Indonesia: Lombok und Halmahera

Volcanos: Rinjani, Ibu, Dukono

   25th of August to 8th of Sept.2009 

Alain de Toffoli, M.Rietze

in deutsch

 

Cinema & Gif


Volcano Rinjani, Lombok

Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani, M.Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani

For lack of special volcanic eruptions in the world I decided to fly again to Indonesia. Rinjani on Lombok was still active, and now the opportunity in addition was given to take more time for this volcano. The main intention however were the volcanoes Ibu and Dukono on Halmahera, this should after investigating several sources at least be occasionally active. This afield Indonesia, which differs from the closely settled Java fundamentally, interested me mainly. Here still tribes, live completely isolated from the civilization in the rain forests. Unfortunately there was no opportunity as usual due to the very close schedule for learn about flora and fauna more exactly.

However at first I went alone to Lombok.

     

Here one night at the crater edge for the in meantime quite weak active Rinjani should be enough. With mandatory guide and porter we started from Senaru on the classical trekking route on 2600m to the Rim.

Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani      Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani

At the rim there is also the general camp where also other tourists enjoy the comprehensive view on the crater lake Segara Anak with the young cinder cone Gunung Baru.

 

Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani   Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani   Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani

Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani, M. Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani   Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani

 

Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani, M. Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani, M.Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani

This ‘island cone’ pushed over the last months a new lava tongue into the lake, and at present one still AA lava stream and a glowing chimney is the evidence of a high magma niveau. The degassing quite produced noise, but no Strombolian ejections were to be observed.

      Indonesia 2009, Lombok, Volcano Rinjani

After the descent the excursion to the water falls near the mountain village Senaru is it worth again and again, and brought welcome refreshment.   

Volcano Ibu, Halmahera

The next day I took a rattly ferry boat to Bali. From Bali good airline connections to Sulawesi with propeller-driven aircrafts directly to Kao on Halmahera are offered at present. Now I travelled accompanied by Alain (see also the last Indonesia tour). Alain wanted also to see and to document the changes of the volcanoes after many years on Halmahera.

   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu  

After the bloody religious unrests among the Christ an Muslim Moluccas did abate, at least 3.000 people lost there life and over 600 villages were destroyed, it is now nearly problem-free to visit North Halmahera. However you must realise, that offside the cities no English is spoken and no options for transports over larger distances are available. Tourism is rather unknown, and as a white travelling European you even cause a sensation among the native

Hence, thank to Alain for the great assistance

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu    Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu    Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu

Unexpected, the aircraft didn't land in the capital city of Tobelo, but further south in Kao in the middle of nothing. Further the direct road connection doesn't exist to the volcano and the same named city Ibu anymore. The road got a victim of the rain time. Therefore we had to take the detour along the whole east coast which took 8 hours more. With a spontaneously organised private vehicle you’ll probably reach the road end. But this action depends of the temporarily conditions.  If successful, you have to negotiate with the chief of the village about permission for mountaineering and guides with porters.

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu       Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu       Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu

Due to the overgrowing flora and the few visits at the volcano the conditions to traverse the jungle got real hard in the meantime. The route must be defined new again with a machete.

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu, Alain de Toffoli

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu

The edge of the crater was partial charred. Due to the increasing dome, the down slipping hot lava developed continuously small bush fires. This charred cheroots produces a  haunting scenery indeed. To get a free sight at the rim you have to strike down the jungle for hours. Fortunately we were accompanied by a bear-strong guide.

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu  

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu

During the last 10 years the crater was filled with an enormous lava dome. The inside volcano possesses some vents, from which ashes and gas discharged accompanied with Strombolian ejections. During our presence however only two active vents could be observed, the natives reported from occasional six active outlets at the same time

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu

The characteristic experience is here amplified in its original appearance and isolation of this volcano, which was visited from only few foreigners the last years. Nevertheless the dome can grow in the next years easily over the edge of crater, but the natives seemed not to be frightened due to this situation. After two nights we descended again. In fact the dry weather caused by El Nino was uncommon, anyhow nebula and  high clouds together with the persistent flora at the edge of the crater prevented sophisticated photographs.

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Ibu  

 

Volcano Dukono, Halmahera

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono

Now the return over 8 hours long in the Tobelo direction started. Tobelo normally could only be reached by feed. Already from the distance we saw an enormous black cloud and believed at first to a huge forest fire. This turned out later as the Dukono ash cloud. In order to lose no time, we tried in support of the volcanic observatory to organize a tour under hard negotiations with the local mayor to the actually closed Dukono. This succeeded apparently problem-free. Only on the next day we waited in vain for our rough-terrain vehicle and the guides and porters. Because of the Ramadan which is very seriously taken here in the Islamic region, no one wanted to take the way to Dukono. An additional reason was that the Dukono discharges again large ash clouds, which expands dozens of kilometre far over the country.

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono

The initial delight was decreasing while waiting at least several hours for the guides and a 4 wheeled vehicle. After starting in the direction Dukono volcano I became clear what difficulties are hidden under this big ash cloud. With each kilometre you approach to the volcano more ash on the shrubs and trees are piling up and dropped down by the smallest contact in cascades. Then the Toyota changed into the strike modus. The air filter completely 'dense', a total engine loss was the consequence. The driver couldn’t believe it at all and filled the fuel directly into the engine mount, no chance.

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono

Now 'per pedes' was the only way to reach the volcano. After 100m walk your shape doesn't seem like a human beeing and the ash is creeping in every pore and creates a dense layer. At the beginng you take optimistically every puddle for washing, but after 10 minutes with the increasing ash density you give up :-((. I wondered why a guide was attended us, because the due to the hot dryness and the dust no water was discovered.  At the end of the vegetation zone a plateau offered a good camping opportunity. Aggressive rats are always helpful by shaking down the continiously ash fall down.

 Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, M.Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, M.Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, M.Rietze

Dukono grime, photos middle up and down row by Alain de Toffoli

The rats attacked us by penetrating through smallest gaps in the tents, ran over the sleeping people and didn't want to leave the tents at all… even bite wounds could be registered.

  Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze  

A better wind situation permitted the ascent to the edge of the crater, and surprisingly the ash was only half a meter deep and we could reach the sharp ridge.

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze

A nearly unreal situation, the deep sun enchanted the ash dunes in a gold-yellow light, the ash flag protracts up and far away in the country. Under my position the centre of the crater with one vent and an enormous pressure was situated. The noise was such as loud that it hurts in the ears while the ground vibrated often.

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze

At night by full moon you could observe also the glowing cinders, which this pipe ejected too. However it was extraordinarily hard to get a free view the whole time. You are nearly always located directly in the moving direction of the ash cloud, which let the camera get older for years, and filled your lungs up with ash.

Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze   Indonesia 2009, Halmahera, Volcano Dukono, Martin Rietze

Altogether we had a few minutes during the two days and nights (!) with a really free view into the crater. During our way back we met our driver with his vehicle. It was not possible to bring the car in a running condition since the last two days. We pushed and pulled the car still another one hour again without success by using up our last water reserves. In the evening then drinking and a hotel was announced in Tobelo. Result of this journey: A mad adventure, which I never like to miss! For example the experience how dirty and thirsty one could be, by reaching more and more pleasure to this strange situation let me get real surprised at the end.


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