The raw chill of the air stung my ears and nose. I tucked my scarf around my face, zipped up my hoodie and put the hood over my head and ears. Being the warm-blooded, equatorial creature he is (and without the ever so crucial pair of socks), Jack was really feeling the snapping bite of the cold. We sat down on a tuft of grass atop of the hill and like two penguins, huddled together to beat the icy blue air. As if to warm us up, conversation overcame us, but I was literally stopped mid-sentence by the next image that about to grace and overwhelm our eyes.
‘… yeh so they said on the other side of the mount – wait hold on. (Five seconds passed.) Sorry… but… this is amazing.’
Amazing is a word I personally think is profusely overused. But here, it was completely true. A golden glow radiated from the horizon and illuminated the wisps of cirrus and cumulus clouds. I knew we were high, but I hadn’t realised we were so high up that we were actually above the clouds. These people live above the clouds?
We were in fact over 3,500 metres above sea level, which if you think about it, is mental.
A rug of fluffy grey clouds filled the silhouetted valley before us, concealing a still slumbering sun. Rays of golden light shone through, creating a gleaming white halo that semi-circled and domed the sky. Blushes of pink and cerulean blue emanated from the clouds and slowly infused into the dark air. In just seconds now, the star we had all been waiting for would rise.
Hues of hot pink streaked through the sky and puffs of purple began to mist up from the clouds. The glare of the sun became visible, slowly emerging from the mists of purple. Slowly and gracefully, the divine being lifted its head and rose into the sky. It ascended higher and higher, before stopping. It shone white-hot, radiating glares of ethereal sunlight into the atmosphere.
Jack and I sat, still. And astounded.
This is enough to make you believe in heaven, I thought, whilst considering how godly the fiery star looked. ‘No wonder they worshipped the sun thousands of years ago. I’d worship it right this second.’
I have since thought how strange it really is that we take the sun for granted – this big ball of celestial fire that just hangs in the sky, watching us, bringing us light and warmth, as we go about our daily routine and we think nothing of it. I have been lucky enough to see many sunrises and sunsets in my lifetime, but it was only then, in the complete cold and darkness of dawn, that I realised how truly breath-taking the sun really was.
Go Go Go!
Weather: Forget the balmy temperatures that you imagine when thinking of Indonesia, the weather in Probolinggo is cold. During the day temperatures are comfortable and can range up to 20 C. However at night and the early hours of the morning they drop down to near freezing. Make sure you pack warm clothes, socks and trainers/walking boots – no sandals!
Time: In order to catch the sunrise, it’s an early start of 3.30am-4am to get to the more mountainous area. Tough but enitrely worth it!