Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mt. Merapi Volcano Hike (Jogyakarta, Indonesia)

Jogyakarta sits at the base of Merapi volcano so it was impossible not to visit it. Merapi is currently, and has been for the past several years ranked the most active volcano in the world. In 2010 Merapi blew up and caused widespread destruction. The volcano itself has also changed as the top of Merapi blew off when it erupted and now has a large gauge on it's south side which you can see in my pictures.

We began the 6 hr hike at 5AM (we were suppose to leave at 4AM but it was raining) hoping to catch the sunrise but we unfortunately missed it because of the delay. I was a bit disappointed we were unable to climb further up the volcano because of the toxic gas, but I was still happy to be way above the cloud line. It was however amazing to see how fast plants are able to grow back when just two years ago every on the volcano was destroyed by the volcanic gas, ash and lava. I was told that you are able to hike further up the volcano from the north side so I will certainly have to put that on my list for next time.

All the greenery you see is brand new within the past two years since it exploded in 2010

Night view. You can still see the  smoke coming out of the volcano.

Hiking through the new brush and dead trees

Dead trees from the last eruption

Gorges carved by the hot lava when the volcano last exploded. You can see the solid lava in the 'river bed'

Solid lava

My hiking group