Bromo revisited

It’s okay, I spouted with a swagger in my step, I walked there before! Same old type of cheap accommodation with the comfortingly super damp bedding. 

Awake! 2.30 or there abouts, up and at it! Stumbling out into the brisk air we were met by a cachophany of noise. Tailing off onto the distance was a column of roaring jeeps. It’s okay, we’ll walk, not like these pampered softies!!!

Through the town and down a steep slippery slope on our way to the Sea of Sand. Lights and sounds pounded past. But we’ll walk!! Down onto the sea of sand and off we went. Mist enveloped us, but no problem for we had my iPhone torch/lamp. Onwards McDuff.

And then from the rear, column after column of jeeps screamed past us. Entertaining it was, look I’m here said my iPhone torch wanly. And on we went. Again and again like The US army in Desert Storm, metal and light flew past us. 

Eventually a horeseman guided us to the base of Bromo, but we hadn’t been too far out. It says here:-) People and beasts appeared wraith like from the gloom but our goal was in our sights. So sad to see rubbish at the base of the final leg up to the crater rim. Guess that’s progress. The light, the view and the atmosphere was amazing. And then a walk back in the daylight and a stop off for food at the Lava Hotel. Ordered tomato soup. Love tomato soup:-) a bowl, two tomatoes cut up and some boiling water. Wouldn’t it be boring if everything was the same! 

To many jeeps and fumes but nothing can destroy the majesty of Mount Bromo. Not even dodgy tomato soup!

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Memories of Mount Bromo

We arrived late at our accomodation. It had been a long bumpy ride in a truly old jalopy. Some call it romantic, others called it uncomfortable. The room was basic, but we would only be there a short while. If memory serves me correctly we rose at around 3am. Even the roosters were snoozing still.The last time I had got up so early was when I was born.

In a comatosed state we shuffled to our guide and were led off sheep like into the murkiness. Dark and cold, what was I doing? Where was my ratty bed? We ascended for a short while and came to the valley floor. The braying of donkeys came out of the mist. I decide to walk as did my partner, but her sister had a terrible disease. Born bone-idle, bless her. She mounted one of these small animals with her feet almost dragging along the floor. We trudged onwards through the mist and gloom. Why am I here?

Our sojourn finished at the base of a steep set of timber steps. Just in case we felt in need of civilization, reminders of it were left in the form of plastic bottles, cans and other advanced detrius near the steps. The donkey was unburdened from its not insubstantial load and all three  of us made our way upwards. The donkey had seen the show before.

At the top we stopped to take in the view of the volcano and breath deep the fumes. Not distasteful after a life time of Mother’s cooking. This was more like it! Then someone shouted and we all turned in near seeming unison. The sun was rising. A huge golden, yellow orb of power and light ascended the farthest horizon. Spilling light across the plain as it rose. One of the most fantastic sights I had ever witnessed was taking place before my eyes.

ahh, that was why I was there!! Magnificent and I carry the polaroid like snapshots in my mind for evermore. Truly breathtaking. Now where was that poor donkey?

Pokemon Go! (away)

During the week my wife told me to accompany young man as he wanted to go and hunt Pokemons. Dusk was in the offing, so off I scuttled. We walked, great for young man as behind a desk and computer he didn’t sit.

Then he stopped, serious and all business like. Apparently a Pokemon was on the radar! The tension built, it was after all, my first Pokemon hunt. He showed me on screen the nifty little beast he would ensnare. One, two, three clicks and the critter was caught.

Off we toddled again, being assured we were going to a happy huntin’ ground for Pokemons. Strange vision. We sat in park as dusk embraced us rapidly. Small knots of teens sat around. But no shouting, no teasing, no raucous games. They sat in the darkness staring at their luminescent screens. Enthralled. My wife rang, the game was up, ordered back home, he trudged sullenly. Apparently night is the best time to hunt for these wee beasties!

Strange hobby, but they all seemed so happy with faces illuminated in the gloom. Pokemon Go (away).

 

Arles

I never try to put too much trust in technology. Brought up pulling plugs out at night has kind of stayed with me. My point, well, purchasing a GPS is a point in question. In the old days I would lift my quill and scratch directions, turn -offs (politics, curtain shops) and have all to hand in my grubby little mitts.

Resplendent  on our dashboard was a GPS. It kept slipping off so it was put on the windscreen, ”No, not here dear, I need to see the road.”

And this device with its purple thick line seductively led us successfully from Avignon to a small roundabout outside Arles, we could actually see Arles. But it was but a tease. GPS went into meltdown, or as far as I’m concerned. Up a narrow street, that then became narrower, twisted, turned almost back on itself. Look, we’ve already seen that cigarette pack already. Just in case it wasn’t narrow enough the locals had planted bollards. We we’re close enough to pass the time of day with an elderly lady leaning through her window. Wonderful shutters. Blue. Must get a picture later.

I protested about the route, then spied a sign from history to the village/town centre. Back and round, and round and back. Finally onto a road wider than a bow legged women doing the splits. Breathe. The road, not the bow legged woman, you understand??And the good news, the GPS took us out the same way out. I still know somewhere there is a proper way into Arles. Park and debuss amongst calls from the children for food, toilets and drink, but not necessarily in that order.

Hey, well done Arles. Why?  For they had a delightful young lady wearing hint of Goth,  in the information centre, who spoke English, was helpful and actually suggested what we should visit. She was doing great until she mentioned the football;-)

To walk around and see the buildings painted by an Gogh was amazing. The cafe where he stood and painted with a pencil behind his ear, no the other ear.

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The ancient arena a delight and the prices frightening, and outside the arena a  dog with all  real talent. Bless it!IMG_1761

Wonderful to visit, but don’t trust the technology.

 

Cycling, Himmler’s Bunker and Salad

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In a shady forest just outside Pozezdrze lies a huge slab of reinforced concrete. This fractured gigiantic block is testament to the cruely and barbarity of humans. For this was the bunker of the snappily Hugo Boss dressed Heinrich Himmler when he was in close attendance to Hitler, up the road in the Wolf’s Lair. An attempt to destroy the bunker failed, only fracturing the block.IMG_1145

There are two entrances on the left as you look down this corridor,  which lead into the the interior of the facility. The material for the bunker, built in 1941, was delivered via a single gauge rail line. The line is now defunct, but as you can see below, it makes a beautiful cycle path through the forest.Out of such political and racial ugliness, comes such beauty.IMG_1160 (2)

At the end of the cycle path lies the village of Ogonki, which is home to the Ognisty Ptak  restaurant. The Phoenix. Full of history, drained of energy we stopped off for a tasty chicken, mozarella and tomato salad with super strength coffee as an accompaniment. Very comfortable surroundings, with a view giving out onto a small lake and the food was inexpensive and tasty. Then back on the bike to finish the 30km for the day.

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