Paragliding over one of the most active volcanoes in the world may sound like a slightly foolhardy activity suitable only for only the most hardened of adrenalin addicts, but hear us out. Mount Merapi is located on the border of Yogyakarta and Central Java and its imposing slopes are a favourite with adventurous hikers from all over the world.
My Merapi paragliding experience was kick started when I contacted the KLM (Komunitas Lereng Merapi) office before setting off on an ascent of its slopes. We trod a commonly used route which runs via Selo on the Central Java side of Merapi. As we approached the summit, our party stopped at Pasar Bubrah, an extinct crater that now serves as a place for resting and cooking. It was from here that my friends and I would descend the slope via parachute.
I stood on the volcanic sand and rocks, calculated the wind speed and then soared into the sky. I flew above the slopes of Merapi at an altitude of some 2,123 metres while being dazzled by spectacular views of neighbouring Mount Merabu. Blood coursed through my body as I enjoyed one truly amazing experience.