The Tengger Massif

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The southern valley of the Tengger Massif, with volcanic cones rising on the left. The massif is the remnant of an ancient volcanic caldera more than three miles across.

The Tengger Massif is endlessly photographable, one of those surreal experiences that you’d more ascribe to a high-budget movie or video game than a real place. It’s a massive crater more than three miles across, the remnants of a volcanic explosion millions of years ago. The west side of the crater is a vast, living prairie: grasses ripple in the gentle wind under drifting sea of clouds. To the north lies the volcano Bromo, carrying the torch of Tengger’s volcanic legacy with a low, continuous roar as it sends thick billows of noxious gas skyward. And to the east lies the sandsea, a desert devoid of life except for a few patches of grass eking out an existence on a barren landscape of sand and dust.

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Prairie grasses sway in the wind on the caldera floor, while new volcanic cones rise behind.

 

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Wildflowers bloom in the prairie of the caldera floor.

 

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A foot and vehicle track winding along the caldera floor, between newer volcanic cones (right) and the steep caldera wall (left)

 

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Young lovers.

 

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A shrine to the volcano gods on the caldera floor.

 

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Offerings of food and flowers on a shrine to the volcano gods.

 

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The near-vertical wall of the caldera crater.

 

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A woman harvests grasses along the road, near the edge of the sandsea.

 

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This shrine marks the end of the prairie and the beginning of the Bromo sandsea.

 

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Stoytcho stands in the Bromo sandsea. Mist and fog often limit visibility in this part of the caldera.

 

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An ojek (motorbike) approaches us in the distance.

 

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Locals passing in opposite directions stop for a chat.

 

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An instant noodles cup abandoned in the sandsea, with volcanoes Bromo and Batok in the background.

 

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The guideposts to Cemoro Lawang, at the eastern edge of the Bromo sandsea.

 

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Mount Bromo (left) pictured beside Mount Batok (right). Mount Batok is the only volcano in the park that is not currently active, and greenery has taken root on its sides.

 

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A dust devil forms on the Bromo sandsea between Bromo and Batok, in front of the Pura Luhur Poten Temple.

 

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A view of the sandsea and Pura Luhur Poten Temple as seen from Bromo.