Parsonage, grabbed our trekking gear - cameras, water, a bit of food and in Kenneth's case, his flip flops and then we headed off across the dry arid moonscape again and towards the now dead volcano beside mount Bromo - this one is called Mt Batok.
Although Mt Batok is only 50m or so higher then Bromo, the sides of the ascent are very steep and it took us an hour to reach the summit. On the way we went from easily walkable slopes, to real climbing up inclines close to 80 degrees! It was really hard going and after a few stops for rest and water we managed to reach the summit. On the way up we could see a few others from the bus, who were having an early morning climb up Bromo itself.
From the top we had more spectacular views of Bromo, which spewed dark grey clouds high into the sky and also the surrounding, flat landscape, which really resembles something from Lord of the Rings. It was so worth it reaching the top and we spent a good hour up there, just the 4 of us, totally alone in our own little world. We were all covered in dirt, ash and dust and looked like we had been travelling for days! We really are very very dirty!!
Soon though we decided to head down a different side of the slope, which appeared to be easier than the ascent. It was less steep, but with the plants and trees it was also a bit more hazardous underfoot, but half an hour or so later we were all down.
Michele arrived on his motorbike, that he had rented for the day and he promised to meet up with us later to give us a lift home - But for now we decided to head up Mt Bromo again, to see it during daylight.
It was an easy climb after the last one and we reached the top quite easily - We couldn't see any lava today though as there was too much smoke and steam. So we went a bid mad and wandered around the lip of the crater where there is no safety fence but the view of the crater is better. It was a really good decision as we got some fabulous views and even spotted some stones spelling out someones name, a few feet from where we saw lava yesterday - Some people really are mad!!
We also had to put on our face masks as the smell and taste of sulphur filled the air around us.
It is such an indescribable place, that I wont even bother to try and describe it -Get on a plane, and come here. The only thing we can say is 'Oh my god, it is just amazing ,incredible etc', So, if you are sitting at home, with the telly on, grab your passport and book a flight to Java - You wont regret it.
After our adventure today we headed back to the lodge across the plains. Michele did come down and met up with us and gave Kenneth a lift back up the steep track. Me Liv and Jennifer Parsonage were a little tired and could have done with a lift ourselves, but needn't have worried as a couple of locals turned up on motorbikes and gave us all a lift us up the hill back to the lodge. It was a welcome relief from our day.
Once back at the lodge we told everyone about our adventure and found out that no one else had yet seen the lava we saw last night. It was than a case of having a shower, updating the blog and then later on we are off outside to watch the sunset from a viewpoint a few metres from the lodge with a beer or 3!!