Surreal Experience at Mt. Bromo

Mount Bromo

Five years ago when I did my first mountain trekking at Mt. Rinjani. I saw a picturesque photo of Mount Bromo at the travel agency. I asked the local, where is this? They said, “it is in Java island.” The postcard photo of Mount Bromo literally stuck on my mind. The magnificent view keeps on visiting my mind.

I always check for promotion on flights. Hurray! I found a promo fare from KL to Jogjakarta. I decided I will do the Borobudur, Prambanan, Mt. Bromo backpacking trail.

I did my homework; reading travel blogs and reviews about this backpacking trail.

I visited Borobudur-Prambanan-Jogjakarta city then I took the train from Jogja to Malang.

I did online reservation via online then I paid my train ticket at Alfamart. Alfamart is the 711 of Indonesia.

After 7-hour train journey, I arrived in Malang. I was exhausted after the trip. So I decided to visit Mt. Bromo the following day.

The hotel did the booking for the Mt. Bromo day tour. I paid 600,000 IDR. I will be picked up at my hotel. I think the price is standardized in Malang. I inquire the travel agencies in the town, they have the same price.

Around 12:30 early morning, A Toyota land cruiser picked me up. We were five in our group. We introduce ourselves and we become an instant friend for that day.

The driver told us that it takes 2 hours to reach the Mt. Penanjakan viewpoint. The ride going up to the mountain has a lot of bends, it makes you dizzy. It is recommended to take anti-motion sickness pill if you are prone to this.

We reached the Penanjakan viewpoint around 3AM. We sat down together with my group mates. We waited for two hours to witness the sunrise.

The sunrise is very dramatic. You can see how the sun showed up from hiding as her rays slice through the clouds. You can see how the sunlight lit up the side of the mountain going to the top.

But the amazing view is the mist the covers the valley. It looks like a wave of cotton that covers the valley.

After taking a bunch of photos from the viewpoint, we headed down to the meeting area.

The driver drops us at another viewpoint. It offers a good view of the Mt. Bromo, Mt Semeru and Batoc from the other side. Here we get off for photos ops. 

We get in the jeep again on the way to the sea of the sand. This is the jump-off point to the crater of Mt. Bromo.

On our way down to the sea of the sand, it offers a panoramic view of the Mt Bromo National Park. You can see the mist is slowly disappearing as the sun is shining brighter.

We reached the sea of the sun or whispering sand. We started to walk up to the crater. If you are tired to walk, there are horses to ride, you need to shell out 100K IDR to hop on the horse. The horse together with a guide will bring you to the stairway going up to Mt. Bromo.

It is recommended to hop on the horse, those who have mobility issues, unfit, or tired. The sand is made of thick ashes. You can smell the sulfur, it smells like a rotten egg.

The stairway going up to the crater is flooded with people. It takes me 30 minutes to reach the top. I took one step at a time and wait because it is jam-packed with people.

The moment I reached the crater, I smelt like a rotten egg but it was bearable. You can hear a roaring sound from the crater. At the same time, smoke came from the crater. The view was really spectacular. It is an experience of a lifetime.

On the top of the Mt. Bromo, it gives you a bird’s eye view of the sea of the sands. You can see the parked jeeps, people hiking and horses are walking. 

After we came down from the crater. The driver drove us around the desert-like “sea of the sand”. It is a huge area, stretching as far as the eyes can see. We made a stop and took some photos, Mt Bromo as the background.

We drove to the Teletubbies hill. If you grew up during the 90’s you are familiar with this. The field resembles the children’s show Teletubbies. It is located in a savannah in a volcanic caldera.

After meandering the Teletubbies hills, we left Mt. Bromo and headed off to Ngadas. Ngadas is a farming village. It is famous for farming landscape on the mountainside.

Ngadas village is inhabited by the Tenggere indigenous people. Most of the people here are farmers.

According to our driver until today, villagers of Ngadas still preserve the ancient rituals and ceremonies that are believed to bring the order, good fortune, and prosperity. Despite their faith differences, where some embrace Buddhism while others Islam or Hinduism, they, nonetheless, share a peaceful and harmonious commonality.

The last place to visit is the waterfalls. This was the hardest part of the trip. We need to go down to the mountainside to see the waterfalls. I woke up 12 in the midnight, traveled for 2 hours, no decent breakfast and I have not eaten my lunch. I have no more energy to go down. But since I was already there, I pushed myself to my limits. I need to stop for few moments to catch a breath. I almost gave up and I do not want to miss the opportunity.

Upon reaching the waterfalls, I already heard the splashing water of the waterfalls. The waterfall is located in a remote and quiet place. You can only hear the splashing of water and the chirping of the birds.

I spent few minutes here, and I started to walk my way up.

Finally, that was the last stop of our day tour. This was the saddest part saying goodbye to my new found friends.


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