After a tiring hike at the Ijen crater, our next adventure takes us to another of Java’s treasures. Our next destination is Mount Bromo. Perhaps the most famous and one of the most crowded volcanoes I’ve ever been to. Although the place is so crowded, it didn’t stop us from visiting and trying to find what’s so great about this place. Well, as you can see in the picture above, that was the reason why.
Mount Bromo is an active volcano and is part of the Tengger Massif located in East Java. As it belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, it is not the highest peak of the massif but is the most visited tourist attraction. It’s last eruption was in January 28, 2011. After checking out from Ketapang Indah Hotel, our driver took us directly to Probolinggo, a base town for Bromo goers. It took roughly about 6 hours to get there and it was quite a tiring ride. Along the way, there was nothing much to see but trees and trees. As we reached Probolinggo, it was already dark, and we were going uphill. The higher we went, the colder it got. It felt like we were never going to reach our inn.
We stayed at this inn called Bromo Permai I. It wasn’t the fanciest place I’ve ever stayed but the staff were pretty friendly. The room was damp and it felt pretty uncomfortable when I walked in. I’m in fact horrified with wet places and it made me feel like the room was a little dirty. There was nothing to brag about the room but it was what I have expected from some inn atop of a mountain. Well, what could you do? I had to suck it up and try my best to convince my wife that it’s going to fine even though I feel a little uneasy myself. The temperature was cold and there weren’t any heaters in the room as well. The only best thing about the place were the hot water kettle they provided which has kept us warm and the only source of warm water for us to brush our teeth.
The next day, we left the inn at around 4am. Our driver had hired a 4WD for us and we all went up together. It was a short ride of roughly around half an hour to the viewing point. By the time we have reached the viewing area, it was already packed with millions of people. I was so shocked as I couldn’t find any spot for myself. Fann and I walked around trying to find an acceptable spot when suddenly my driver called us over as he has found an area around the corner. The view was pretty great and we were fortunate as no one has found it yet. After about 5 minutes, more people came pouring in around us.
Finally, when the sun slowly came out and light started to cast over the mountains, I was so amazed with the view my jaw literally dropped. It was indeed one of the most beautiful sceneries I’ve ever seen in my life. The purple and pink cast from the sunrise gave Bromo this surreal and magical feeling. I couldn’t have done it without my beloved wife’s encouragement and the driver who took us there.
After the sunrise and some selfies. We hurried to our 4WD and it took us down to the dessert. This mini desert which has Bromo within it’s vicinity is called Segara Wedi. On the way down, I looked out the window and the view was magnificent. We passed by trees after trees but I just couldn’t get my eyes off Bromo. As we reached the gray desert, there were a shroud of mist around and it made the entire place look mysterious and eerie. As we got closer to the parking zone, we could see these people on ponies in the distance. These are locals trying to make a living by offering you a ride on their ponies to ease your pain of walking in the desert and up to the volcano. We didn’t accept any rides from the locals because we thought it was a cruel exploitation of the animals. But, the other tourists seemed to be enjoying themselves on the poor ponies. The ponies were small in size and could barely walk through the heavy sand. Fann was so depressed when she saw the poor ponies’ eyes. I had to comfort her while we hiked ourselves through the desert.
While we were walking through the desert, a mysterious looking oasis appears as a silhouette. It was a Hindu temple in the middle of the desert. This temple is called the Pura Luhur Poten. It holds a very important position for the Tenggerese scattered across the mountain villages. What intrigues me is the architecture of the temple. It’s made from black stones from the volcanoes, unlike most of the Hindu temples in Bali which are built from red bricks. The position of where it’s situated just makes the entire scene so awesome.
After a long and difficult walk through the desert, we have reached the famous Bromo staircase. The staircase is said to have 250 steps, but legend has it that if you count your steps up and down, you won’t get the same figure. We tried but we seemed to have lost count when one lady in front of us farted halfway up the staircase. At the peak, all we could see was the smoke coming out from the Bromo volcano. The view up there was pretty amazing. It was pretty cool but when the sun came out, it started to get really warm.
After a couple of shots and enjoying the view, we headed down and back to our 4WD. We had a quick breakfast at the inn and left Probolinggo at around 10am. Now, our Java trip has ended and we had to get back to Bali using the same way. It was a long long long long drive back. Java was a great experience for the both of us. Little did I know that Indonesia had these beautiful sceneries that were literally out of this world. It was a mind blowing experience and it was an unforgetable trip for us. It sure is a weird place for many to spend their honeymoon but it wasn’t for us. It was quite an adventure and we pretty much enjoyed every part of it. Our honeymoon has not ended yet, we still have lots of places to visit and relax when we reach Bali, our favourite paradise. Please enjoy some of our other shots.