(still more info from our Winter Break trip – we’ve already spent time on the islands of Gili Trawangan snd Lombok getting certified to dive, spent some time in the city of Yogyakarta and visited the Hindu temple at Prambanan. This entry is from an afternoon while we were staying outside the Buddhist complex at Borodubur)
Gunung Merapi (Fire Mountain), at 2911 meters, is just one of the many active volcanoes that construct the spine of central Java. The United Nations has declared it a ‘decade volcano‘ because of its active and destructive nature. This is a dubious honor; there are only 15 others on the planet. We saw signs of its latest work when we drove to Borobudur; roads and river beds washed out by ash and rock flows just last February. Our hotel guide in Borobudur told us 3-5 cm of ash had settled on the village and they couldn’t see for a day. 1-3 cm of ash had fallen on Borobudur temple and it needed to close for 2 days so more than 200 local volunteers could clean it up and ready it for more visitors. The Sultan still does annual offerings to Merapi to appease its ‘voice’.
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