What shall we do in Indonesia? Climb a volcano of course ;) After a very, very, very long journey in a mini bus we arrived late at night at our hotel in the mountains. The increase in altitude brought about a drop in temperature so we tucked into a bowl of noodle soup before bed. Partly because I'd forgotten to get money out of the ATM beforehand and it was the cheapest thing on the menu and it was cold. 3am and the alarm goes off. Having been told the temperature will be 4◦C we dress in as many clothes as possible ending up with 3 pairs of trousers and three tops. The jeep drops us at the bottom of the lookout point as it can't go any further because of recent landslides, so we climb. For a fee you can ride up on a "horse", well it was more like a pony. As a matter of personal pride I had to get up this mountain and the volcano later on my own. A decision I soon questioned when my chest was on fire and my heart rate was close to heart attack. Every step became harder as my legs seemed to get heavier and heavier. The sweat was pouring off my face but I made it to the top. Woohoo! Now where's the ambulance. The morning mist was still hanging over the mountains and every 20 minutes smoke would pour out of the volcano. It was beautiful but slightly haunting and gothic looking. The sun came up in all its glory and everyone's cameras came out as well. When the sun was high in the sky a rainbow appeared for that truly postcard moment. Then it was back down the mountain and a short drive to Mount Bromo. It was only 6.30am and the temperature was already heading towards 30◦C. We gracefully tried to walk and strip the many layers we were wearing before reaching the base of the volcano. Standing at the bottom looking up, my body was already screaming in pain but off we went. We'd climb a bit and stopped once we'd reach a shady part to escape the burning sun and catch our breath. It became steeper and steeper and I could feel my muscles burning. The last part was an almost vertical hike and it bloody did hurt. When I finally made it to the top I couldn't talk, move, was covered in sweat and was barely able to breathe. But the view makes it all worthwhile. The crater is huge and you certainly wouldn't want to fall down it. The landscape goes on for miles. The surrounding mountains are lit up by the burning sun and their tops dusted with mist as they slowly disappear into the horizon. Everyone at the base of the volcano look like ants. It's magic up there. I felt incredibly happy standing their considering the only thing I climb is my two front door steps. My battle was with nature and she almost did me in but we came out even by the end. Yippee!!