During our stay at lombok island we skipped the idea hiking Mt.Rinjani as not all of us were fully equiped with necessary gear. Back at Bali i still had the wish to climb at least to one of the millions volcanos in Indonesia. So i spend a few hours on the internet to find a cheap way to go to Bromo and Ijen. The solution: Bromo Adventure Land Agency. Promblem: I had to convince Oliver to join me and find a cheap flight. Well the flight turned out to be expensive (53 €, Garuda) as we booked it only one day in advance but luckily the Problem with Olli turned to be cheap as i only had to get him a few Bintangs 🙂 My Love Parviz and his friend Max left on the very same day. Bad day for the whole group. Saying goodbye isnt easy, even worse if you re hungover and struggeling with, lets say, “stomach problems “.
We supposed to meet Mella at the Airport in Surabaya. She wasnt there. Wrong Terminal. What a great Invention this “Internet” otherwise we probably would still watch out for her 😉 .
Next morning we were picked up by our Tourguide Ian and our driver Mr. Kus(s), lovely people by the way. We arrived at 1pm and had the entire day to explore Cemoro Lawang. So we walked down to the sand sea at the bottom of Bromo, had a dinner at Cafe Lava ( they have a completly new interpretation of a tomatosoup) , where you find the best internet connection in town and spend a very lazy day. Good though, cause the next morning started at 3:30 am with a jeeptour to a viewpoint in the mountains. We run a little bit late cause oliver needs some extra time in the morning ….as always 😉 . I think the town has a double population of jeeps than citizens, i ve never seen so many jeeps in my life. On the way up the hill one of the jeeps lost a tire, i think it just fell off. We were running out of time, afraid of missing the sunrise everybody helped to move the jeep of the road. And we came just in time for the sunrise. Ian took us to a hidden viewpoint, King Kong hill, away from all the crowd, and we enjoyed the view for ourselves. A picture says more than thousands words. The view is just stunning.
We drove back to the sand plateau and hiked up Bromo to the crater. You can hear the volcano’s noises. Sounds like an empty stomach so i threw some flowers, which i bought for 20 t on the way up, for good luck. Back at the hotel we filled our tummys with great food and jumped into the car. Mr. Kuss was smiling, he was the only one with more than 4 hours sleep.
Next surprise: a really upper class hotel for us “backpackers” with a concierge and all that stuff. We felt good after a long day walking, taking pictures and selfies. We definetly earned a Bintang. One ” Prost” and we went for a NAP …a really short nap.
Midnight, time to leave. As i already mentioned, Oliver needs a little bit of extra time after waking up, so he gave us an excuse for a cup of green tea for breakfast. We arrived at 2 am at the entrance and were surprised by the amount of people. Apparently Ijen became very popular. Flashlight on and we walked up the hill for, it seems, ages. On the way we rented some gasmasks as it started to smell. It was foggy anyway, but if you come closer to the crater you realize that it starts to get itchy in your nose and your eyes get red. As we arrived the crater we started hiking. There is a small path down to the lake. Normally you walk one by one. The guides normally ask you if you can handle the way down. Now its not an easy hike anymore. You have to take care of your step. Debris might occure at any time. Once you wearing the mask its difficult to breath. Some parts are slippery if you dont have hikingboots. Yeah, but we felt good and hiked down the path. We ve seen the blue fire ( which is actually not a real fire). We literaly cried, not because of the view, rather than the gas burning in the eyes. The miners are working really hard, one kilo of the sulfid values only 1000 rupiah. Even wearing the mask you start to cough. Sometimes you see nothing than fog. Really scary. I am still surprised that my two travelmates handled both hikes, as none of them have ever hiked before. Well done mella and olli!!
As sunrise coming closer we hiked up the path and walked along the crater to see the lake. Ian showed us some nice spots for pictures and we enjoyed our breakfast on the top with lakeview.
Heading all the way back was harder than climbing up. The whole hike took us about 5 hours and back to the car Mr. Kuss welcomed us back with his smile. I guess we looked funny with all the dust in the face and marks of wearing the mask.
The trip ended with the drop off at the bus station as we decided ( democratical 2 against me ) to take a LOCAL bus to denpasar. My dear friends would not listen to me, that this wasnt a good idea. Anyway they made theier choice and i thought ” you ‘ll see” muhahaaa.
One last note: Ian offered us to wait with us till the bus arrives. I said: no thats not necessary, we ve got the tickets …dont worry about us. He insisted to wait and said: i will make sure you get on the bus! We didnt know the meaning of his words till that moment we were pushed in with our bags into an overbooked vehicle which has been a bus long time ago. Backpackers were even pushed out of the bus. I was lucky to have just a half of a seat …yeay…5 hours trip with no toilet, no fan, smoke around you and a semi leaking roof. But this is another story to tell…
Kiss n Hugs Adelia