BEYOND THE SEA OF SAND: HIKING MT. BROMO, EAST JAVA

Mount Bromo which stands tall at 2329 m is one of the most iconic mountains in Indonesia. It beckons majestically despite having the entire top blown off and with a crater inside that keeps spewing off white sulphurous smoke. It is still one of the most active volcanoes in the world and there are areas that are blocked off from tourists due to its imminent danger.

HOW TO GET THERE:

Tours are easily accessible from Yogyakarta and Bali. I booked from my hostel Bunk, Bed & Breakfast in Jogja which droppped me in Seminyak, Bali with stops at both Mt Bromo and the Ijen Crater en route. (Tours can also be booked from Bali.) I was picked up at 8am in a mini bus and taken to a larger coach which continued the journey the Mount Bromo. We didn’t arrive until gone midnight that night – a gruelling 16hr journey. Although there were a few food and toilet breaks along the way.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST:

I paid around £45 for 3 days, 2 nights, bus, boat, accommodation and guides included. There were some extras for the jeep to Bromo and entry fee to the sunrise viewing point before we got to Bromo, entry fees for both sites and the option to see the blue flame at Ijen crater which meant leaving at 1am instead of 4am (entrance fee to Bromo 75k/£4 and to Ijen 55k/£3, I don’t recall the other costs but they only equated to a few pounds) . It is possible to do it slightly cheaper without a tour, but for me, especially as I was travelling solo, it was worth the extra Rupiahs to save the brain power, research, planning and luggage hauling!

WHAT TO WEAR

  • Comfortable and warm layers!!
  • Trainers or hiking shoes
  • A scarf to cover your mouth

WHAT TO TAKE

  • Camera – be careful when the wind blows, my camera broke here when all the dust got inside, leaving me with just an iPhone 4 camera for the next 2 months until I found somewhere to get it fixed!
  • Water
  • Small change – for refreshments/horse rides

SUNRISE VIEWPOINT

Despite not arriving at our hotel til past midnight, we were picked up in a jeep at 3.15am and taken to Pananjakan, the highest viewpoint in the area to see the sun rise. It was around a 40min drive and a further 15min uphill walk to the immensely crowded viewpoint. It was pretty darn cool and worth the early start/overcrowding. There are tea huts and people selling hats, scarves, gloves and socks as it’s pretty cold at this altitude at this time of the morning!

IMG_1824

TACKLING THE SEA OF SAND

Next stop – Mt. Bromo! The jeep took us to the edge of the ‘Sea of Sand’, which appeared like a scene from a Wild Wild West movie as horses galavanted through the thick mist. Due to new blister inducing trainers, I opted to travel on horseback past the Hindu Temple Pura Luhur Potento the base of Bromo and the 200 or so sand covered steps. The 7-8min horseride cost 50,000RP return (around £2.50) I didn’t barter cause I was feeling generous and thought this was a fairly reasonable price – so avid bargainers will be able to get a better deal I’m sure! Otherwise it’s a 10-15min walk. IMG_1841Screen shot 2015-08-15 at 19.11.12IMG_1863IMG_1873IMG_1868

AT THE TOP

The crater was moaning, groaning and spewing out gasses and smoke, which was pretty cool to see/hear, as well as terrifying – I feared that I fall/get pushed in as a peace offering! The view is spectacular from the top, but there’s not anything else to do, so after a little while of careful pondering and some awkward selfies I headed back to my horse who took me to the jeep. We headed back to the hotel to have breakfast and check out by 9am and be enroute to Probolinggo to change buses for the Ijen Crater. Read about it hereIMG_1899IMG_1900IMG_1896IMG_1879

*Mount Bromo recently erupted at the end of 2015, however the local community are so familiar with the tell tale signs of any potentially dangerous activity, they are able to issue safety distance warning to ensure the safety of all visitors.

Leave a Reply