Show Menu

Mount Merapi

Two hours north of Yogyakarta on the island of Java, you’ll find the massive Mount Merapi, which names boasts the appropriate translation of Mountain of Fire. It’s quite an imposing feature and is one of the most active volcanos in the world. With the lush, green and ultra fertile landscape surrounding its base, it seems hard to imagine villages in ruin, covered by ash years earlier. Immense heat clouds spreading 8 miles from the center caught many people off guard at the moment of the eruption on November 5, 2010. Some locals even refused to leave their homes despite the warnings, afraid to leave their lives behind. With the last eruption in 2010 along with sporadic episodes in September of this year, I was a bit hesitant to get too close and trevail the slopes too closely. Some visitors are daring enough to ascend Merapi during the wee hours of the night to witness glowing lava flows descend from the crater. As amazing as that sounds, we decided to take the less precarious route! Instead, we rented a motorbike from two locals and got an amazing tour around the base of the volcano witnessing firsthand the effects of the last devastating eruption. The nature is unmistakably stunning, yet the reminder of mother nature’s ruthlessness is showcased in the aftermath of homes ravaged by volcanic ash and melted, bent structures that were never recovered or rebuilt. Some trees are still burnt stumps and there’s a visible grey sediment covering the green land. After riding around on the motorbike all day, my hair was as stiff as straw and my body dusty with ash. To be so close to something dormant yet so destructive made me feel alive that day. Update: The latest eruption was November 18, 2013.

DSC_2476

DSC_2445

DSC_2416

DSC_2448

DSC_2458

DSC_2454

The bunker was designed for temporary relief from hot clouds but two men were found dead because of the melting temperatures inside.

Originally, the bunker was designed for temporary relief from hot clouds and ash. According to our guide, two men were found dead inside the bunker due to scorching temperatures.

DSC_2488

This boulder is thought by the locals to look like the face of an alien.

DSC_2428

DSC_2479

DSC_2466

What a beautiful day.

DSC_2492

A warning sign in Javanese.

DSC_2399

DSC_2406

A door to nowhere.

DSC_2387

Frozen in time. A particularly eerie artifact, this clock was melted at the time of the eruption.

DSC_2392

DSC_2398

DSC_2391

DSC_2390

Kitchen utensils covered in ash.

DSC_2404

This tattered flag hangs in the house.

DSC_2477

A cow skull hangs where the entrance to a house used to stand.

DSC_2516

This bridge in a nearby village has seen better days.

DSC_2507

These charred twig looking trees were visible all throughout Kaliadem.

DSC_2501

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: