Tag Archives: indonesia

Our trek up Mount Rinjani – pt. 2.

Hi folks!

Here we are with the second (and final) installment of my tales-and-pics from our titanically toilsome trek up Mount Rinjani.

I left you last time with us getting ready to descend down (600m – vertically) to a base camp. The plan was to take in some hot springs, and then to climb the opposite wall of the caldera. But no – we couldn’t, or at least wouldn’t. We were here to enjoy ourselves at a steady pace, not half-kill ourselves with over-exertion. So we quickly changed our plans: our three-day trek would become a four-day one. And that was sooo the right decision…

So we had an “easy” descent down to the lake that features the hot springs, and on the shore of which is the base camp. But… easy? You’d think most any descent in the world might be easy but… that sure doesn’t apply to Rinjani (or Table Mountain above cape Town, South Africa!). Again – it was more rubble on the double, often with us having to engage “all-wheel drive” down the steeper stretches. There were steps in places, but these had been fairly mangled from previous earthquakes. There were handrails and ropes for some sections to keep hold of to stay upright, which sure helped, but, still – handrails and ropes and 4×4? Where was our easy stroll downward?!!

It was so difficult and unpleasant – and hot and sticky – that none (0) of us took any photos. We were too busy grappling between rocks and hard places to think of extracting our cameras out of our backpacks.

But all things must come to pass – including bad things. We finally make it down to our camp with our tents already set up by our porters. And locals in nearby tents were selling… beer! Hurray!

Read on…

Indonesia’s Mount Rinjani: my toughest volcano-climb yet – pt. 1.

Hi folks!

Though, as you know, I love my volcanoes, I’ve only investigated Indonesian ones just the once – at New Year 2018: my second further from the center experience (the first came two years earlier – New Year 2016: Kilimanjaro (Tanzania); the third – New Year 2019: Ecuador). Yet Indonesia boasts more volcanoes active since the year 1800 (and since 1950) than anywhere else in the world. Clearly I had some Indonesian-volcanism catch-up too do…

But it’s not just the great many volcanoes in Indonesia that are the attraction. There are also plenty of business prospects there (which we’re actively pursuing) + a great many historical objects + a great many beautiful natural must-sees: not just catch-up needed, but ASAP-catch-up at that!…

And that ASAP catch-up came in the form of a trek up to the top of the active volcano Mount Rinjani.

First – brief backgrounder:

  • Mount Rinjani is situated on the small Indonesian island of Lombok.
  • It’s one of the most beautiful and meditative-contemplative (for the viewer) volcanoes I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes – including from its highest peak:

Read on…

Flickr photostream

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Brilliant Bali!

Herewith, another brief interlude to my ongoing tales from the safari side. Where from? Bali!

So, what was I doing in Indonesia? You’d think it’d be for the volcanoes, since there are a great many of them here, and you know about my love affair with them. Yes – we did get some volcanism in, but that wasn’t the principal reason. I was here mainly for our new press event for the APAC region. As per the template, it just had to be in a warm, sunny, sandy, beachy location, which, being Asia-Pacific, meant we had plenty of options, but in the end we went for Bali, because… why not Bali?! ->

More than 30 journalists attended the event from nine countries. All day it was presentations (me telling it as it is regarding the cyberthreats of today and tomorrow), interviews, handshakes, and all that. The guests all appeared to be extremely pleased, so we’re looking forward to some good press soon!…

Read on…

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New Year further from the center, part 3: Indonesia over and out.

Hi folks!

Herewith, as promised, a brief summary of our recent Indonesian New-Year adventure.

We scaled seven volcanoes (Merapi, Arjuno–Welirang–Kembar, Bromo, Ijen, Kelimutu), saw four dizzying dawns from volcano peaks, stayed on five Indonesian islands, bathed in two seas and one volcanic lake, photographed three orangutans and many a Komodo dragon, swam with manta fish and untold quantities of other marine life, ate tons of local exotic super-fresh fruits, flew four inter-island flights (in addition to the flights to Indonesia and back), and spent countless hours on buses and 4x4s (covering 1300km on… hazardous roads). In a word: phew!

Already back home, I thought I’d dig around on the internet to see what I could find on the volcanoes we climbed. And there was plenty…

Bromo:

Kelimutu:

In all, 18 days (not including getting there and back). A extraordinary expedition. So if you have a bit of a soft spot for volcanism – make sure to get here one day; you won’t be disappointed!

Read on…

Beach, plane, yacht, diving, fishing, sunset.

Hi folks!

All our scheduled Indonesian volcanoes had been duly climbed, snapped, and climbed back down again, but our adventure wasn’t over yet! We still had several days left to go on our trip, but first we needed to get to another Indonesian island. This meant we needed to get to the airport in the city of Ende on Flores island. Now, I was praising Indonesia’s airports a few posts back… Well, this one’s no exception (but for one bizarre detail)!…

So. Ende. A city with a population of just 60,000, but it has a really rather charming volcano nearby plus a really rather good airport. However, flights in and out of the airport are rare, and by day they simply lock the whole airport up (literally)!

The road from Moni (where we stayed after seeing the brightly-colored volcanic lakes the previous day) is a strange one: journey time on it is very unpredictable; example: we were told it would take three or four hours to get to the airport; it actually took one-and-a-half. Not that we’d have minded a longer ride, as the views to be had therefrom when circling the volcanoes are crazy beautiful (featuring remarkable ravines and wonderful waterfalls), and at the very end – while you wait for the airport to open – you can lounge about on a brilliant beach. Aaaah! The perfect setting for meditation:

Read on…

The blue eyes of Kelimutu.

The final volcano on our Indonesia trip was Kelimutu on the island of Flores. Just one look at a photo of this volcano and you’ll guess the distinctive feature that makes it an extra special volcano: its differently (brightly) colored volcanic lakes that sit in its three calderas. Kelimutu for sure helped ‘Indonesian volcanoes’ earn their place on my Top-100 Must-See Places in the World (No. 72). I don’t think much commentary is needed here. As per custom when I encounter off-the-scale natural beauty, I’ll let the photos do the talking…

Read on…

Ocean warmer than hot springs.

Indonesia is a country made up of many islands – around 17,000, actually! Plus its roads and drivers are hardly… autobahns and sensible Germans, respectively, either, as mentioned earlier. These factors together mean air transportation is very popular in the country (which has more than 130 airports!): national airlines have planes hopping between the country’s large cities like shuttle-buses at rush hour. So – all this flying; but what are the airports like? Mercifully – great! We used a full seven throughout our trip, and every single one was new, neat, tidy and clean – even the small provincial ones with just a few flights a day; here’s an example: Blimbingsari Airport near the city of Banyuwangi, which we headed to after climbing Ijen:

Read on…

Ijen’s yellow smoke: not for all folk.

Hi folk!

Onward we march on our Indonesian ‘volcation‘. Next up: Ijen – our sixth volcano in as many days. Not a bad result considering all the necessary short flights and driving (on not the best of roads with not the best drivers in the world) to get from place to place. We managed it by being on the road by day, and doing the volcano climbing by night. To some that adds up to touristic masochism. To us: tourism at the correct tempo ).

Ijen was no less pleasing than the other volcanoes. This one’s particularly awesome features: a bright turquoise crater-lake, powerful fumaroles, and bright yellow air sulfur resin and smoke…

Read on…

Bromo in slo-mo.

Hi folks!

Right after the Penanjakan morning mist show, our guides took us to one of the main volcanoes that contributed to that show: Mount Bromo, Gunung Bromo in Indonesian:

During the dawn show, it was here:

So what can I say about it? This is getting a bit broken record, but… – it was yet another implausibly fantastical sight to behold! Satellite pics of it look… oh my Gunung, but up close it was simply… oh my GREATEST (caps intentional)!

Read on…