The Sea of Sand

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The Sea of Sand refers to the thick layer of black ash surrounding the volcanoes in the Tenggar caldera. As you can see from the photo above, the sun was still quite low in the sky after we had been driven down from the Mount Bromo sunrise viewing platform. Our next destination was Mount Bromo itself and a 200+ step climb up to the edge of the crater. The walk was hard going as you competed for the ‘easiest’ path with tourist-carrying ponies which could not stop. It was essential to wear a face mask as this ash is very fine and easily kicked up as you walked or thrown your way as the ponies ran passed.

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Look to the top right of the photo below and you will see the flight of steps up to the top of the crater and the people at the very top.

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This is the view looking back to our starting point beyond the temple; it was a long walk!

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Once you get to the top of the steps, you realise there is little room to move with just a few feet to the barrier at the crater’s edge. Far too many people were walking off the main area and heading around the unguarded crater rim. While looking down into the volcano was quite something, I think it helps to be far fitter than I am to do this hike!

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I was quite happy to walk back down the steps, but even that was tricky due to the thick layer of slippery ash over everything. You cannot see it here, but there was a continuous queue of people coming up and down the steps. Thankfully, there was enough space to stand to one side for a rest or photo-taking opportunity.

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Mount Bromo last exploded in 2015, leaving a layer of ash covering this Hindu Temple (Puma Luhur Poten). You can see the thickness of the ash on the righthandside of the photo below. 

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One curious thing about this area is if you drive around to the backside of Mount Bromo, you get to an area of greenness known as the savanna.

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One is still driving along rugged ground, so we still needed the jeep to get from here to the main road to Malang. Here is our photo-taking guide (Mr Hari) and the jeep driver.

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© Helen Gray 2019