down town. First impression: no skyscrapers, many little shops, millions of mopeds and the usual chaos all around :-)
We strolled through the old part of the city Yogya, passed by at the palace, saw some ruins, had a view over the roofs of the city and went to the bird-market, where one could buy really every kind of small animal: birds, cats, snakes, bats, apes, insects, etc. – very impressing.

This evening we visited a Wayang event. Most interesting was the possibility to take a look behind the scenes and watch the actors and the orchestra working. Apart from that the story was very widespread and took too much time (3 hours). We could concentrate for about 45 minutes. Then we became bored and disturbed by the music :-)

Info: Wayang has two meanings: religious puppet in a theatre and shadow as an expression for ghost or spirit. The puppet nowadays doesn’t look the same any more as it did in the old times. It also changed a lot through the influences of Hinduism and Islam. There are cultural similarities with the Chinese puppet theatre. The story which is told usually deals with the contrasts between good and evil. The UNESCO accepted the Wayang puppet theatre officially as one of the most valuable spiritual and immaterial cultural heritages of human mankind.



Day 02: Prambanan


This morning we visited the impressing Hindu temple Prambanan. We had a competent temple guide who explained everything about it for one hour and showed us the parts which were presently not under repair. One has to know, that there was an earthquake in 2006 that affected the building. Therefore we couldn’t for example have a look at the shrines.

Info: Prambanan is the biggest Hindu temple construction all over Indonesia. It was established around the year 850. Soon after the temple had been built they have abandoned it and it started to decay. They started to rebuild the construction as from 1918 and it hasn’t yet been finished. The reconstruction of the main building was finished in 1953. The biggest problem is said to be finding the original construction material again, which often had been reused with buildings far away. But they cannot rebuild something if they don’t have at least 75% of the original construction material. That’s why many of the small shrines only exist with their bases. The construction is one of the biggest Hindu temples all over South-East-Asia. It had been accepted as a cultural heritage of the world by the UNESCO in 1991. The very high and pointed shape of the buildings as well as the strict range of many buildings around the main temple in the middle, which is 42 metres high, are very characteristic for the Hindu’s way of constructing temples. The complete construction consists of 8 main temples which are altogether surrounded by 250 small temples.
The three biggest shrines are called Trisakti („three holy places“). They are dedicated to their three gods Shiva (the destroyer), Vishnou (the keeper) and Brahma (the creator). This corresponds to the basic structure of Trimurti (trinity of God in Hinduism) after which many Hindu temple constructions in Indonesia are made – for example the Besakih Temple at Bali.



Day 03: Dieng Plateau


On our way to Dieng Plateau we passed the Sundoro volcanoes and went through the jungle, and through fields with rice, coffee, bananas and tobacco – one can hardly describe how beautiful it was. Our first stop we made at the Telaga Warna Dieng (means „turquoise“) sulphur-lake which we walked round one time in a very convenient manner.
Then we made a coffee-break and went direction to the Kawah Sikisali sludge-volcano. There the air is full of sulphur and it’s stinking, bubbling and simmering a lot. Whatever falls into it will be cooked immediately. They say that it happened to one tourist woman some years ago. Actually it’s very dangerous!
Afterwards we rode to a little temple. Next to it an elephant-football match happened by that time! Of course we had to watch that unusual happening for a while!
On the way back we wanted to give a short visit to the Kawah Sileri Crater. Then we hurried up to get back to Yogya.

Info: The Dieng Plateau consists of different volcanic components which have built a very picturesque and fertile landscape which looks like a big caldera. Many people have settled there, working as farmers, but suffering badly whenever the many volcanoes there repeatedly threaten their life and existences. Up to now the soil doesn’t rest: it covers sources of sludge and there are sometimes steam explosions.



Day 04: Borobudur


First we passed by at the temple Borobudur and dropped from our motor vehicle at one village. From there we were walking on foot through villages and forests of that area toward Borobudur and by that way we got pretty much insight into this fertile area. Everywhere we walked the residents waved their hands and smiled at us, it was very wonderful.
Finally we jumped over a fence in order to save the money for the entrance at the temple (happened more or less by accidence). We climbed around on the temple and were fascinated by the Stupas and stone-relief at the temple. There were masses of visitors and we had been much too often interviewed by Indonesian girl students who just wanted to exercise their English. So many people there talked to us and snapped us pictures, we were really tired of it. :-)

Info: Borobudur is one of the biggest Buddhist temple constructions in South-East-Asia. The Stupa must have been built between 750 and 850 during the Sailendra Dynasty, but it was covered under lava for many centuries till 1835, when some Europeans revealed it. Between 1973 and 1984 they restored the whole construction completely. Borobudur looks like a hill fixed with stone, but only from outside. But inside it has the structure of a step-pyramid (FOTO) which consists of six rectangular plateaus, three circular terraces and one Stupa as the top. Borobudur is full of Buddhism symbols and symbolizes itself the whole universe. Altogether there are nine floors on a quadratic base of 123 metres length. At the walls of the four galleries, which become smaller step-by-step, there are plain reliefs with a total length of more than 5 kilometres, which describe Buddha’s life and work. There are three terraces that become smaller in a concentric way with altogether 72 Stupas – which frame the main Stupa, that has a diameter of nearly 11m. In 1991 UNESCO accepted Borobudur as one of the heritages of human mankind.



Days 02, 04 - 06: Vulkan Merapi


Info: The Indonesian volcano Merapi (meru = mountain, api = fire – means: fire mountain) is a piled up volcano. It is about 2,930 metres high and its one of the country’s most active volcanoes. It’s said to be one of the worlds most dangerous volcanoes.

We approached to it from different directions. Our first getting-in-touch was when we were walking through the jungle (with apes, giant bamboo canes) till we reached at the former village Kaliurang, which had been ruined two years ago by a Pyroclastic stream which left obvious trails. We waited there until sunset.
The next day we approached the second time to the volcano. This time we came from the south side. We walked across a very dusty road which is often frequented by lorries.

From Selo finally we started to ascend to the top. At Selo we stayed at a very simple but charming lodging place (they gave us two additional rooms and bought a mattress for our driver) with a team toilet (without toilet-paper, but they told us to always wear the given „public slippers“if we use it).
We started our excursion to the Merapi by midnight – with a sky full of brilliantly shining stars and the milky-way clearly above us. We followed a very steep way which went through a forest, then over a little plateau and ended up in an extremely steep and stony ramp. After altogether 4.5 hours, which felt as if it were only two, we finally arrived at the steamy crest of the lava right by the sunrise! We got a great panorama view all over Indonesia and its volcanoes while the light and the shape of the clouds were always changing in a very nice way. We could stay at the top without gas mask for nearly one hour, it wasn’t windy at all, but then we needed to go back down, and I hate to descent.
This time the way back was steeper than it seemed on our way to the top. And then it happened that many natives either barefooted or with rubber boots on, carrying extremely big packages of grass on their head, overtook us. Around 10 a. m. we were back at our starting point in a very tired but inspired condition.



Days 06, 07: Tawamangu


At Tawangangu we stayed at the Hotel Komajaya Komatatih: agreeable, but the mosque with the muezzin was next to it and of course we were woken up right by the sunrise every morning, when the long lasting loud prayers used to take place.
At the day of the arrival we still went to visit a waterfall with apes, but we doubt the announced 80 meters of it and think they might have been optimized a little bit :-) There were only four of us there, because the others were still tired from the ascension of the volcano Merapi before. But it was a good decision to already visit the waterfalls, because the next day we could notice, that there was a lot of hell-like fuss in town, which which make tourists and foreigners like us feel quite uncertain.

Next morning we drove to the Hindu temple (of fertility) Sukuh, where we especially found the relief and the sculptures, which had been made out of stone, very amazing. From Sukuh it took us two hours to walk through the fields in order to get back to our hotel. Thereby we good a very good insight once again into the rural life in the east of Java / Indonesia. The main monument of the temple consists of a simple pyramid with different relief and statues. Two statues showed turtles with flat shield-house and one showed a male sculpture that grasps its penis. A giant phallus-figure of 1.82 metres with four testicles had been brought into the Indonesian National Museum.



Day 08: Vulkan Kelud


By 7 a. m. we departed from Kediri, where we stayed at a luxurious hotel in contrast to the days before, and drove not only direction to the volcano Kelud (or „Kelut“) but nearly up to its top! Our travelling guide Chris announced a short and even trip with the words „You don’t need to take water along“. But later the reality turned out to be different: we walked along one street which was always up and down but not even. Perhaps we should have taken a moped instead, for it was cheap :-) Then we walked across country – short but steep – up to the edge of the crater. From there we climbed up to a viewpoint, which required real climbing with hands and feet at a rocky wall. From there we had a great view into the crater with the lava’s steamy crest newly built from last November. One of the team members visited the Kelud already last year and could confirm that last year there was a lake which had meanwhile disappeared. Then we followed the edge of the crater, which was not very easy, for it was very narrow with steep slopes at the right and left side, and where there was still enough steam and much heat by the dome.



Days 10 - 13: Ranu Pani


Ranu Pani: Our departure was once again by midnight at Tumpang. We used two little Toyota Land-Cruiser Jeeps (oh yeah) and had new drivers. We drove directly to one Observatory. When we arrived there by 3 o’clock in the morning we could clearly see the volcano Semeru. We had been looking forward to see a red glowing fire which we prepared to snap with our cameras and built up our tripods. But in just that moment the Semeru had been covered by clouds, what a pity! It was out of sight till after the sunset, therefore we had to disappear, too. But that was the first and last time on our journey, that we suffered from bad weather conditions like that.
From there we went on to Ranu Pani. Ranu Pani is a place where mobile phones have no reception at all. We stayed there at a mere lodging-place with a little lake, where we strolled round before the lunch. When clouds came up and it became unbearably cold and foggy, we decided to take some sleep in advance for the next days.

Day 1: Departure by 7 a. m. to our base at the Semeru. We carried only day-pack, while the main luggage was carried for us by native people. After the foggy weather yesterday we enjoyed – from Ranu Pani on – the today’s sunny conditions and the clear sight the more! We ascended easily walking through partly tight jungle, and had frequent chances to see the top and periodical eruptions! Lunchtime-break with chocolate cream from at home! We sat at one lake and ascended to our base camp which was at 2,700 metres height. There we had to build up our tents and spread our equipment there. We could finish that shortly before the day had dawned and the full moon was there. By that time we didn’t expect that it would be as cold in the night as it started to be. We took a tasty supper by our camp-fire and went to bed early and laid down in our cosy sleeping-bags. Our Indonesian tourist-guides spent the night awake by the fireplace and were chatting and singing – really unbelievable!

Map Semeru

Day 2: You know when we got up? Yes, unbelievable, It was by midnight  We put on all the clothes we had and put them over and over. Then we left in direction to the top of the Semeru. It wasn’t windy what is a rare lucky weather condition. The first passage was steep and led us through a forest. The second passage meant walking on stony volcanic ground with also sand – very hard to walk on and additionally strenuous on a hillside of at least 45 degrees ascent! We were motivated by the view of the eruptions in the moonshine directly above us. Three members of our team nevertheless had unfortunately to quit, but we, the remaining fellows, continued the way step-by-step closer to the top. We finally arrived there after around 4.5 hours (Chris’s record has been 1.75 hours!) and unfortunately the darkness had already disappeared, and at the same time once again the chance to snap pictures from red glowing fire. But we were there short before the sunrise. And now the eruptions were direct in front of us, they were powerful and hard to describe – wow – it was really worth while. On our way we noticed only very silent eruptions, because they were covered by the dust. But sometimes we could hear flashes. At the top it was calm which was quite unusual and enabled us to await and enjoy several eruptions without feeling cold. After some time we surely had to quit and go back to our base camp. The descent was quite funny: we jumped around on the ashes and slid on it down the hill quite quickly. Then we went again through the forest and one of the highlights of our journey was already over.

Day 3: We arrived at the base camp by 9 a. m., then we packed our things and I went back with Detlev chatting all the way descending to Ranu Pani.

Info: Semeru or also known as „Mahameru (Big Mountain)” is a stratospheric volcano and with its 3,676 metres the highest mountain of the island Java. It’s crater’s diameter is 500 metres. It is situated in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park south-east of Surabaja at the eastern part of the island. It is said to be one of the most beautiful, but also as one of the most active and most dangerous volcanoes of this world. Since the year 1800 there were more than 50 outbreaks and 10 of it were complete and big outbreaks, indicated as a combination of heavy release of ashes, glowing clouds followed by streams of mud which are caused by rain. In the past 30 years the Semeru hasn’t slept at all and every one to two times per hour it pushes ashes into the sky.



Days 13, 14: Tengger Caldera und Vulkan Bromo



At the following day or I should better say the following night we got up in time again as usual. By 3:45 a. m. we departed direction to a view point to see the Tengger Caldera by the sunrise for to enjoy the miraculous effects of the changing light and atmosphere so beautiful – surely one of the greatest viewpoints of the world! As this seems to be a tourist highlight of East Java, we preferred to sit somewhere apart the masses of tourists and rest peacefully and calm to be able to enjoy the sights.

Info: The Tengger Plateau is already 820,000 years old and consists of several connected stratospheric volcanoes, which are each limited by a caldera. The Semuru, Java’s biggest 3,676 metres high volcano is located there. The volcano Bromo is the latest crater of the Tengger Plateau and one of the most active ones at Java. Together with the volcano Batok it rises there in the centre of the giant Tengger area. It’s crater is 16 kilometres wide and is also called „ocean out of sand” because it looks like a landscape from the moon with it’s lack of vegetation. The surrounding green hills are a big contrast to the Tengger Caldera. At the Tengger Plateau there are 40,000 residents of a Hindu community who could stand against the Muslim’s majority of the island.

We took a cosy breakfast and went straight through the Caldera directly towards the volcano Bromo (the ordinary tourist would always walk directly from the sunrise-viewpoint straight to the volcano Bromo) where we could enjoy being just among ourselves by this late time of the day. There we went up the steep stairs, where we stood direct at the edge of the crater and could have a look inside the steamy crater. Afterwards we went round the crater (approximately 2,5km) without hurry and also one longer cookie-break watching the Semeru from there. It was a very convenient but also very fascinating walking-tour where we also had to make use of our gas-masks for a short while.

Info: The Bromo (it is called by the natives “Gunung Bromo”) is a stratospheric volcano on the Indonesian island Java. It is 2,319 metres high, the youngest crater at the Tengger Plateau and one of the most active volcanoes there.

Mythologie: A story says there was the Princess Roro Anteng of the Majapahit Dynasty who founded her own Principality together with the husband Joko Seger by the end of the 15th Century. They called it Tengger after the syllables of their names. The Principality became wealthy, but the ruling couple couldn’t have children. Out of despair they climbed to the top of the Bromo and prayed the Gods might help them. The Gods promised to do so only if they would sacrifice their last-born child to them. The two had 24 children, and when the 25th – the final one named “Kesuma” – was born, the princess disagreed to sacrifice her child and not to fulfil her former promise. The Gods threatened with fire and sulphur, and she gave in. When they threw the child into the crater its voice came up asking the natives to make annual celebrations there at the volcano, and they still do so every year up to now. It is a big Hindu celebration called “Kasada” where they try to ease the Gods will by throwing animals like e.g. goats into the volcano. Inside there used to be some very sportive Muslim boys who catch the sacrificed animals and take them along for meal in order to support their families. The Hindu always tolerate that peacefully. This gives a good example of tolerance in everyday life between different religions.


Day 16: Kawah Ijen



To go to Kawah Ijen we went to Jampit to a coffee farm to stay there at night. We were riding once again through miraculous landscape and giant coffee-plantations and stopped at two lakes of volcanic origin. On the way Detlef bought one traditional pick-axe together with a rice-hat for himself. The coffee farm was closed on today’s Sunday and the lodging-place was very dirty and not cared for at all. But we were fortunate that we needed to spend only some hours there, and it had been the one and only useless lodging-place on the whole journey

A few minutes to drive away from the coffee-farm we started to ascent the volcano Kawah Ijen (as you have been guessed correctly we started at night). The path was broad but a bit steep and the weather was very foggy, nearly rainy which made us worried about getting the chance to see the glowing-fire from the burning sulphur.
The following descent was slippery, but the good-luck with the weather came back in time. Rain and fog disappeared and we could see the inside of the crater: blue flames, hissing sounds – a crazy atmosphere. And luckily we arrived at the crater’s edge before the daylight came up, which enabled us to snap the flames! After some minutes the daylight came up very quickly – more and more bright. Thereby we could watch workers in the “hell” of the volcano, who use a system of carrying the sulphur away, after it got isolated through pipes put inside the fissures of the volcano and cooled down from originally steam-like 200 to 400 degree centigrade. Their lifetime is being reduced to roughly 30 years by working surrounded by sulphur steam, breaking the cooled down sulphur with rods into pieces. Two to three times per day they carry 2 baskets at a long rod each with sulphur of about 40 kilos to a weighing-station or some LKW and get only 5 dollars salary per day. To reach at the LKW respectively the weighing station they walk with sandals or rubber-boots at their feet about 200 height metres (very steep) up the crater and then another 3 kilometres down the volcano. At times they can increase their salary by selling sculptures to the tourists or they can get some cigarettes by allowing the tourists to snap pictures from them. >We took much time to watch and admire – speechless regarding the working-conditions… When the sun fully shone into the crater we went back to the edge of the crater and enjoyed the view to the lake of the crater shining turquoise in colour.

Info: Ijen (in former times they wrote it “Idjen”) is the name of a volcano-group in Besuki, the eastern district of the Indonesian island Java. That volcano-group has an enormous diameter of 75 kilometres. The most famous part of it is the lake “Ijen”, framed by naked walls. Many geologists and mineralogists call it “the biggest acid cask of the earth”. It is very impressing in colour but very dangerous at the same time through the sulphur gas and steam which it releases and therefore watched by the authorities who make it not always accessible for tourists. The lake Kawah Ijen which is embedded in the crater Ijen is 960 metres long, 600 metres wide and up to 200 metres deep. Its surface has 410,000 square-metres and its content has around 36 millions of cubic-metres. The intense blue-green colour results from the high concentration of alum, sulphur and gypsum. They estimate the content of alum at more than 100,000 tons. The temperature of the lake is changing quite a lot, but they discovered that it will increase in the long run. The measurements were 32° C in 10-2000, and 35° C up to 45° C the following years. The highest value up to now (as from November 2007) had been 48,1° C, which was taken on July 13, 2004. At the south-east shore of the lake the sulphur and the steam from the fissures are 190° C up to 210° C and there you can find sulphur sedimentations piled up through the years of up to 8 metres diameter. The sulphur appears as a heavy steaming sticky orange-to-red-coloured mass, which will change into a bright yellow, if it has cooled down. Occasionally the sulphur coming out will become inflamed by itself and will flow into the lake as a light-blue burning stream. It shines so bright – especially in the night – like a mystic scene. Native workers are breaking the sulphur into pieces and carry it with bamboo-baskets the 200 metres up to the edge of the crater and from there down into the valley.



Days 17 - 19: Bali mit Vulkan Batur


Today we went to Bali. First we took over with a ferry-boat, which might have been the most dangerous activity on our whole journey :-) then we went on by a small bus. There the windows didn’t dare to be opened at first. It seems to be very stupid! But this law might have been made in order to charge the tourists the “necessary” money, which they should leave inside the country. Compared with Eastern Java, the police in Bali is very wicked!
On our way through the northern part we saw fields of cocoa, clove etc. and the usual great view of the countryside till we arrived at Kuta, a city full of tourists and famous for the bombing of one discotheque in 2002, which killed more than 200 people. But the hotel itself was neat, had much green around it and was quite bearable, even though it was situated in the centre of Kuta.
There was one funny incident about Detlef which is remarkable: at the second night that we spent in that hotel there was a rat in his room, which he persecuted with the newly bought pick-axe in his hand: he finally succeeded in killing it – but there are unfortunately no photos about it :-)

On our last day we took a ramble to the volcano Batur. Matthias and Martina didn’t participate for they preferred to spend the day at the beach. We crossed lava-fields, went through forest, had steep ascents on ashes, needed to cope with rocky passages..- it summed up all varieties of ascents we had up to now. But it was pretty cool and a good “warm-up”. Again we had good-luck with the weather. It was sunny, but not to hot. At the last few metres of the descent we were welcomed by some very unfriendly looking wannabe-guides, who disagreed completely that we made the ascent onto the Batur without tourist-guide. It didn’t shake us. We preferred to enjoy some coffee at an inviting shop before we returned back to Kuta. On the way we were stopped by the police who charged us some “money for nothing”. That’s how one perfect holiday ended, and I want to extend big thanks to the great team and our travel-guide Chris, who did a good job (VEI)!!!

Info: The Gunung Batur is a volcano of 1,171 metres height situated in the north of Bali. The crater of the “old” Batur was created through an outbreak about 29,000 years ago. Today the crater of 14 kilometres diameter is embedding another “young” Batur volcano and a lake in the shape of a crescent moon. In the South-East there is the Gunung Abang (it means “older brother”) with 2,153 metres height, which is the highest exaltation at the Batur massif. According to what is written, its latest outbreak was in the year 2000.