Back to Gunung Merapi

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Remembering Gunung [Mount] Merapi today.

On the morning we all decided to climb Merapi, we set our alarms for 3:00 a.m., stocked up on water and snacks, and jumped on our bikes in the dark. We drove over two hours up crazy, crooked mountain roads. The sun woke up just as we reached the first view of the volcano. On the long trip up the final hill//mini mountain, Liz + my bike cut out and Amirah + Jen crashed right into us [A’s bike fell on my leg but thankfully other than a couple bruises and scrapes, all was fine. Liz was smart enough to get off and out of danger quickly].

We eventually all managed to walk our bikes up the rest of the hill and leave them for the rest of the day. Climbing began shortly after. It was the perfect moody day to climb. The sun was incredibly bright and blinding one minute and the next, the world was blanketed with thick, dark fog.  Every view was stunning.

Merapi is still active. It is one of the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes today. In November 2010, Merapi erupted multiple times, killing over 350 people and displacing another 320,000.

Climbing Merapi was such a beautiful and meditative experience for me. I climbed the whole way down alone and it was incredibly meaningful and inspiring. It was quiet and lonely, but only in the best way. It left me with a new appreciation for volcanoes and the diversity of landscapes around the world.

Plus:

+ Vincent Moon’s Jogja Hip Hop Foundation live on Gunung Merapi

+ More on music in Indonesia here

+ National Geographic + Merapi, 2010

[Photos: A day with Merapi, Java, Indonesia//Grace Farson]

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