Mount Bromo Visual Diary
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 @ 12:04 AM

We made our way from Probolinggo up to Cemoro Lawang and stayed a night in Cemara Indah Hotel. We didn't harbour high hopes for the room, but the room was surprisingly cozy. It was freezing in Cemoro Lawang at night so we didn't really mind its tiny size. It was easier to stay warm when the four of us huddled up on the king size bed together, and we didn't have much time for fuzzy comfort anyway.

A kind staff from the hotel rented us a down jacket each to counter the cold, and patiently explained to us the routes to view the sunrise and to the crater from our hotel. The hotel is conveniently located right next to the walking trails, and the route to viewpoint one was pretty straightforward. We arose from our little nap and set off at about 3.30am for the hike to the viewpoint. We were told it takes about 1.5hours to get to the first viewpoint via hiking.

A strong torch and a mask of some sort is highly recommended to take the hike. The former to light up the way and to avoid the abundance of pony waste on the road, and the latter to mask from the occasional dirt storm from the passing transports. There are various ways to get to the stairway which leads up to the viewpoints - most people take the jeep, some by motorbikes and some on ponies. We were determined to make it up the mountain ourselves instead of agonising the poor ponies despite it being majorly affordable.

The hike up was pretty simple. We took short breaks from time to time on the way up at the steeper parts of the climb. The trail is pitch dark without the torch, and when we felt worn out, we simply had to look up and be mesmerised by the sky full of stars behind the silhouettes of tall trees.

We made it to viewpoint one in time for an early energy booster and the sunrise! They sell food on the way up the mountain as well as at viewpoint one, and we bought a Milo and Pop-mies to share. The simple heated fare was incredibly welcome in the cold.

Mount Bromo is a beautiful sight to behold. The viewpoint was crowded with locals and tourists alike, but we all had an amazing obstructed view of the volcano.

We had a train to catch and a strict schedule to follow, so we did not manage to cross the black sand and scale the volcano to its crater. We were the last to make our way down from the mountain because the view was just so mesmerising.

After checking out, we shared a random (but delicious) noodle soup from a nomad street-vendor at the roadside as we awaited for the public minivan to fill up with people heading back to Probolinggo. We were adament this time round to not be cheated by touts. The public minivan only costed us 3SGD each (vs the 10SGD each as quoted by the people in Probolinggo - the place is seriously a well-organised-rip-off town.) and although it was fully packed and non-airconditioned, I felt that we gained an authentic local experience.

We scaled Kawah Ijen the next night, and it was crazy. That's a story for another time.

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