Part 2: Hiking up a Volcano in Indonesia

indonesia-volcanoNow this isn’t strictly related to diving but during my recent trip to Indonesia I also got up to a few other pretty cool things, including hiking up a Volcano!

As a little kid, I used to love mixing up the “secret ingredients” for a volcano in a bottle and then watching as it bubbled up and exploded all over the place.

There was just something about that chemical reaction that made me fall head over heels in love with volcanoes, a love and passion that continues still today.

Obviously, I never thought that I’d get the chance to get up close and personal to a volcano – not because I’m absolutely terrified of being buried in hot lava (a remnant memory or nightmare from a childhood game, I’m sure), but because of the opportunity never really presented itself.

That was until I traveled to Indonesia.

Indonesia – Home to 17,000 islands, many of them created by volcanoes

Like most people that take a bit of a vacation to Indonesia, I was more interested in the sun, sand, and beaches than the composition of the actual islands themselves. On top of that, it never really crossed my mind why Indonesia would be called the “Indonesian Ring of Fire” until our hotel guide and concierge let us in on a bit of a “secret”.

It seems that this archipelago is situated on multiple tectonic plates that all smashed together – with more than 129 active volcanoes still in existence today! That means that 13% of the world’s volcanoes are situated right here, right in Indonesia, and I knew that I’d finally get the chance to check one out.

Prepping the gear and the camera

I’m not really quite sure of how I assumed we were going to get to the top of a volcano (or anywhere close to the top, for that matter), but I never really predicted or anticipated that we’d be hiking up.

I guess I just kind of assumed that some helicopter would shuttle us to the top of some mountain somewhere, and we’d slowly creep up to a crater sized hole in the earth spewing smoke and fire – and I’d finally get to see my volcanoes!

Boy was I wrong.

I’m not overweight but this hike really took it’s toll on me, I go to the gym back home and mostly use the rowing machines but I’m certainly not super fit.

We were instructed to purchase the some hiking boots (since we hadn’t packed any), and after a short trip to an outdoor outfitter we were loaded up with the most comfortable, durable, and stable boots I have ever snuggled onto my feet.

Seriously, it might be a bit of the “volcano fever” hangover talking, but I don’t know if I’ll ever take those boots off of my feet except to base and maybe (but just maybe) sleep excavation point

They were just that comfortable!

Anyways, after we were completely outfitted with brand-new hiking boots and instructed to meet up with a guide that would bring us to the top of the mountain, we stopped often purchased a brand-new camera to capture all of the action.

I went with a GoPro camera that I could strap to my chest so that I could videotape the entire experience in high definition, and I think I made the right decision. The movie (though it’s only 20 or so minutes long) is a treasure that I’ll always have, and one that I show to just about everyone and anyone that comes over.

We missed out on the spewing lava and it wasn’t quite as smokey as I thought it was, but my love of volcanoes has definitely been rekindled!

 

Why everybody should travel the world at least once

laosTravel is something which has become more and more accessible over time due to cheaper flights and cheap accommodation. This means there is no excuse not to get out there and see the world!

Whether you are going backpacking for six months or just getting away for a couple of weeks, the world is your oyster and you owe it to yourself to go and see what is out there.

Most people have a list of places in the world they want to visit, and have dreams about making it happen however most people also don’t make their dreams come true. This is a tragedy and if you are reading this post then please don’t be that person!

There is no better experience than travelling, it is eye-opening and builds character. As somebody that has traveled to over 20 different countries, I can tell you the best times of my life have been spent overseas, seeking out new culture and great beaches.

Anyone that has travelled will tell you that it is all about the experiences, you will have so many great ones. In fact it is likely you will have more experiences in a week of travelling the world than a whole year of staying at home. Travelling is intense, it makes you feel alive and you won’t want to come back home to a mundane life.

Nearly everybody catches the travel bug and for me, I want to travel many more times in my life. There are so many more places I wish to visit, and it is my ambition to make that happen.

Travel can also look good when applying for jobs, it shows initiative and independence. So don’t let the idea of leaving a good job behind scare you, chances are when you come back it won’t take long to find another one and if you are lucky you may be able to re-join the place you left.

Even if you don’t have anybody to travel with, don’t let that hold you back. Many people travel alone, and this means you will make many new friends along the way. I have in fact travelled both with friends and alone, and sometimes it is actually better to be alone as it forces you to meet new people and step out of your comfort zone.

If you want to read more about travel, and different destinations then check out this website here where you find more stories to inspire you.