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Full Circle

Day 120: Mount Bromo to Surabaya

Mount Bromo, Indonesia 
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Sacred volcano in the Tengger Highlands.
Michael Palin - Full CircleMy alarm clock sounds at ten past three in the morning. It doesn't take much to wake me as I've been kept on the edge of consciousness by bone-numbing coldness. The surroundings are unfamiliar. A timber cabin. And the smell. Not since we left the northern Philippines have I smelt pine.

Gradually I assemble the pieces. After a long day's drive across into East Java, during which we avoided certain death about once an hour on a treacherous road packed with cars, fuel tankers, goats, men with grass strapped to their bicycles and coaches hurtling down the middle of the road, accelerators and horns hard down, we turned up into the foothills of the Tengger highlands as night fell. Steep gradients and hairpins brought us up slowly but surely into cool refreshing mountain air, seven thousand feet above sea level.

Cool and refreshing it may have been last night, this morning it is just bitterly cold as I delve into the bottom of my suitcase for every sweater I can find, all the while cursing sunrises, volcanoes, television documentaries and everything that has brought me to this god-forsaken place at this god-forsaken time.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 120
  • Country/sea: Indonesia
  • Place: Mount Bromo
  • Book page no: 174

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