Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods,
or steepy mountain yields.
Christopher Marlowe

3rd Leg of our Indonesia – Java Adventure { Finally trekking to Mount Bromo! }

Time check: 4 AM | Bromo – Tengger – Semeru National Park, Cemoro Lawang

We were told that the weather goes down to 4ºC so being highly-intolerant of cold weather, I opted to wore 3 layers of clothing under my jacket.

The pick up time should have been earlier than 4 am, to get to the best spot at the viewdeck. But our driver was nowhere in sight ’till after an hour.

Tip: If you don’t plan to hire a 4×4 jeep service to the Viewdeck and crater, start early at 2 AM. There is a walking path that leads to the Bromo Crater and Mount Penanjakan from the base camp. Those two are located on opposite sides so  expect a long walk ahead. The crater is around 3km away from the village of Cemoro Lewang. We paid the entrance fee of IDR 25,000 from the Registration Area prior that day.

We were with two other couples from China and US. Although, me thinks the other guy is Filipino. We were treated with a smooth ride and paved road going up to Mount Penanjakan. As expected there were already many tourists ahead of us and our driver had to pull off to the far end of the parking. At past 5, our goal was to go to the Viewpoint as fast as we can before the sun rises.

It’s not easy though. With the cold weather and a steep slope, it’s like we were not moving at all. We spent at least 15 – 20 minutes at the rate we were trekking.

I was concentrating hard on my breathing while whispering to myself… you can’t be out of breath, only few more steps and you’ll get there. Oh, that kid who just passed by is really tough. I wish I was a kid again. I can do it. Okay, breath in, breath out. Forward now, move your butt! Ah, I need to take 5, what?!

We saw one lady who passed out. There are several vendors offering winter jackets for rent. The air is a mix of morning mist and cigar smoke. That was of no help to my breathing technique.

Finally, the summit! We had to squeezed ourselves with hundreds of visitors waiting for the first glimpse of Sunrise in Mount Bromo. The view deck is on a strategic location covering the sunrise to the left and the view of  Mount Batok, Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru to the right.

I kissed the sunrise! And I like it =)

Bromo Sunrise at 6:15 AM. Got a clearing eventually and went camera happy. Wonder why everyone phased out? Ah, that’s it, they moved to the right side. We then went over and join the fun. Found a nook outside the fence, just a few steps to the cliff. I crossed over. yay.

Mount Bromo is the one billowing white smoke, to its right is the dormant Mount Batok and far behind and the highest is Mount Semeru.

Philippines Represent

Philippines Represent!

Beautiful and mystical! The fog on the ground adds up to the magical feel. I’m awestruck witnessing how this lush nature is hidden here.

Before we get lost in nature’s madness, we head back at 7 AM to the parking area where our jeep tour will carry on to  Tengger Caldera. It was a bumpy ride with a priceless view. If we only have so much time, I wanted to stay longer and indulge on this adventure by foot.

From the foot of Mount Bromo, horses and ponies are up for rent to take you to the 250 steps path to the crater.

Beyond the road less traveled

I find it abusive to rent a pony. And even, if I have an extra cash to burn, I’d still say no to the local who wanted to take us for a ride. Well, that’s just me. I’d rather go on trail and take hours than spare my weight at the poor pony.

See the mist behind the horses? Here we are under the mystical scene from the earlier view at Mount Pananjakan. We were walking at Laut Pasir (sea of sand) of fine volcanic sand that surrounds the area.

Long trail ahead. Got to watch out for horse dung. We passed by Pura Luhur Poten Hindu Temple. It holds a significant importance to the Tenggerese tribe who scatter across the mountainous villages such as Ngadisari, Wonokitri, Ngadas, Argosari, Ranu Prani, Ledok Ombo and Wonokerso.

As the decline of Majapahit Kingdom dawned upon these people, they emphatically moved to the outskirts of the volcanoes, which inaccessibility was their greatest asset to fend off any foreign intrusions, especially by the Muslims and Christians.

Mount Batok is a dormant volcano at the northern center of the huge caldera. Lush green vegetation grows over the years.

The 250 steps to Gunung Bromo Crater. Gunung means Mountain. I had to catch my breath and rest before partaking this glorious steps. Find me, concentrating. lol.

At last, from the peak of Mount Bromo, an active volcano which is very much recognizable from afar. The top is blown off where the crater constantly belches white sulphuric smoke.

Parang walang nangyari look. lol.

This is around 8:15 in the morning. Kind of early where  you can see the moon peaking out from the sky. If you paid for private jeep and long for more adventure, trek to the end of the fence and go further. Just keep in mind though that this is an active volcano and you’ll never know what’s in store for you. In 2004, two tourists were killed when the volcano spit out molten lava, reaching as far as the Hindu temple. Be sure to keep safe.

As for us who shares the jeep with other tourists, we barely caught our breath, and had to go down again.

See our full Backpacking Indonesia itinerary here.