Cemoro Lawang Travel Blog› entry 182 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia)
Arriving in Cemero Lawang we were hoping that the scams of Probolinggo were behind us. We approached the Cemara Indah hotel, which we had been told had rooms for $5, but got told that the cheapest rooms were sold out and they only had rooms ranging from $16 upwards. Thankfully after walking around for a little bit, we stumbled across a nice little homestay with rooms for $6. We checked in and went back up to the Hotel for some lunch. When we went to sit outside we were gobsmacked by the view, which looked directly down into Tengger Crater, with Gunung Bromo smoking away and Gunung Batok just to its right.
After an hour or so of writing some postcards, there was a knock on our door and when i opened it, some crazy old man burst into the room and made a beeline for our bathroom. 'Fair enough' i thought, needs must and all that! After a few seconds i heard the mandi been turned on and the basin filling. Moments later and the old timer re-emerged and exited, leaving the water running and without so much as a 'Terima Kasih'! I went into the bathroom to turn off the water and found the bugger had only gone and broken our tap, so it wouldn't turn off.
As nightfall approached there was another knock at our door and another old man who seemed quite intent on coming in. This time i wasn't so welcoming until i realised that it was in fact the owner, a lovely old guy named Paris. By a combination of sign language and signals we worked out each others life story and he decided that he should take me into his house, introduce me to his family and make it clear that should i want anything then he was the man to go to.
Dinner was taken back up at Cemara Indah hotel and it seemed that the day was going to end on a high. Some backpackers arrived around 8pm and i thought i'd help them out by telling them about our homestay, as there were supposedly no rooms at the hotel. To my disbelief, some 6 hours later and supposedly there were now plenty of $5 rooms that they had been offered. When paying my bill i asked why we had been lied to earlier in the day and they couldn't come up with an answer. Eventually one guy said that it was somehow our fault that they were lying about having no cheap rooms, as we hadn't bargained with them! I explained that it was impossible to bargain for a room that they didn't have, which really flummoxed the idiot.
3.20am was our wake up time on Wednesday so as we could make the famous sunrise. We shared a jeep with a French mother and daughter, which took us up Gunung Penanjakan for a birds eye view over the Tengger Crater. The crater itself contains Gunung Bromo, Gunung Batok and Gunung Kursi, with Gunung Semeru, the highest and most active volcano in Java, overseeing the whole crater.
A viewing platform has been built to house the ever growing number of spectators to this magical event and i would estimate around 200 people were there on this particular morning. As the sun begins to rise from the east, the whole area to the south starts to become illuminated and this is when you get the first fragments unfold infront of you. A layer of white fog covers much of the base of the 10km wide crater, whilst Bromo is constantly spewing out a thick column of white smoke and Semeru seems to blow out its cloud of smoke on a more irregular basis. After watching the volcanoes change in colour, in accordance with the rising sun, we jumped back in the jeep which took us into the crater itself, so as we could climb Bromo. At the foot of the volcano there is a small temple from where some people take horses up the dusty slope.
After this awe inspiring experience, we caught the jeep back up to Cemero Lawang and caught a connecting bemo back down to the town of Probolinggo. We managed to actually get dropped off at the bus station this time, although the bemo driver was doing his best to raise the fare for the foreigners. At the station itself we were hit by a load more touts clearly thinking we were incapable of buying our own tickets and kindly telling us to give them the money and they would get them for us. How kind of them - especially as they were asking for $3 more than the ticket was worth! We eventually found one honest ticket collector who told us the correct fare and we boarded his bus.
The journey to Bali was a long one, with a 5 hour bus journey followed by an hour ferry crossing.
To finish the trip to Kuta, we had to hire a private vehicle, which we were told was $4. When we managed to find a French Canadian couple to split the costs, the price was then risen. The couple had done this journey before and thankfully took it upon themselves to find another taxi for us, who would take us for the correct price. Arriving at the hotel, we crashed out immediately around 12.30am. Although the first 3 weeks in Indonesia had offered some amazing adventures, some of the people were really starting to grate on my nerves!