Feeling a food coma coming on after our carby breakfast, we headed back to our room to rest before exploring Mount Bromo.
The nap we had definitely paid off. We got up at 11ish feeling more refreshed and ready to take on Mount Bromo!
We walked down the road from our hostel to the entrance to Bromo-Tengger National Park, where we had to buy tickets.
It was a public holiday, so the entrance fee cost more than usual. Locals pay IDR 32,000 (~$3.20). We tourists? IDR 320,000. A whopping ten times more! The ticket was actually valid for two days, but we were going to make our way to our next destination later that day. Oh well.
As we were preparing to walk to Bromo, a bunch of guys offered to take us there on motorbikes for IDR 50,000 each. Pretty sure you can bargain it down, but we both agreed, so off we went!
About Mount Bromo
Mount Bromo resides in the massive 10 kilometer-wide Tengger caldera (Geography lesson: a caldera is formed when parts of a volcano collapse into itself, forming a large crater).
Considering that the Tengger caldera is 10 kilometers wide, imagine how massive the ancient volcanoes were! Surrounding Mount Bromo and its neighboring peaks are vast plains called the Sea of Sand. It makes for a really surreal and unique landscape that really feels like you are on another planet.
The soft sand in the area gets kicked up and blown about by the wind, making the air quite dusty. The locals are accustomed to it, but it’s good to have a mask on standby in case it irritates your nose. The convenience store near our hostel sold masks.
On bike, the ride took maybe 10 minutes. You can walk from the National Park entrance, definitely, but with all the soft sand and dust, it will take quite a while.
From where we were dropped off, it’s a bit of an uphill walk to Bromo.
There are also locals offering horse rides up, but we felt bad for the horses because it can’t be pleasant walking up and down the slopes with a load on your back and breathing in all that dust 😦 You have legs, so use them!
There are many stalls here selling drinks, snacks and the like. And yes, it’s all covered in a layer of dust which you have to wipe off.
You’ll eventually reach a point where you have to climb up a long flight of stairs to reach the Bromo crater. You could even hear the low rumble that is emanating from the crater itself!
It’s a looong way up, with the stairs covered in volcanic dust. After the Seruni Point hike though, this wasn’t so bad.
When we got to the top, we saw mostly locals sitting around and enjoying the views.
Look down and this is what you see – the crater emitting sulphur. You can smell it, but it isn’t that strong. Apparently, when religious festivities call for it, some locals will throw food into the crater as offerings and, get this, some locals would actually climb into the crater and attempt to catch said food! The lengths they go to.
This altar was built here. Quite sure that statue is of the Hindu god Ganesh.
You can actually walk the crater rim of Bromo, which would take around 1.5 hours more. Beyond a certain point, however, there is no railing (pictured above) – in other words, nothing to prevent you from tumbling off the path and into the crater to your inevitable death.
Even the locals aren’t crazy enough to do it, they mostly hung around near the stairway. There was one lone person in the distance on the other side of the rim though. Hats off to them.
Tip from a local: if you do wish to attempt to walk the crater rim, do it in a clockwise direction (clockwise while facing the crater) as the path is wider and easier to walk on. However, there are several sections where the path gets extremely narrow and dangerous, particularly when you are almost completing the loop. Attempt at your own risk!
Back to the hostel
Once we were done taking in the views, taking photos and walking a bit of the rim, we headed back down and paid for bike rides back to our hostel.
When we got back, we had a good shower, had lunch, checked out from Café Lava, and paid for a car ride down from Cemoro Lawang to Probolinggo, where we would be staying for the night at a homestay before catching a train the next morning at 11am.
Cemoro Lawang to Probolinggo
The car ride down felt like ages – no wonder the bike ride up felt like forever!
Once we got to Probolinggo, we checked in to a quaint little homestay near the train station called Clover Homestay. We paid around IDR 180,000 for one night. The staff were pleasant and our room was clean and cosy.
The rest of the day was relatively chill. We had our dinner at the homestay and took a stroll to the nearby gas station where we bought ourselves ice-cream (pictured above – yummers) and train tickets over to Banyuwangi, where we would be based for our visit to Mount Ijen.
The staff at Café Lava recommended taking the First Class train since it’s safer and faster. We paid IDR 232,500 for the both of us after the discount, which works out to IDR 116,250 or SGD 11.60 per person. Pretty good deal for a 4-hour train ride!
We made use of our time at Clover Homestay to get some laundry done, rest after all that trekking we did earlier that day, and sleep in before our train ride the next day at 11am.
More in the next post!