We can’t recommend Timur and Rote enough as a holiday destination. Off the well worn tourist trail, but easy and full of great people. Our trip included Kupang (with its night market), climbing Fatu Timau and Mutis, and relaxing on Rote Island – world class surfing at the southernmost point of Indonesia.
Semeru is a fantastic hike – up there with Tambora and Rinjani as a truly world class hike. A great thing about Semeru is that there are two really easy hiking days (and great campsites) before you climb the challenging ash slope to the summit.
The “alpine” landscape of the Semeru-Tenggara is wonderfully varied, with pine forests, hills, grassy meadows, and the beautiful lake at Ranukumbolo. The drive from Malang to Ranupane village is a stunning introduction to what is coming for the hike. The road climbs up a long, narrow ridge giving striking views of “extreme farming” on steep slopes, Gunung Semeru, and the “Sea of Sand”, which contains the famous Gunung Bromo.
Dempo is a hulk of a mountain, and one of the few peaks in Sumatra over 3,000 metres. It dominates the landscape at the southern end of the Bukit Barisan mountains in South Sumatra, an area that’s important for Sumatran tigers. It’s not an easy mountain to get to, requiring a 6 hour drive from Bengkulu or Palembang.
We joined the four-day Java Lava trip organised to to coincide with Ascension Day (national holiday) – the Friday also happened to be my birthday and we thought that camping in the meadow below Dempo’s crater at 3,000 m would be a good place to spend it. We were also going to test out our new, fabulous Hilleberg tent.