We went to Vogels Hostels to do the Merapi trekking tour. So we knew that the rooms are quite simple. But you don´t go to Vogels because of the rooms.
We had one of the rooms of the white bungalow and it was quite okay. The room is big and you have warm water. What is not too bad at is not so warm there in the morning.
The bathroom needs a little redoing but it works and has a western toilet and a shower, so that´s fine enough.
The food is absolutely tasty and fine.
So now the main thing: trekking to Merapi with Chris son Adrian
Chris told us the important things in the morning at 4 o´clock while we had a good breakfast with coffe, fried egg and toast. As he is a real expert he can tell you everything about this mountain of fire.
So he informed us about the dangers of the mountain and as there was an eruption about 3 days later we were thankfull for it.
After the infos we went with his son Adrian who was our guide. First we went to see the sunrise and have a good look at the mountain and the valley with the Pranbanan temple. As the Merapi was behind the clouds we had to wait a little bit longer to se it.
We went through woods and high grass and we were thankfull for our long trousers and jackets. We climbed up and down. Through the streams of cold lava and the flat stony regions the vulcano left after his eruption 2010. We saw the damage in a little exhibition in a village were standing motor cycles and a minibus and much more...that felt really scary.
We also saw damaged houses and all the destroyed forest, blank treetrunks with dead branches reaching for the sky. But we also saw that nature is coming back and is taking its place angain and that is a good feeling too.
Finally we got to the bunker were two journalists died 2006 during a pyroclastic stream, scary once again. And there we went onto the dangerous area were Adrian had to listen to the walkie-talkie if anything is okay. We walked over the area were the pyroclastic streams come down when the Merapi has a real eruption. In this area ther is not much what grows untill now.
We went on untill we came to a canyon built by one of the lalahrs and we could not go any further, there we take pictures. There the earth is breaking down at the edges and you must be really carefull, because the canyon has a depth of about 20 meters or something like that.
From there you have a great view onto the top of the vulcano and the cut the last eruption built up. You can see the upcoming smoke from the stones and the destruction the eruption has made. You can see the bare stone and ashes round the top were nothing is growing.
For us it was an absolutely great expirience!
You just can go up to the bunker with a jeep and walk into the bunker as well, and you can look at the top from down there either, but the way to come to the point is so interesting and fascinating, as you can see so much details you can not see if you go by car.
Adrian showed us various plants and animals on the way and told us so much about his experience with the vulcano and how everything changed by the last eruption. You can not get that by car.
The people are coming back again, and as they now life from selling the volcano ashes as the vulcano gave them something to life from.
At the bunker is a small warung were you can by some picture books from the eruption.
On our way back we found some monkeys in the trees and Adrian told us how happy he is that they finally came back.
The last expirience was walking trough really high gras that cuts if you are unprotected. So we had to wear our jackets and wearing a fleece jacket at 35°C was no real fun, but it was absolutely necessary! Without Adrian we never had find out of this labyrinth.
As we went back the mountain suddenly put out much more smoke and ashes as in the morning and Adrian was listening to the walkie-talkie again. As the warning status is at the highest level it was a little bit thrilling for us, but the eruption came three days later.
We were really exhausted as we came back to the hostel were a really big breakfast was waiting for us.
So you should be sligtly fit for the trekking and you need good hikking shoes. Also a long trouser and long sleeve shirts are necessary. And a good sun protection.
A little plus point is the Merapi museum not fa from the hostel. But it is not about the mountain but about the culture of the people. We found it really interessting. They also have english speaking guids there.
We absolutely recomend this tour!