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09 January 2009

Christmas in Bromo

By Karen

One of the finest feeling (for me) is to wake up in a foreign country without knowing what’s gonna happen and the people I am about to meet for the day. I find that very….liberating :)

Surabaya warms my heart and left a stunning impression after the fortunate event. I wished I’d stayed a little bit longer and get acquainted with the cheerful souls at Hotel Gubeng. But I was too eager to move on to Mount Bromo – my first volcano.

The easiest way (and probably the only way) to get to Mount Bromo from Surabaya is to travel by train to Probolingo and proceed with a bus ride to Cemoro Lawang.

The journey from Surabaya to Probolingo by train took about 2 hours. I was lucky to get hold of the one last remaining executive coach to Probolingo for Rp.110,000. From Probolingo station, it’s another 7km ride by becak (Rp.10,000) to the bus station. However, instead of taking me to the bus station, the becak peddler brought me to a travel agent who then arranged a tour to Cemoro Lawang, trekking Mount Bromo and a bus ride to Jogja. All for Rp.300,000.

The 2 hour ride in the tiny 12 seat minivan sandwiched by close to 20 people was utterly unbearable! It’s amazing how the minivan was never ever too full to pick up an additional passenger, despite protest from passenger with glaring looks who refuses to make space for the unwanted passenger.

But I guess I wouldn’t mind going through the experience if I have to do it all over again, in exchange for what awaits me at Cemoro Lawang. The tea plantations, vegetable gardens, beautiful pine trees and gazillion stars that shines so bright in the sky at night was all so amazingly breathtaking.

With Tugio at Cemara Indah cafe

The next morning at 3.30am, I shared a jeep with a Romanian elderly couple and Swiss lady to catch the sunrise at Gunung Penajakan (2770m) for the birds eye view over the Tengger Crater.

There were at least close to 70 jeeps racing to the Penajakan II viewpoint and over 200 people watching the sunrise at that particular morning – each fighting for the a spot for the perfect shot.

After we descend from Gunung Penanjakan, we were driven to the crater wall of Mount Bromo where we crossed the 3km Sand Sea to the sloped of the crater by foot. While some tourist took the easy way out by being ferried by horses.

After climbing the 253 steps of stairs up to the crater. The sulfuric smell that emit from the crater nearly suffocate me. 5 minutes later, I was already on my way down and couldn’t wait to get away from Mount Bromo :(

I supposed…that if I wasn’t feeling sick and had my camera with me, I would have enjoyed Bromo. The landscape was amazing, with ‘flower men’ and their horses ferrying tourist from the Sand Sea to the slopes of Bromo Crater.

Perhaps… I’ll pay Mount Bromo another visit in June/July. WITH my DSLR.

*Fingers crossed* :)

  • Muqaddis

    Karen, if you are interested in climbing mountains in Sulawesi(volcanoes or non-volcanoes) just give me a ring as I am a keen climber too and I am frequent visitor to the island. Indeed the scenario might be different but you will experience a different atmosphere as compared to Bromo. Rimjani in Lombok is another good place to try too as the scenery is magnificient from the top.Good luck on your next trip.

  • Karen

    hi Muqaddis, oh yes I would love to visit Sulawesi one day! There’s so much to explore in Indonesia :)

    I’m planning for another trip to Indonesia in June – for Mt Semeru and beach bumming in Lombok.

    Will see what happens. Keep in touch!

  • Mohamed

    Hi Karen,

    I will be going to Surabaya on 13th Feb 09 and I have a plan to Mount Boromo. Can you please provide me the contact of the Travel agent that bring to there? Rs300,000 sound so cheap.

  • Amirah Kausar

    you guys are all ‘hardcore’ fans of the mountain and i envy that .. tried couple of times … but i had to finally give up when on one occassion, they got me ‘ferried’ on a stretcher .. twas 18 yrs ago … the Bromo pics are amazing and do not forget to post Semeru ..

  • Karen

    hi Mohamed, actually it would be much cheaper if you don’t book via a travel agent.

    From surabaya, take the train to Probolingo.

    You can catch a minivan from Probolingo to Cemoro Lawang for Rp.25,000. From Probolingo’s Bayuangga bus terminal.

    From Cemoro Lawang, you can opt for a shared jeep (usually 4 person) to catch the sunrise at Gunung Penanjakan and Bromo for Rp,80,000.

    Then catch the minivan back to Probolingo from Cemara Indah Hotel for Rp.25,000

    But if you need the Probolingo travel agent contact, its Mahkota Tour and Ijen Tour. Contact 081 358 533 523.

    Hope that helps :)

  • Muqaddis

    Alright Karen just inform me when you plan to visit Sulawesi.

  • Idris

    hi karen,
    do u know cemara indah hotel rates?