A brutiful day cycling Java
“A day that one will never forget.” – Brett Lanham
It was on the Ruta Maya – the Doomsday Ride a couple of years ago that one of the participants coined (apologies to the author – I do not recall who it was) the expression ‘brutiful’ (a combination of beautiful and brutal) and that is what came to mind yesterday cycling into the Bromo –Tenger National Park. “A lunar like landscape of epic (that word again) proportions and surreal beauty“ according to the guidebook “the volcanic Bromo is one’s of Indonesia’s most breathtaking sights”.
However, if you decide to cycle to Bromo, the breathtaking sights become brutiful. Imagine climbing 2,400m in about 30km (the total for the day was 76km). Imagine steep inclines of a gradient possibly up to 20%. Imagine sections of destroyed road. Imagine once you reach the summit and the caldera opens itself in front of you, cycling down between rocks and deep sand. Imagine that once you reach the bottom of the caldera you face an 8km cycle (or walk) in black sand or in volcanic ash. Then you begin to comprehend how brutally beautiful this day was.
Imagine finding a hard wind swept hard surface. You hop on the bike, gaining speed and only 10 meters later come to a dead stop as your front wheel sinks almost a foot into the sand. Imagine walking in that sand as the side wind just about throws you to the ground. And all around you the ancient caldera; the Gunung (volcano) Bromo peaking at 2392m flanked by two peaks Kursi (2581m) and Batok (2440m). The dramatic light. And just behind you, a view that accompanied us on most of the climb, the majestic Gunung Sameru, Indonesia’s highest peak at 3676m and one of its most active volcanoes.
There wasn’t one of us who did this journey that was without a smile that evening around the dinner table. A dramatic day of which dreams are made of!