Monday, May 08, 2006

Viewing the active Gunung Merapi

A photographer on the loose.
Gunung Merapi, most part of the peak is still covered by clouds


It happened that our long planned holiday to Jogja coincides with the eruption of Gunung Merapi. This entry is just about the hunt to get a view at Gunung Merapi's peak where the lava and hot cloud are supposed to come out.

At Ketep Pass. The Garuda is looking toward Gunung Merapi. This site was officiated by President Megawati Soekarno.

We arrived at Jogja on the 3 rd of May with a chance to get a glance at Gunung Merapi. The cloud was thick and we managed to see the top part only for a few seconds. The next day was our 'view Merapi day'. We travelled by 'Kijang'(equivalent to Toyota Unser but with better suspension) to Ketep Pass which is a viewing point for tourists. Ketep Pass has an audio-visual theater (Gunung Merapi's eruption in 1994/98), Gunung Merapi Museum, viewing spots, a restaurant and a mussola. There is a Garuda statue looking towards Gunung Merapi. From Ketep pass, we can see a huge valley, Gunung Merbabu on the left and Gunung Merapi just next to its right. Gunung Merbabu is higher volcano than Gunung Merapi but is inactive.
We waited for a few hours but unfortunately the peak was not visible due to heavy clouds.

The cloud started to clear.

We left Jogja for Solo on the next day from Manohara Hotel, Borobudur. We were able to see the heavily cloud covered peak of Merapi. The frustrating travel changed when the sky started to clear up with Merapi's peak getting clearer as our 'supir' Mr Anang made a detour towards Babadan. We we able to see new points of small eruptions as new brownish smoke points. We were grateful to Allah for granting our wish.

A clear view of the peak. A few seconds after the centre parts started to break and release smoke. (200 mm zoom and size minimised)

Gunung Merapi that stands 2920 metres is an active volcano in Jawa Tengah. There are a few other voclano such as Gunung Merbabu, Gunung Sumbing and Gunung Lawu but all of them are inactive. Gunung Merapi is of great significance to the Jogja kingdom. The royal family of Jogja karaton still gives yearly offerings to the 'protector' of the mountain. Gunung Merapi with it garuda-like peak is a symbol of strength and greatness to the people. The soil is fertile, the hardened lava which is black in color are shaped into various ornaments. The black sand can be used to built bulidings.

Rocks from hardened Merapi lava that we found(1994 or 1998 eruption)


Gunung Merapi had erupted many times within the last 15 years. In 1994, the eruption was was strong killing many due to the hot lava flow called 'nuee ardentes' and the hot cloud the local called 'wedus gembel' that measured 3000 deg celcius, rising 3000 metres above the peak of Merapi. This moving hot cloud will burn anything in its path. During the 1998 eruption, about 68 farmes were killed by the nuee which can travel as fast as 110 km per hour pouring down the steep slopes to the rivers, 66 people were killed and hundreds disfigured by 'wedus gembel'.

A far view from the road leading to Babadan, a post at the foot of Gunung Merapi.

For us, it was a great experience to be able to watch the small eruptions of Gunung Merapi, the most active volcano on Earth even from afar.

27 comments:

Mama Sarah said...

Wow!!! Amazing! I wonder what Paul Moss has got to say now! :P~

I understand from Boogey's blog that he was there too. Hahaha, I wonder if he got anyone's hair beruban or not?

neemo said...

my favourite has got to be the first picture. the sun looks awesome there!

mynn said...

spectacular. amazing visiting a volcano just for pictures! Looking forward to more pics

dr in the house said...

Mama Sarah-

Paul Moss dah kena pukau jawa, so he is dumbstruck and is left with no profound words to comment! hehe

Paul Moss said...

I`ve got to say the 1st picture is the best. It`s a beautiful sight, the volcano rising majestically, the clouds are where they should be and total justice is done when you include the young handsome photographer on the left.

Pycnogenol said...

Ikelah, you sure have found the beauties of Allah's handwriting everywhere in Jogja.
That said, I'm sure the greatest beauty will still be there at the end of the journey, when you're back home again. ;)

Welcome back and thanks for sharing the amazing pics. Looking forward to more pics from the trip.

Izhal said...

Id say that the 1st picture is well composed. rarely the subject is the background...

wernt you a little scared? the garuda in bali looks like a human bird hybrid with pontianak teeth... i guess in jogjia its just a overgrown eagle???

the cloud started to clear picture is also cool... the last scenery pon lawa...

my questionthis time,
the rocks picture, what is the background? studio like photo you have here... no shadows at all...

ps-just knew where the most active volcano is :)

Paul Moss said...

I can`t help myself from looking away from the hardened lava photo. We can use it as an example for don`ts when doing post production. Problem with the lasso or the mouse? Background should be of lighter tone and lights from both side will create a better contrast.

abdullahjones said...

weh, nam kepiang je gambo?

Anonymous said...

:D Lovely pics indeedy!!
My faves are the 1st and the last, but perhaps for the last one I'd include less sky and more greenery? Unless the reason you had more of the sky was to exclude the pesky photographer from pic #1 who is lurking near the grass? :D

kenakelayan said...

oops the above comment was mine!

BTW has Boogs published his photos?

mynn said...

Ikelah, buat lah behind the scenes!

Ikelah said...

mama sarah

thanks. suprisingly his hair is still black.

neemo

thanks

mynn

thanks. cominng soon, i am sorting out the pics.

dith

;)

paul

i managed to make that photographer handsome through post production plastic surgery. ;)

pycno

thanks. Alhamdulillah we got home safely.

izhal

thanks. actually excited and tak sabar nak tengok volcano eruption. kalau mereka tak tutup laluan ke kampung di lereng, mungkin saya tutut ke sana.

rocks tu, idea tiba-tiba untuk berkongsi bersama wajah batu merapi yang kami bawa pulang. i placed it on a piece of white A4 paper. On all the lights in my room(tungsten), correct the white balance, snapped the pic. then guna Adobe photoshop to colour the background. Itu yang tak ada shadow. ;)

jawa have about 150 volcano. merapi vocano teraktif di dunia.

paul again

i can agree with the background, that was 10 minutes setting before going to work. it was a sudden flash of idea to place it. no lasso was used.
about the lighting, sorry la.... tak de studio light, tak de external flash, tak de proper macro lens. ;)

AJ

banyak jang, tunggu yeh! ;)

kenakelayan

thanks.

i agree with u, it would be better to lessen the sky and get more greens. as you had mentioned, by doing that there would be an extra object. ;)

Anonymous said...

The first picture is by far the most stunning. Strangely enough, I thought that it'd make a good promotion poster for a sci-fi film.

hiyoshi said...

The anonymous person up there....That's me. I'm trying to remember why'd I go anonymous in the first place...

Mama Sarah said...

DITH: hehehe kena ajar Paul Moss 3 Qul tu!!!

Ikelah said...

hiyoshi
the volcano erupion i guess.
how is your studies. you'll be in the second year this coming session if i have not mistaken. ;)

mama sarah

Bukan 4 Qul? ;)

hiyoshi said...

Fine thank you. Though there's hardly any studying activity going on at the moment due to the holidays!

Yup, I'll be in my second year when the semester opens. A senior! Fancy that :)

mynn said...

good luck hiyoshi. i've actually been reading your blog as well, i really enjoyed reading about your 1st year in medical school. really reminds me of my first year -- learning bleeding anatomy and biochemistry. I wanted to leave a comment, but at with xanga you have to sign in first. sooooo inconvenient.

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