Danny Yee >> Travelogues >> Bali + Java volcanoes

Preparing to Climb Semeru
Rano Pani, East Java - 19th September

[From: Michael Usher <miku@sedal.su.oz.au>]

This card is an impressive picture of some volcanic mountains in Indonesia
"letting off steam" as it were.  Danny has marked the three important
peaks in pen -- Semeru, Batok and Bromo.  The picture is fantastic, and I
am re-enthused to scan these pictures in and make up a web page ( -- thinks
he has the time!)

Postcard #23 - Rano Pani  19/9/94  |  Please email to dhog@cs.su.oz.au
The electricity has just come on (diesel power only from 6pm-12pm) so I can write
this card.  I'm staying with a Haji and his family - not the
cleanest of places, but sitting around an open fire drinking tea is really pleasant.
I've got a guide - or rather two of them - for 2 days for 40000.  A really expert
guide who offered to carry everything for me and make breakfast in bed/tent for me was
80000, but I think I can do without the mollycoddling (one of my guides has climbed
Semeru 19 times, so should know enough, and I'm pretty sure I could do it myself
with my maps and a compass).  Rano Peni is an attractive little village built
around a pleasant little lake -- at 2000+m it must be one of the highest villages in
Java.  The plateau it sits on is dominated by the peak of Semeru looming to the
south - at first glance it looks like it's 300m high and a few kilometres away,
but it's actually 15km away and 1600m up.  //It's nice to be in the
country again, with chickens all over the place and no traffic - the
chickens are as tough as anything (in both senses of the word) and
are much bigger than the cats, which all seem malnourished (I've
never seen one fed, so I'd guess they are in equilibrium with the
mice:)  //Anyway, it's time to indulge in my traditional vice -
when I left my last book (_Shogun_) behind at the hotel this
morning they offered to trade it, and I got a choice of _Song
of Solomon_ (Toni Morrison) and _Return of the Native_.  A
hard choice, but in the end I opted for the Hardy; either is a
great improvement on the stuff available new.  //The trip here
was uneventful - I got a motorcycle ride to N?nd[au]s so I only
had to walk 9km.  The road was ghastly - an inch of fine powder
soil that got into everything - but the views of the main Tengger crater to the north
made up for it.  (Couldn't see Bromo itself due to an intervening ridge, unfortunately).
The picture is of the Tengger crater from the opposite rim to the one I walked
along today.  //I think I'll use the sleeping bag tonight - it's going to be pretty cold!
Best wishes to everyone, Danny
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