📍Mt Bromo, 20th of August 2018.
The early start
If there was any hope to get some much-needed sleep during the hour transfer to the mountain, it vanished after just a couple of minutes in the 4 wheel-drive. Although it was 3 AM and we were sleepy, the bumpy rocky road drive in the dark was really fun and woke us up for good. Having arrived a bit earlier, we had a chance to grab a cup of hot coffee and secure front-row seats in a more hidden place to wait for the sun to come up. Luckily, the little tents set up for visitors also sold cotton anti-dust mouth masks – something we had forgotten in the car (although it was literally the first sentence our tour organizer told us when we met – “here are your masks, don’t forget them”). Those masks were necessary indeed, the dust was in the air, on the floor - you could feel it, you could smell it and you could see it. Not the most pleasant experience, to be honest.
With no cities around, the sky was clear, decorated with stars we don’t see back home. With the help of SkyView, we were discovering constellations and tried to catch a falling star and make a wish. They will unquestionably come true.
When we arrived, it was pitch-dark and hardly anything could be seen. We were very excited and curious to see what kind of scenery the sun will unveil in front of us. It felt a little bit like sitting in the theatre, patiently waiting for the performance to start, only you don’t know what the show is going to be. With every bit of light coming in, the silhouettes of mountains and volcanoes slowly started to appear. The sky gradually turned from black through purple, pink and yellow to finally blue. As artists come to bow after the show, so did the sun, proud, festive, glorious. Seeing sunrise like this is an amazing and a very powerful experience – something I can’t get enough of
The view was gorgeous. On one side – the sun rising over the valley, on the other – volcanoes. We spent some good time there embracing the new day and taking a million of pictures to capture this very special moment. Here are a couple to share with you.
The drive down to the valley
After sunrise we got back to our 4WD and drove down the valley to climb to the rim of Mt Bromo crater. This was even more fun than going up this morning – maybe because at daylight we could see the winding roads and the landscape around. This seems to be a pretty standard tourist road though and is therefore rather packed. At the car parking there is a possibility to rent a horse to take you to the volcano, which seems completely unnecessary since the walk is only maximum 30 minutes. Nevertheless, many opted for this. Hey, at least the locals make some money off the lazy visitors.
And up again - to the crater!
25 minutes walking and 245 stair steps later we were at the top, although rather breathless due to the dust. Theoretically you can’t really walk along the rim of the volcano, but some brave ones did. We were not amongst them – the almost inexistent path is very narrow with absolutely no safety barriers. Not being able to balance on one leg for more than a couple of seconds during yoga classes, I would not trust myself to walk there. The view was amazing regardless (or, as David called it, “highly instagrammable”) – you could see the gas slowly coming up from the active volcano. Finally we know where clouds come from!
Transfer to Ijen
We got back to the hotel at 8:30 AM which felt weird since we had been up for 6 hours and had already managed to do so many great things. A considation of getting up earlier on a regular basis quickly crossed our minds, but left just as quick – we are not ready for this
Having just a quick breakfast and shower didn’t save us from being stuck for an hour driving through the village carnival, but it was ok – we were happily napping in the car, poor Pri had to maneuver through the crowds. The way to Ijen was very scenic, we first went down one mountain and drove up another one. We passed by a couple of villages and towns. The craziest thing we saw was a bus accident on one of the serpentine roads. Looked like a bus lost control and drove off the road. It was on fire and just a couple of seconds after we had passed it, we heard an explosion. This was scary and left the three of us quiet for some time.
The rest of the evening was actually very lovely, chilling at the pool at Ijen View Hotel & Resort and preparing for the next day.The trip has already proven to be worth the time and money spent. We were very curious to see if it could get even better.
On a side note, originally we wanted to do a three-day hike up to the volcano. As previously mentioned, the timing was not great. Also, we were a bit worried that we were not in the physical shape to do that. Still, extremely happy we were able to do the trip one way or another. There will certainly be more hiking opportunities down the road 😉