Mt. Merapi (2968 m)
This fire mountain remains one of the most active and dangerous volcano in the world. It can be seen from its name – Merapi from Javanese world Meru means mountain and Api means fire.
The latest eruption
The local people call this heat cloud in Javanese Wedus Gembel (Wedus – a sheep; gembel – thick curly hair), as it looked like. Usually the local inhabitants should flee from their villages only after seeing the emergence of the "curly sheep", as considered the real menace of the "Merapi Rulers". In 1997, thousand of Merapi villagers have been evacuated when it began spewing ash and lava.
The worst eruption was in 1930 which killed about 1300 people. People did not know exactly how many thousand or even million times, Merapi has been erupted since its birth. In the 10th century, its ashes had buried totally a temple 15 km southward. Probably its unbearable activity had pushed eastward the Hindu Mataram kingdom from Prambanan, central Java to East Java in the 10th century.
But Merapi does not act always as "a bad guy", most of the time "it is a good guy", handsomely gives tremendous fertility to the land, stands strongly guarding the nature
The path should lead to the border of last vegetation, the timberline, Kendit. Going to the peak, walk thru labile and stony paths, the journey is strenuous. On the peak, one can see the sulphur crater and heavenly panoramic views. It is strongly advised to all mountaineers to prepare themselves adequately, before any climbing. Be careful of accident which could happened due to stone sliding or falling down.
Unfortunately this path is closed since November 1994 due to dangerous activities of the mountain, until further notice. If a climber insists, he could climb only until Miji Hill, from where he can enjoy the beautiful nature. A special permit is needed to enter the Miji hill, which is considered as a dangerous area.
Every year the Karaton – Palace of Yogyakarta gives regular offering in Ngestiaji, north of Kimahrejo village. The ritual starts from the house of mbah (Grand-father) Marijan, a native of the village, assigned by Karaton of Yogya as the gate keeper (Juru Kunci) of Merapi. The offering are meant for the welfare of the Sultan and the people of Yogyakarta and prosperity of the country, to commemorate the coronation of the Sultan. This year is due on November 20 and 21, 1998.
Trekking in Kaliurang
What are the offer?
Quite frankly, these nature oriented outdoor sport and adoration activity have been followed by more and more tourists, local as well as foreign. A traveler could see easily the rivers where the hot lava flows, as in the river of Boyong, in the South slope.
The comments of some travelers are self-explanatory:
"The Merapi got be some kind of myth ……. a great experience to see mother nature so close and it is a must if you visit Yogya" (Martin, Frankfurt)
"Mt. Merapi is very impressive – that lava can really move. Don’t forget warm clothes. It can get really chilly- up there, especially while sitting in the pre-down watching the stars and lava." (Karen, Canada)
From Selo Village, Boyolali
The climbers could prepare supplies in this village, there are some nice accommodations here. Tour guide is also available, by contacting Pak Warsito of Lencoh village, Selo. Normally, the climbing to the peak should take 6 hours. The way back to Selo, is approximately 4 hours.
Most climbers prefer to start early hours at 2.00 or 3.00 a.m from Selo base camp, catching the sunrise from the peak and avoiding thick fog which usually appears mid-day.
The Garuda Peak
Reaching the peak, a stony plain with gigantic active crater, with strong smell of sulphur vapor. The most top peak is a huge stone in the form of Garuda Bird (Indonesia mythological bird) looks like a flying Eagle. A climber should be very proud and happy to be here.
Look at the beautiful panoramic view around, enjoy the crystal clear sunrise, see the other peaks of mountains as Mt. Sindoro, Mt. Sumbing, Mt. Lawu, located hundred km away and the blue South Sea, southward of Yogyakarta and might be a bit worried to watch very closely the active crater with real hot lava inside.
The Ritual Ceremony
More about Merapi’s eruption
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