level, the aSpekkoeka being the only arduous ascent; on horseback the whole trip takes two hours there and as many back.
To witness a sunset on this spot is a sensation not easily forgotten; you should keep in mind, though, that after dusk the temperature falls quickly and considerably.
Much more difficult is the trip through the Sandsea around the central volcanoes.
Many times it has been accomplished on foot; but as it takes ten hours of strenuous walking at the very least, it should not be thought of lightly. On horseback the minimal time allowance is seven to eight hours. The varying character of the landscape, however, ranging from the barren sands of the north-eastern Dasar to the wooded vales and ravines of Ngawu and the lustreless tjemara-forests of the Ider-Ider fully rewards your exertions.
The best time to start is four a.m.; by walking the first, already well-known stretch to the Munggal Pass you may keep your horse fresh for the first lively gallop across the dew-drenched sands.
Between the chaos of Bromo and the Tjemaralawang the Sandsea fully justifies its name. The horses speed on across the long billows of grey sand, cleverly evading the numberless eruptive blocks. Such is the true aspect of the Dasar, and it remains, until the treacherous grass descending from the Gunnung Kembang, the fourth of the central volcanoes, stealthily but surely conquers the sand; the south eastern extremity of this hoof-shaped plain is wholly covered with it. This part is called the Rudjak; here, if we have the good fortune of crossing their path, we may see the herd of unguarded horses canter away at a fright-
ful pace, to disappear beyond the grassy mounds at the foot of towering Djantoor. They run about freely in these parts; their owners, mostly villagers of Ngadas, only pick out prosperous foals now and then.
During the dry monsoon comparatively small causes will often produce sudden conflagrations of the intensely dry grass, and big, black patches remain, spoiling the golden garb of the Rudjak; here and there even the tjemaras have been attacked by the fire, and their scorched and smouldering stems stand desolately, like mortally wounded soldiers.
We climb the Sandsea Wall by a winding path, through old tjemara-woods, where violet orchids adorn the gnarly branches; on the top of the Ider-Ider it joins the path from the lakes and the Semeru; here we turn to the right, and we proceed along the crest of the ridge. The view of the Semeru and its promontories is very imposing; first comes the Ajek-Ajek; behind it on the left the round Kepala, on the right the massive range of Djambangan and Kukusan. And towering behind and above these giants is the monarch Mahameru, with clouds of smoke drifting eastward like big grey sails torn from the mast, or rising straight in the still air like some quaint and solitary tree.
On our right the Rudjak has dwindled to a shallow, grass-grown vale between the Wall and the grooved Widodaren. We pass a bypath on our left, leading via Ngadas, the highest of Tengger-villages, 7100 ft a.s.l., to Tumpang and Malang, a rough and slippery path, hardly practicable for pack-horses; then we climb the Gunung Idjo and from its broad back descend into the other end of the Dasar.
Photograph by G. P. Lewis Mountain-path.