Thursday, 31 July 2008

A Lazyman's Guide to Climbing Volcanoes

With over a hundred active volcanoes to choose from in Indonesia there is quite a choice when deciding which one to visit. Have watched Anak Krakatoa erupt from the safety and sort of comfort of our boat it was now time to get to the top of a volcano and peer in. However, we weren't so keen on a 2am start to reach the top or on a ten hour trek so Tangkuban Prahu seemed to fit the bill. Only an hour away from Bandung it is possible to drive all the way to the top. Yes to the top! No arduous uphill struggle to reach the summit. Sounded perfect.

The problem with such an easily accessible volcano is that it was rammed with hawkers and guys offering rides on ponies with dyed pink manes. Also the view was not that impressive. It did smell of sulphur and have gas seeping out of the ground but as Hannah pointed out she would have been really annoyed if she had hiked for hours to get to the top only to be greeted by that view!

We did walk back down to the road though so weren't complete lazybones. A pretty steep downward trail led to a second crater with hot pools and rocks you could fry eggs on and after that it was a pretty easy walk back down to the road. I almost managed to convince Hannah that the monkey we saw was a panther but surprisingly she was having none of it.

I think we learned a valuable lesson here and realise that for gorgeous views and some excitement we might actually have to put a bit of effort in!

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