Sunday, 7 July 2013

11hr-turned-15hr ride to Mt Bromo!

Today was basically just spent travelling to a village called Cemoro Lawang, home to Mt. Bromo, one of the many still-active volcanoes on Java. The last time it erupted was in 2011! Mount Bromo (Gunung Bromo), is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java. At 2,329 metres (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well known. The volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Mount Bromo sits in the middle of a vast plain called the "Sea of Sand", a protected nature reserve since 1919. The best views from Mount Bromo to the Sand Sea below and the surrounding volcanoes are at sunrise.

I'd wanted to do some of the volcano treks and had heard this was the most popular and not too strenuous, so I hopped onto a minibus from Yogyakarta with 11 other tourists heading to the same place, on an 11hr 'adventure'.

Adventure my ass! It was horrendous. I don't mind long travel journey's as long as they are at night; during the day, you miss a whole day travelling and it sucks, it's boring and you feel hot, tired and cramped! I shared a minibus with a good group of people though who I ended up trekking Mt. Bromo with so the journey was only made bearable by their company. We had a 5hr straight through, then a half hour stop for lunch, where I tried Gado-Gado (Vegetables in a crushed peanut sauce), then straight through until the tourist office at 9pm which was an hour outside of Cemoro Lawang. We chatted, played cards, listened to music, banged our heads against the windows when we thought we'd never get there.

Everyone else had booked a tour but I was doing it all separately as it would work out a little cheaper (not much though). When we arrived at the tourist office at 9pm, we all groaned after we heard we still had another hour to go until we reached our hotel in Cemoro Lawang (I booked mine when we got to the office). We had to move our luggage to another car, which was a crappy little hippy van that sounded like it might explode. And then climb the mountains in it for another hour, until we reached...a crappy hotel we'd paid £10 for, which had no hot water, the rooms were dark and horrible and it was FREEZING! I knew it'd be cold as we were so high up, but it was like below 4 degrees! I was not prepared for that.

Robbie, I and Brooke, a Canadian girl, all ended up in the same hotel and Robbie and I ended up sharing a room together. We arrived around 11pm and ended up getting to bed around midnight...ready for 3hrs sleep before we'd have to be up again at 4am for our trek up Mount Bromo. We'd all decided not to do the jeep tours as they were expensive and instead climb on our own, so off we went to bed, layered in tons of clothes to keep warm!

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