Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Wonderful Mount Bromo -- Indonesia

I probably hate myself for the lack on consistency nowadays I would rather cuddle my little one than work in my office desk. Just like today, It's a Monday, feels off-peak though and I am on a 12-hour shift. Yes, I've been praying my shift to be over since about 3 hours ago.

Anyway, I better get started on this long overdue Mount Bromo post. Right after Kawah Ijen, our itinerary is set for Mount Bromo which is located nearer Surabaya Airport. We headed back to the homestay, packed our bags and checked out. 

It's a good thing we managed to negotiate with the rented cars to take us directly to Cemoro Lawang, a town in Bromo. It was way easier for us than to go by the bus.

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As we arrived pretty late in the evening, it was chilling but I didn't bother checking what the temperature is because the pain in my broken ankle is getting more serious. There was a number of people gathered where the car stopped. They were drivers and homestay owners and care takers. Basically, people who usually deals with tourists. It was the right crowd we needed. We found a homestay, the 4x4 deal who will take us to Mount Bromo by 1:30AM and a ride back to Surabaya Airport all in one. 

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We initially reserved a homestay at Cemoro Lawang but when we get we asked them, no one could tell us where the homestay is and ended up renting the homestay at the back of where our new found friends was. 

There was this guy about his 50's. Very friendly and helpful giving us directions and some tips. Turned out he was looking for passengers going back to Surabaya the next day. We then gave a haggled price just as what we read from other blogs, about 500,000 IDR = 51 SGD. Suprisingly, he didn't ask for any increase. The travel agency was asking 750,000 lowest price. This was a risk we took and we turned out to be so damn lucky since they warn us its impossible to get 500k. Guessing from his strategy, he wasn't getting any luck of getting a passenger going back to Surabaya that day so he had to agree than get nothing at all. We agreed meeting at 8:30AM just as where we met in getting back to Surabaya.

Fer and I hurriedly took the room, of course in a perfectly haggled price. We asked the locals where to get something to eat, turned out only one is open. We got to try a local noodles shop that serves beer perfect in that cold night weather. 
We had a nice chat at the restaurant about 50 meters away from the homestay and met a cute German baby cuddled by his friendly Daddy, 6 months and already climbing the mountains with her parents! Wish I could get the courage when I have my baby, but then again... Nope! I cannot imagine how they feed the baby in those long hours of travel at the same time they should be equipped with nappies, distilled water and the formula, not to mention clean clothing! I salute these parents.

Alright, passed one hour, we decided to call it a night. I had the hardest time cleaning myself up. I have done it the quickest way though. We were in our deep sojourn sleep when someone kept knocking on our door. I feel it was a little late for someone to check in at about 11PM and I got paranoid when I saw how someone could easily kick and break the plywood door open. We had to ask who was it first before we opened the door. It was a younger guy who said to be looking for the tickets we got earlier that we already handed off to the other guy who was going to drive us to Mount Bromo. He was scratching his head and walked away.

We immediately fell asleep under the cold night.

Fast forward to after 2 in a half hours. We are ready to hop in the jeep, especially me in my condition. As negotiated, we had the jeep all for the two of us, yeah.. plus the driver. The night was still deep, too cold for me but I managed. 

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I know, I'm nowhere close

As we reached the top, we hurriedly setup our camera for some long exposure shots. We were so excited to find our we were the first ones to be there. Camera mounted towards the endless dark skies end until my world just fell apart. First, I was wondering why my camera won't focus. Then, ERROR. It felt like my mind was blurring like a mad dog, disappointed but I tried not to ruin the day. I just told myself that it's just another bad luck, it'll pass, I won't be able to get one shot of that dream long exposure. T_T but, it will pass.... :)

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Fer was nice to let me borrow for a quick ones on the Bromo mountain, I feel its too much to use her camera for long exposure but she had me take a few ones. If you guys intend to take some long exposure, be there as early as possible, we arrive at about 230am and we wished we were there another hour earlier, it was like a market place bustling in minutes. 

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We just found ourselves pinched in the metal railing at this overlooking facade. People are all over the place, all holding their cameras. And I'm the one who dont'! We had enough at about 6am so we decided to go down. The view is amazing! No words can describe how beautiful the view was. I will live to you, as usual my photos does not do the view justice. You have to see it with your own eyes.

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Approaching the sunrise, we met with the black ashes and wonderful sunrise shadows. A group of men would usually gather around and ask you for a ride with a cost of course. This is one of the tourist attractions and people earn a living by a pony-like ride going to the volcano. Unfortunately for me, I had to wait and see. I watched Fer go to the volcano and faded.

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For non-hikers like me, you would definitely enjoy this. The walk to the volcano will not take you 30 minutes to see the crater that breathes sulphur smoke. I'd definitely be happier if it wasn't for my bad ankle. But who am I to complain, I've seen another mystery of nature!  

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