Trekking Mount Bromo

 

Bromo Landscape
A smoking Mt. Semeru, the highest mountain on the island of Java, at a whopping 3,676 meters

Yet another day of our sunrise tour as we woke up not-so-bright and early at 3:30am in the freezing cold. We met our 4×4 outside the hotel, and after a brief bout of confusion, they threw us in one of the Jeeps and took off in the pitch dark, up some gravelly, windy roads uphill. After about 45 minutes, we arrived at Penanjakan, the viewing area and entrance to Tengger Semeru National Park. Still pitch dark, we made a short trek uphill to the viewing platform to watch the sun rise over Mt. Bromo, a smoking Mt. Semeru, and numerous other volcanoes and craters. The landscape was incredible, with parts of the terrain enshrouded in clouds to make it seem like we were on the moon, and other parts seeming like a vast desert, except replacing sand with volcanic ash.

Jeep
The little jeep that could…our mode of transportation up the volcano
Bromo Sunrise 1
Patiently awaiting the sunrise in the chilly mountain air
Jenny & Doug at Sunrise
Enjoying the sunrise…me, Doug, and a thousand other people
Bromo Sunrise
This made our 3:30am rise well worth it
Full landscape shot
The park itself was so high up amongst the clouds that parts of it felt like being on the moon

After about an hour, we drove over to Mt. Bromo itself, where we were greeted with a herd of horses that could take us to the foot of the mountains – very Arabian feeling. We opted out of riding a horse and hiked across the terrain, up some steep ashy land, and then up what seemed like never-ending stairs covered in ash that I kept slipping down. We were treated with a phenomenal view up at top, peering down into the crater that resulted from the last explosion and seeing the milky whitish green lava that was continuously steaming. There was a narrow trail around the crater, flanked by steep edges on both sides and often lacking any guardrail. Naturally, my fear of heights coupled with the steep plunge into boiling lava kind of freaked me out (understatement) but we managed to walk a bit around the crater to take a few shots. I myself was a sight to see, hanging onto the guardrail for dear life. Apparently, there are several Hindu ceremonies that take place at the lip of the crater, where people would make offerings of dolls, food, and even chickens to throw down into the lava. Poor chickens!

Foot of Bromo
Horses greeted us at the foot of Mt. Bromo
Foothills of Bromo
Foothills of Mt. Bromo
Top of Bromo
Finally made it to the top! Now, don’t look down…
Gaping Bromo Crater
…because it’s a steep fall down to the gaping hole
Lava
Closeup view of wide lava hole…don’t fall!
Bromo Stairs
The steep walk up and down Bromo, made more challenging by the ash that had collected on the stairs

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