Published: March 3rd 2009February 21st 2009
Bromo is hidden by the massive cloud of sulphur
Mt. Bromo was a marathon effort to get to, luckily it was worth it. We boarded a minibus in Yogya at 9am in the morning, picked up all the other passengers, including an Indonesian Catholic nun who was going to her new convent in Probolinggo. Our ride was uneventful, uncomfortable and horribly long. We had a quick stop for lunch and a few toilet breaks, but basically drove for 10.5hrs straight. After 10 and a half hours we changed to another minibus which drove us another hour or so to our hotel Cemoro Lewang...all up we spent 12hrs on the bus (excluding time for lunch) which meant when we eventually arrived it was close to 11.30pm.
The following morning when our alarm went off at 3.30am I was tempted to throw the phone across the other side of the room and only stopped when I remembered where I was and what I was about to go and see. We eventually got into a jeep just after 4am and set off for the hour long drive to the viewing point for sunrise.
Sunrise was amazing. As it got lighter you got a better appreciation of where you actually were. We
were surrounded by mountains and volcanoes and it was incredibly beautiful. Bromo was pumping out huge sulphur clouds which covered the other volcanoes occasionally, but there was always something to look at. There were actually less tourists watching the sunrise with us than I had expected which was nice, but there were probably still about 150 people there.
We walked back to our jeep after about an hour and a half and drove back down the mountain along the same road to the ‘base’ of Mt Bromo. We had actually driven right past Mt Bromo and all of the other volcanoes that morning in the dark and none of us had any idea! As soon as we got out of the jeep we were hassled by people selling pony rides which took you to the base of the stairs. They were very persistent which is possibly not the best idea when you are dealing with a bunch of grumpy tourists who have already been up for over three hours and it’s only 6.30am! We were all stubborn and didn’t get the ponies (apart from Kat, although she has recently had a knee reconstruction so fair enough..) and started the
45min walk to the top of Mt Bromo.
Once at the top you had an awesome view into the crater which was constantly spewing out sulphur. Luckily, the wind was blowing away from us so we only got a whiff of it occasionally. Unfortunately a lot of people seem to use the crater as a rubbish bin which ruined the look of it a bit. We spent about 45mins at the top and then climbed back down too our waiting jeep.
Once we got back to the hotel we ordered breakfast which was either Mi Goreng, Nasi Goreng or toast. Kat and I chose the toast, which arrived (about 20mins later) with a free serving of ants...mm yummy. Luckily they gave us another lot of toast without ants (or perhaps they just scraped the ants off and reheated it..?). We then gathered up our stuff and got back onto the minibus for the ride down the mountain.
The drive was pretty cool. The hills are so steep, yet the farmers seem to have utilised basically every bit of land they have available. They were growing crops of cabbage, garlic, spring onions, onions, corn in basically vertical plots
Bromo is hidden by the massive cloud of sulphur
of land which was quite impressive. After about an hour we reached Probolinggo, where we got off the bus to wait for another ‘big bus with air conditioning’ which would take us the ‘8 hours’ to Denpasar, in Bali..
After about 4hrs on the relatively comfortable ‘big bus with air conditioning’ we arrived at a local bus terminal where we were told to change to another (non-stop) local bus...which was a big bus, this time without aircon. The lack of aircon wouldn’t normally bother me too much, as long as the windows are kept open and there is some kind of air circulation. However, when it started to rain the windows were closed...and people started smoking. Being Aussies, we are not at all used to cigarette smoke in confined areas. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to smoke anywhere apart from in the middle of a footy field in Australia now which suits us non-smokers just fine. Maybe I could have dealt with it for 4 hours...but we actually ended up spending 8 hours on there. 8 hrs on a stuffy cigarette smoke filled bus with hot slimy vinyl seats is not fun. At all. The whole non-stop thing
was also horrible as we had just assumed, like the minibus, that we would stop for lunch so didn’t pack any snacks. We were all very relieved (and starving) when we finally arrived in Denpasar 12 hours after we boarded the bus in Probolinggo having only eaten breakfast.
There are more photos below