Monthly Archives: September 2015

Kawah Ijen and Mt Bromo photo highlights! Part 3

Bromo Marathon! Certainly the most memorable run ever, taking place in the beautiful natural setting and with almost no flat stretches during the run (21 km for me, 10 km for SY) … i.e. it was either uphill, or downhill,  and about half on dirt trail and the other half on road/hard surface …

Tosari village, start and finish point ..

Tosari village, start and finish point ..

waiting for race pack collection counter to open ... our driver brought us to relax at this home stay (Kayo Homestay)

waiting for race pack collection counter to open … our driver brought us to relax at this home stay (Kayo Homestay) on the day before the race (this was after the sunrise viewing)

welcome for all participants, including many from overseas ...

welcome for all participants, including many from overseas …

photo taken by our driver, before the start ... (715 for me, 730 for her)

photo taken by our driver, before the start … (715 for me, 730 for her)

just after the start, most were walking due to this steep uphill ... all the way to the top (where sky meets land at right upper corner)

just after the start, most were walking due to this steep uphill … all the way to the top (where sky meets trees)

dirt trails in the first half of the race ...

dirt trails in the first half of the race …and mostly uphill too!

reached the 6 k mark, in 55 min!!

reached the 6 k mark, in 55 min!!

scenery near the 12 k mark of half marathon route (just at the caldera edge, but from another angle, so that Mt Batok is blocking the view of Mt Bromo)

scenery near the 12 k mark (see route map below) of half marathon route (just at the caldera edge at lower right corner of route map below, but from another angle, so that Mt Batok is blocking the view of Mt Bromo)

21 k route

21 k route

10 k route

10 k route

13 km mark, at 9:21 am

13 km mark, at 9:21 am

15 km mark, 9:33 am

15 km mark, 9:33 am

Finish!! gun time 2 hr 59 min 45 s

Finish!! gun time 2 hr 59 min 44 s

We did it!! (just under 3 h for me, and under 1.5 hr for her)

We did it!! (just under 3 h for me, and under 1.5 hr for her)

Notes

  1. Stay near the villages near to the starting point!! but need to book very early as they get full very quickly ..
  2. Cemoro Lawang is NOT a good place to stay, even though it looks quite nearby and a good road connects it to the villages of Tosari, Wonokitri, etc where the event was held since 2013. The road is only accessible by jeep or motorbike, so normal cars (which was what I had) had to take a very long route to get there (via Pasuruan, taking 3 hr 30 min!!, whereas by jeep takes 45 min)
  3. The full marathon is much tougher than what most people who have done it before are used to: think constant inclines, up or down, and much of it on dirt roads and some on very soft ground!! see Bromo Marathon Facebook comments on it from this years’ participants -“21K keep going up, 9K descend and then up and down again, with the last 5K I thought you don’t want us to finish! But we took the challenge!”

    “Yesss..i almost cried all along the race just because the killer trackk..yess..the last 5k was the hardest like u didnt want us to finish first FM..first trail race..and it’s memorable..thanks broom..”

  4. Results! Full Marathon results for top male runner was 4 hrs 44 min!!! no wonder  the comments people made on the Bromo Marathon Facebook page (see 3 above)
    10K female - SY came in 45 out of 209 entries

    10K female – SY came in 45 out of 209 entries

    21K - I came in 96 out of 435 entries

    21K Men – I came in 96 out of 435 entries

42K - first person came in at 4 hours 44 min!!!

42K – first person came in at 4 hours 44 min!!!

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Kawah Ijen and Mt Bromo photo highlights! Part 2

After Ijen, we made our way back to Bondowoso, took breakfast and showered (to get rid the sulphur smell, being in the fumes on and off while in the Ijen crater (see previous post)). Then, we were off to Cemoro Lawang, a village at the edge of the caldera where Mt Bromo sits … (hotel we stayed at, Cemara Indah, has a superb view of Bromo from right inside its compound as it is just literally at the caldera edge; indeed, to walk on your own down to the Sea of Sand which I did last year, look for the dirt trail  just outside the hotel security guard post)

this view from the Cemara Indah hotel; Bromo is partly hidden behind Mt Batok, the cone shape mountain that is clearly seen here

this view from the Cemara Indah hotel; Bromo is partly hidden behind Mt Batok, the cone shape mountain that is clearly seen here

runners for the Bromo marathon(??) training on the Sea of Sand, the day before the marathon ...

runners for the Bromo marathon(??) training on the Sea of Sand, the day before the marathon …

The wonderful sunrise views that my girl and I managed to have a “front row” unobstructed look in spite of the crazily huge numbers of people at the Penanjakan viewpoint at 4 am (this is a high mountain lookout with seating platform, where all three volcanoes can be seen):

this is the crowd at the platform after the sunrise; many people have left to go to the Bromo crater itself, but it is still full of people!!

this is the crowd at the platform after the sunrise; many people have left to go to the Bromo crater itself, but it is still full of people!!

standing on a pillar (rather dangerously) to get a good shot!

standing on a pillar (rather dangerously) to get a good shot! time is about 5 am.

selfie sticks come in useful if you are not in the first row ...

selfie sticks come in useful if you are not in the first row … one of my favourite shots!!

the light comes gradually ...

the light comes gradually …

classic broom sunrise view, with the sea of clouds in the caldera

classic broom sunrise view, with the sea of clouds in the caldera

panoramic shot taken with my mobile camera

panoramic shot taken with my mobile camera

Mt Semeru, tallest volcano in Java, emitting a puff of ash ...

Mt Semeru (3676 m), tallest volcano in Java,  emitting a puff of ash … Bromo (2329 m) is the one in the middle with a cloud coming out, and Mt Batok (2470 m)is in the foreground.

Semeru has been in a state of near-constant eruption from 1967 to the present. At times, small eruptions happen every 20 minutes or so Source: wikipaedia

Semeru has been in a state of near-constant eruption from 1967 to the present. At times, small eruptions happen every 20 minutes or so Source: wikipaedia

this is the scene as the sun sets over the edge of the caldera ...

this is the scene from our hotel as the sun sets over the edge of the caldera (or some mountain range??) …

SY took many shots of the night sky at timed intervals and put them together to create this image!! (taken from our hotel) ...

SY took many shots of the night sky at timed intervals and put them together to create this image!! (taken from our hotel) …

Notes:

  1. the viewpoint can be reached by foot – about 2 hours hike starting from road leading uphill just by the two large antennae near Cemara Indah hotel. If not, take a jeep (which is what most people do, costs about 200 000 IDR per pax for shared jeep, I think) which brings you down into the sea of sand, before heading up to the viewpoint, taking about 45 min in rather exciting driving conditions (imagine poor visibility due to the mist, and many other jeeps travelling at speed in the Sea of Sand in darkness, except for their headlights).
  2. There are lots of jeeps and people at the top viewpoint (Viewpoint 1 Mt Penanjakan 2700 m) even at 4 am when we reached the viewing platform (we left at 3 am sharp from hotel, on jeep this time) … the later you catch the jeep, the more you will have to hike up to get to the platform area, as the narrow mountain road is packed with jeeps filling up the parking spaces along the road side, and motorbike taxis (ojeks) offering to take you up from your parking spot…
  3. How to get a good view of sunrise – when you arrive at the platform, DO NOT sit on the benches provided and wait there … your view will almost certainly be blocked later on by people who will crowd along the railings from where the sunrise can be seen. Walk towards the railings instead and ignore the crowd already settled down onto the wooden benches on the platform.
    the wooden benches, the railing and the pillars ... at the viewing platform

    the wooden benches, the railing and the pillars … at the viewing platform

    You can position near the pillars linking the railings, as it makes for a good camera stand!! which is what we did, or hang your legs out and use the railing for support to steady the camera for shots in low lighting. Just make sure the view is clear of any bushes that may block a good shot ..
    We were pleasantly surprise to find a stretch of railing which was not occupied when we wandered around and immediately decided this was the place to wait … SY could even set up her camera to take these star trails while waiting ..

cool star trails ... taken while waiting for sunrise

cool star trails … taken while waiting for sunrise

(next: Bromo marathon!)

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Kawah Ijen and Mt Bromo photo highlights! Part 1

After visiting Mt Bromo last year and missing out on the “classic” sunrise view (see post from last year for what happened) and learning about the blue fires at Kawah Ijen (a crater volcano with amazing blue flames due to sulphur combusting spontaneously), I have been wanting to do the trip back to Bromo (again) and Ijen. Then I found out that there was a marathon held there as well (13 Sep Sunday, the third instalment of the Bromo Marathon) and in late March, decided to “just do it”: combine the trip with a half marathon finale!

Here are some of my fave memories of the trip and some travel notes (10 to 13 Sept 2015). I did the trip with my elder girl: just nice that she was having her uni break ending 13 Sep, and very glad she chose to come along!! : ) …

best pic of blue flame

best pic of blue flame inside the Ijen crater (Kawah means crater, btw) .. very hard to take because of the lighting conditions and fumes

sulphur miner breaking up the solidified sulphur into smaller pieces ...

sulphur miner breaking up the solidified sulphur into smaller pieces …

good thing gas mask provided by guide! lights behind are of tourists coming down into the crater

good thing gas mask provided by our guide! lights behind are of tourists coming down into the crater

nothing further needs to be said!!

nothing further needs to be said!!

the incredible workers who toil so hard for so little money (by our standards) ... 10 cents per kg, each load is about 75 to 110 kg, carried up to the crater rim, and then down the 3 km path to the base.

the incredible workers who toil so hard for so little money (by our standards) … 10 cents per kg, each load is about 75 to 110 kg, carried up to the crater rim, and then down the 3 km path to the base.

Travel Notes (to Ijen)

  1. All transport by private car, arranged with Trip n Treat (very reliable, whatsapp Sis +62 811 3979 333 or find them on trip advisor for reviews)
  2. Surabaya to Bondowoso (stayed at Ijen View Resort and Hotel) – 6 hours 200 km journey, resort is nice enough with a decent pool, but it is still about 2 to 3 hours away from Ijen, so no “ijen view”, one of the better hotels you will find/stay in Bondowoso). Possible to reach by public bus, but not able to find a lot of info about it (e.g. transfers or direct bus service from Surabaya, timing; take public bus, if on a budget, but must have more time and make arrangements to end up in Sempol, then ojek to Paltuding)
  3. Bondowoso to Paltuding (base from which to hike up to Ijen crater) – 2 hours 66 km journey, started at 11 pm, reached 1 am. Some parts of the road are very bad, very rocky and bumpy, but most of it is fine. Simple food available at Paltuding before starting the hike up; otherwise, there is another canteen halfway up.

    we made it safely back!!

    we made it back safely!!

  4.  Paltuding to Ijen crater lip – 3 km hike, up a fairly steep dirt path especially for the first 2 km, in total darkness. A torch is a must; a guide is useful but not a must for the very seasoned traveller as lots of other people will be going up as well, so just follow them. However, you will be “hounded” by the guides whose livelihood depends on your hiring them, so would suggest getting a guide (make sure they will provide gas mask for you when going into the crater). Entrance ticket of 100 000 IDR to get onto the trail. Rest stop halfway sells food and drinks (basic) and the weighing station for the sulphur is also there …
  5. Into the crater – a steep and challenging path on rocky “path”; needs good balance and leg strength to negotiate safely. A guide if hired will be able to assist you on the 300 m climb down (and later, up!!) with some inclines at 45 or 60 degrees .. all this done in darkness with only torchlight to illuminate your path if going to see the blue fire in the wee hours of the morning. You may be greeted with sulphur fumes any time! Enter at your own risk …

    the sign that all ignore ...

    the sign that all ignore …

6. Sunrise – view is good only in June – July apparently; other months, it is blocked by other mountains nearby.

7. the crater lake (not for swimming, very acidic!!!) – unfortunately, we missed it as the fumes were coming up and blocked all visibility of it … travellers do come and see the lake only as we saw many people coming up the path when the sky was already bright (blue flames cannot be seen in daylight).  The colours of the lake look amazing from the photos posted by others though:

source - national geographic

source – national geographic

(next post – Bromo sunrise!)

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Learn three other meanings of “cobbler”

So interesting to learn these other meanings of “cobbler” after I mended Chien’s slippers!

1. person who mends shoes.
2. deep-dish fruit pie with a thick biscuit crust, usu. only on top.
3. an iced drink of wine or liquor with fruit and sugar.
4. Archaic. a clumsy workman.
[1250–1300; Middle English cobelere=cobel- (of obscure orig.) + -ere -er1]

source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cobbler

preparing stage ...

preparation stage … get the glue, cleaner, sandpaper, knife, ice-cream stick, and old newspapers, and separate the part of the shoe that had gone “crocodile” …

After cleaning, apply contact glue and let it dry for 15 min until almost

After cleaning, apply contact glue and let it dry for 15 min until almost “tack” free – i.e. not sticky. Make sure especially that the glue is applied around the edges of both surfaces …

align properly and press together; voila, as good as before they

align properly and press together; voila, as good as before they “crocodiled” and ready to wear again …

I would say the most important 3 tips are

  1. separate the surfaces completely so that the contact glue can be applied throughout
  2. clean the surfaces before application of glue
  3. let the glue dry until tack free (not sticky) before pressing the surfaces together

Would have been a waste to just throw them away, right? (the glue costs $2.50, by the way 🙂 )

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