Friday, 16 January 2015

Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

A chance to go to Indonesia came suddenly...... no planning in advance, no expectation and totally unprepared to go abroad for a holiday. Haha!! To cut a long story short, my sister and I went to Indonesia together in such an accidental chance on 16 December 2014.

Our first destination was Yogyakarta which is located at the foot of Mount Merapi in Java, Indonesia. It is one of the famous cultural centers of Java.

The day after we arrived at Yoyakarta, we had a lava tour on a jeep to Mount Merapi. Mount Merapi is an active volcano. I still remember the news about the Merapi volcanic eruption in late 2010. If I remember correctly, the large eruption claimed more than 300 lives and thousands of people were displaced. Therefore, it made me curious about this fierce volcano.

Mount Merapi  in Yogyakarta, Java

We rented a jeep with driver for about 500'000 Rupiah. It was an opportunity for us to experience a bumpy ride on a  rocky road. The jeep driver drove us to the mountain and drove around different sites included the cooled lava bed (lava flow area), the village that was destroyed in 2010 (It was turned to a museum), the "Alien Rock" and the bunker. Unfortunately,we didn't have enough time to take a motorbike ride to the crater top. Anyway, we were so lucky to be able to see the top of Mount Merapi. How majestic the sleeping Merapi volcano is!! I wish it would be a sleeping volcano forever ...... It would become fierce again once it awake.

We had a lava tour on a jeep.

On the way up to the mountain, we passed by a very wide lava flow area.  That area was turned into a stone and sand mining area. We saw a lot of lorries, trucks, excavators and workers there. To me, that was the most impressive site.

Lava flow area

When we arrived at Petung village, we saw a home that was converted into a museum displaying the relics from the destruction caused by the 2010 eruption and some pictures showing the history of Merapi volcano's eruptions. One thing that impressed me in this museum was the wilted clock that hung on the wall. It showed the exact time of eruption on 5 November 2010.

It was especially poignant as I imagined how the villages were ruined and claimed a lot of  lives when a large pyroclastic cloud flowed descending and caused a ruthless destruction. Here, I could felt how large the destructive force of Merapi's eruptions.

Petung village where a home was converted into a mini museum.

The wilted clock showed the exact time of eruption on 5 November 2010.

Later, we visited the "Alien Rock" which the locals said that the rock was ejected by the volcano during the eruption and it had a minor resemblance to human face.

The "Alien Rock"

Wonderful view on Mount Merapi from the site of "Alien Rock".

Our jeep broke down on Yellow River when we were on the way back to the downhill road. Why I said we were on the river?!  Yes, Yellow River was a big river before the eruption but it used to flow of lava when Mount Merapi was exploding, and caused the river bed became flat enough to drive on it . What to do then ......? Haha, while waiting for the other jeep to fetch us, we found that it was a perfect place to capture the most beautiful scene of Mount Merapi!!

View of Mount Merapi from Yellow River.

It was a great lifetime experience. Although it was a short tour, I could feel the pain and panic during the eruption in 2010.

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