Travel sketch: Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta holds a small handful of short but vivid memories. The immense scale of Borobudur, its stupas carved in black andesite, rising from an emerald green countryside blanketed with palms; rows of hand-carved furniture lining a dusty street, puttering vehicles kicking up clouds of ochre; and standing wide-eyed at the foot of Merapi, beside a large sign warning of the danger ahead. This beautiful but lethal giant, at once life-giving and brutally destructive, was the first volcano I had ever seen.
Working at a regional adventure travel magazine means I am constantly learning about places across the breadth of Asia. Some time ago I drew a collage for an article my editor wrote after visiting Yogyakarta – the image was never published but I was thrilled to discover the range of outdoors activities around the Javanese cultural capital. Adventure-seekers can go rock climbing at Siung Beach, caving at Gua Cerme, whitewater rafting on the Progo and Serayu rivers, and of course, scale the nearby volcanic peaks. Although Merapi is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, it’s possible to climb up to the crater rim and behold its fiery furnace.