Spectacular scenery

Cemoro Lawang Travel Blog

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Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park

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.

Gunung Bromo emits smoke as the cloud drifts over Cemero Lawang
It was a little misty but still beautiful, and some guys who had been to that mornings sunrise assured us it got a whole lot better. We ate our lunch marvelling at such natural beauty, before heading back to relax in the homestay.

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.

Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
No wonder he was in such a hurry to escape the scene of the crime! I went to get the lady who sold us the room and she had a disgusted look of 'how could you behave like this - animals!' on her face. I sheepishly put my head down as though i was very sorry, afterall she spoke no English and i spoke only enough Bahasa to order a meal, but certainly not translate this story! Even if i could have translated it, i'm not sure she would have believed me!

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.

Gunung Semuru blasts out more smoke
All this without understanding a single word that we said to each other! I really took a shine to the guy, so booked a tour to the volcano for the following morning with him.

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.

Me at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
The other scam which this hotel was pulling, was to tell people that their tour cost 75,000Rp and when they arrived for it, they tried to make them pay another 25,000Rp for park entry, even though this should be included. Sadly some people fall for this, and my advice would be to avoid this establishment like the plague - even if they do have great restaurant views!

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 view from Gunung Bromo of the Temple within Tengger 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.

Smoke plooms out of Gunung Bromo
Once at the rim there is a great view of where the smoke is plooming out of and you also get the occasional glimpse of smoke been emitted from Semeru.

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.

People looking over the rim of Gunung Bromo
Once on the bus, we were harrassed by the usual suspects selling water and snacks. We bought some and waited for the bus to leave. One guy however would not leave us alone, even though we were been extremely polite to him. He started coming out with nonsense and using foul and abusive language. He thought it was funny and wouldn't stop when i asked him to. He kept deliberately crowding our space and was seeing how far he could push it. I eventually informed him that if he didn't piss off that instance, then he would end up missing a few teeth. It really upsets me when i get so wound up, but he was insulting not only me but Julia as well.

The journey to Bali was a long one, with a 5 hour bus journey followed by an hour ferry crossing.

Gunung Bromo and Gunung Sereru emit smoke simultaneously
We then had to take a 3 hour bus ride to Denpasar. My patience was again tested when we were trying to get a price for the bus and were told something that was clearly too high. I was assured it was a 'local price', which clearly it wasn't. I asked them why they thought it was fine to rip me off and lie, at which point the price decreased. I knew it was still too high and the annoying thing is that we travel on the worse local buses rather than better air con buses, so as we can try and save some money, only for them to keep trying to over charge us. After 10 minutes of arguing with them they knocked the price down even more and having lost all my energy i just gave in and paid a bit extra.
A view of Bromo on the left and Batok on the right.

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!

Deats says:
Speaking to other people who have been there, the general feeling seems to be that its one of the most beautiful places you could wish to visit - but the people really suck. It was strange in Indonesia that from island to island the people really differed - actually from city to city - no, make that street to street haha
Posted on: Jul 24, 2009
almond72 says:
Don't feel bad, the touts will fleece locals too if they can ! You're just easier to spot. My friends there have to fend off the crazy prices too !
Posted on: Jul 24, 2009
Deats says:
Im really not sure, but i guess train or bus is a chance. Otherwise a taxi, but i dont know how much this costs. Sorry i cant help more :(
Posted on: Jun 01, 2008
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Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Gunung Bromo emits smoke as the cl…
Gunung Bromo emits smoke as the c…
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Gunung Semuru blasts out more smoke
Gunung Semuru blasts out more smoke
Me at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru Nationa…
Me at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru Nation…
A view from Gunung Bromo of the Te…
A view from Gunung Bromo of the T…
Smoke plooms out of Gunung Bromo
Smoke plooms out of Gunung Bromo
People looking over the rim of Gun…
People looking over the rim of Gu…
Gunung Bromo and Gunung Sereru emi…
Gunung Bromo and Gunung Sereru em…
A view of Bromo on the left and Ba…
A view of Bromo on the left and B…
Sunrise at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru Na…
Sunrise at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru N…
Sunrise at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru Na…
Sunrise at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru N…
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Gunung Batok
Gunung Batok
Walkway leading up Gunung Bromo
Walkway leading up Gunung Bromo
A view from Gunung Bromo at the te…
A view from Gunung Bromo at the t…
Gunung Bromo emits its continous s…
Gunung Bromo emits its continous …
Gunung Bromo emits its continous s…
Gunung Bromo emits its continous …
Me at Gunung Bromo
Me at Gunung Bromo
People looking over the rim of Gun…
People looking over the rim of Gu…
Walking down the steps from Gunung…
Walking down the steps from Gunun…
Cemoro Lawang
photo by: Deats