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Indonesia – Gunung Bromo

Destination Middle Earth

sunny 22 °C

Looking like you have just stepped onto some distant planet, Bromo has a distinct otherworldly feel to the place. An ancient supervolcano that has given birth to some smaller active volcanos is pretty interesting to see, and doing it as the sun rises completes the experience perfectly.

So we gave ourselves a good day of travelling again by taking a morning flight from Medan down to Surabaya where we got a bus up to the town of Probolinggo. It was already dark by the time we arrived there and we were expecting to have to stay the night before getting up to Bromo. A tour operator was at the bus station though and said that we could get a private transfer (with other people of course) up there that night for only 50,000rp each ($5) rather than the 25,000rp public bus. No brainer really!

It was almost 10pm by the time we rolled up the final hill into Bromo so we didn’t get any sneak views of the landscape which was all the better for the morning. The alarm rang at 4am and with head torches ablaze we set out for the hour walk up to the sunrise viewpoint. Personally, I hate getting up in the morning I’m just not a morning person, but it’s all worth it when you have rewards like this...

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We ended up spending about 90 minutes watching the landscape turn from darkness to the massive vista below us. Within the big outer rim, there were the smaller peaks with Bromo puffing out a few clouds of steam and then in the distance the big volcano of Semeru also puffing away. Looking to the east, down the valley back to the lowlands, there was misty clouds that completed the picture nicely.

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Google maps lets you appreciate the old and new volcanos

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The vista below us

We walked back into town enjoying the changing views. The town sits right on the rim of the old volcano and even from there you get some great views of the inner rim. We had some breakfast and then headed back out to walk to Bromo to peek into the active volcano.

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Our original plan for our time here was to take a Jeep tour which takes you for sunrise then takes you out to Bromo. Because we got in so late we couldn’t book on a tour, but in hindsight this was great as the walk up for the sunrise was not overly strenuous, and then walking out to Bromo was even easier. Certainly no need to spend money on a Jeep which doesn’t even take you all the way to the top of each lookout.

Walking out to Bromo, the landscape turns from the fertile tree lined rim to a desert landscape full of volcanic ash. The final walk up the stairs on the edge of Bromo then gave us the chance to stare into the gurgling guts of the planet. Down in the crater is a pool of steaming, hissing, bubbling water that lets out rumbles and clouds of steam just to let you know how insignificant you are in comparison!

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Having completed our two walks for the day we caught up on the lost sleep from the morning with an afternoon nap before relaxing for the evening. The following morning we got another mini bus down to Probolinggo and then a 13 hour bus/ferry/bus combination over to Dempasar Bali. The bus ride turned out to be an interesting trip as the bus broke down a couple of hours into the journey. After an hours wait on the side of the road we got picked up by another passing bus that was almost full before we got on. The result was that we had to sit in the aisle for the remaining 3 hours to the port... Not the most comfortable journey we have ever had!

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The local milk truck...

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Broken down, what could the problems be?

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Maybe the tree growing out the engine bay might have something to do with it

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The next 3 hours

FINAL THOUGHTS
Daniel – Well Bromo was pretty spectacular, and i think it was even better that we arrived when it was dark and got our first views with the rising sun. Getting there and away relied on a bunch of long bus rides but it was worth every minute of the bus rides.

Tanya – This is a must see. I missed out on hiking around the volcanoes at Beristagi in Sumatra, but this well and truly made up for it. Walking across the surface of an extinct volcano somewhat resembling the Sahara and then pushing on up some steps (yes steps) to find yourself literally a step away from a bubbling cauldron is something else. We had the volcano to ourselves which was great, it was best not to be here at sunrise (id be too scared of falling in).

Posted by dbgomes 24.05.2012 20:18 Archived in Indonesia Tagged indonesia round_the_world

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Comments

Good to see a few updates we have missed hearing what is happening with your wonderful travels. You are so much like your Dad he says every morning he is not a morning person so a chip of the old block LOL. Dont know how you travel on these long bus journeys and sat in the aisle for 3 hours does not sound like fun. Keep up the good work. Love and MISS you both xxxx

24.05.2012 by Mum

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