Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Bali + Java volcanoes

I climb Gunung Lawu
Sarangan - 11th September

[From: "Fred the Wonder Worm" <ftww@joyce.cs.su.OZ.AU>]

Danny's 15th postcard arrived a little while ago; here 'tis:

Postcard #15 Sarangan 11th September

The caption of the picture is "Sarangan Mountain Resort". Underneath that is "Magetan - East Java - Indonesia". It shows a large collection of buildings (presumably the resort and surrounds) at the base of some forested hills, with a mountain in the background. The foreground is a lake, with two speedboats and a few other boats on it.

On to the text (apologies for any spelling mistakes):

Climbing Lawu (picture) was a breeze - the guidebook (Dalton) said 6 hours to the top and the guide said 5-6, but it took us 3 hours to the top and 2 hours down. It's 2000m above the lake surface but the actual climb was closer to 1500m. Much easier than Merapi, and the guide was quite redundant - a constructed track all the way and about 200 other people doing the same trip if something goes wrong. The wedding last night was a strange mixture - traditional dress and ceremony, but it was on closed-circuit TV for those without a good view and the gamelan was taped! Today is a Sunday, and the place is full of tourists from Solo and Mediun - young couples on motorbikes, families, tour buses full - the works. I put my camera on and managed to fit in fairly well - without my pack or hat I think a lot of people didn't pick me as a westerner.

Sarangan lake is nothing to get excited about - it's about 250m in diameter and has concrete walls all around it. It is, in fact, an irrigation/flood control reservoir that just happens to look pretty and is conveniently situated. I feel really good except for the runny nose and some concern about my bowel movements (nothing for almost 60 hours). I'm paying too much for everything, but so are all the Indonesian tourists - I don't mind that as much as being ripped off along with Westerners. I finally got the price on postcards down to 500 (300 is normalish, 400 is ok) from the exorbitant 650 they were asking. [Each time I passed the shop I'd get a reduction in another round of bargaining.] I've moved upstairs so I can sit in the sun and write this. A good view of Lam through the clouds, and lots of pretty girls passing by :) [Not just the 20 year olds; more often than in Australia young teenage girls and older women are attractive. The really old ones are beautiful too, in their own way]

The peak of Lawu was spoilt by the piles of rubbish and all the Indonesians with radios, but there were good views of Merapi + Willis sticking out of the clouds (W + E). I had a vision of all the gods communing above 2200m - there weren't even any planes in the sky!

Cheers, Danny.

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