Often mistaken for Gunung Bromo in the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, the charismatic Gunung Batok is frequently photographed but seldom scaled. Which is a darn shame because its aerial view of Bromo is unbeatable.
From Gunung Penanjakan’s view point, Gunung Bromo pales in comparison to the striking form of Gunung Batok next to it and the commanding outline of Gunung Semeru in the far distance. But Bromo’s manageable altitude gain and accessibility make it easily scalable, provided that it doesn’t try to kill you….
The highest peak in Java and third highest in Indonesia after Sumatra’s Kerinchi and Lombok’s Rinjani, Gunung Semeru made me cry. Here’s why….
For a town whose fortunes were built on the back of tin mining in one of the world’s deepest mines, where the only light source would have been a headlamp, Sungai Lembing’s most appealing natural attractions revolve around light. Rainbow Falls, located 10 kilometres outside of town is it’s prettiest.
The magical cloud-covered views of Sungai Lembing are reason enough to wake up early and make the heart-pumping stair climb up Panorama Hill.
I have ridden the public bus from Sorrento to Positano in Italy. At speed. Done the same along the winding curves and granite overhangs of Taroko Gorge in Taiwan. I’ve even survived the precarious ribbon that passes for road between Nepal’s Kathmandu and Pokhara. None of that prepared me for the bus ride from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi.
Tsergo Ri’s snowy peak in Northern Nepal towered over me, out of reach. I bade Chan the best of luck, waved to our Nepalese guide Sanu confirming my departure and turned around. The wind had picked up, and as I descended with Pukumar, our Nepalese sweeper, its ice cold hand slapped me across the face in final act of insult. I had failed.