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!


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