The Champagne Backpacker: Michael's Round the World Trip 2005-2007-- The Adventure of a Lifetime travel blog

Mount Bromo And Mount Batok Just Before Dawn

Sunrise Over Tengger Caldera

On The Rim Of Mount Bromo

Flower Vendor On Mount Bromo

Another Flower Vendor

Indonesian On Horseback

Daytime View Of Tengger Caldera From Cemoro Lawang

Gunung Bromo (2329 m) is an active volcano in the center of the 10 kilometer wide Tengger Massif crater in eastern Java. Bromo is one of three mountains within the Tengger caldera. The other two are Batok (2440 m) and Kursi (2581 m). The whole caldera and area is generally referred to as Bromo. On the crater rim lies Cemoro Lawang, a small village with good accommodation. I selected Lava Hotel for my two nights (Rp 90,000/single). There was only one other couple at the hotel. I arrived at Bromo in the late afternoon after a one hour flight from Makassar (Sulawesi) to Surabaya, a two hour bus ride from Surabaya to Probolinggo (Rp 12,000), and a two hour minibus ride from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang (Rp 25,000) (Based on the fare from Surabaya to Probolinggo, I overpaid for the bus to Cemoro Lawang). The crater and Bromo were covered in clouds, so I couldn't see anything from the crater rim. There's nothing to do in Cemoro, so I ate dinner and went to bed to get an early start the next morning to see the sunrise over Bromo.

I awoke at 4:30 am and began my walk down into the crater. The clouds had all cleared, but it was still very dark that I needed to use my torch. Several locals offered to guide me in on a horse, but I politely declined, explaining that I preferred to walk and be by myself. (The concept of wanting to be by yourself is not widely understood in India and Southeast Asia; Neither is the concept of preferring to walk over transport.). There is a lookout above the crater rim where many tourists go, but I wanted to walk into and see the sunrise from inside the crater. The walk was quite easy and I had the whole crater to myself for the first hour and a half. It's quite a spectacular sight to see the smoke rising from Bromo next to the perfectly coned Batok mountain. The crater floor is covered in black lava sand. It was firm due to the rains from earlier in the evening. Green vegetation covered Batok mountain and the crater floor. As the sun pierced the darkness, I walked partially around Batok before starting the short climb up a concrete staircase to the crater rim of Bromo. From Bromo's crater rim are fabulous views into the small, smoking crater, and out to Batok mountain and the Tengger caldera below. The smell of sulfur permeated the air. Except for a couple of local vendors, I had the crater rim to myself for 20 minutes before a mass of mostly Indonesian tourists, perhaps 100, arrived and joined me. I left the masses took a leisurely one hour stroll across the caldera back to my accommodation. Bromo is certainly worth visiting if you are in Java. A far more spectacular and out-of-this-world volcano, however, is Mount Haleakala on the Island of Maui, Hawaii, USA., where I visited in earlier this year. (See post 81 dated January 14, 2006). I also highly recommend Kilauea volcano in Hawaii's Volcano National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii, the most active and spectacular volcano in the world.

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