Mind Over Matter
Probolinggo Travel Blog› entry 25 of 54 › view all entries
With my recent failure on Mount Merapi still firmly on the top of my mind, I made the decision to actively turn things around in my life. After all, thats what this trip is for.
Our 12 hour bus journey there was doomed from the start. A group of Japanese tourists would be joining us in our mini bus the whole way. Now, this in itself would not be an issue had they not been the kind of people with no redeemable features. As I attempted to get in the back of the mini bus, the girl by the door would not move over to let me pass to get to the empty seats.
Myself and Matthew, the two tallest of all the passengers had to sit in the tiny front seat while we waited for the remainder of passengers to finally show up so we could head off. Half an hour later we were off with myself & Matthew cramped into the front of the mini bus with the gear stick being jammed aggressively into my leg every 5 minutes of the 12 hour journey. Oh and myself and Matthew had to share my only pair of ear phones in a vain attempt to drown out the annoying carrying on of the very annoying people in the back.
The only moment of the day that was in any way enjoyable was when all the Japanese people got out at a different hotel!!
At the hotel, we ate a quick meal and then settled in for an early night hoping to wake up early.
After a totally pointless few hours of attempted sleep, it was time to mount our assualt on Mount Bromo. Outside, we were the only people on the mood. It was a very cool crisp early morning. Around 4 am.
Mount Bromo lies in the middle of what appears to be a wide valley with a large sandy desert at its base. Now, I never thought that I would say this.....but, in the flatness of this desert we could not see the large mountain...it does help to look in the right direction. The say the darkest hour comes before the dawn.....that will do as our excuse for now.
We could see a temple off a little bit from us. We knew that people hired horses from the temple so it was decided that they could point us in the right direction. As I set off to the temple to get the directions to our missing mountain, Matthew apparently carried on walking.
There was nobody at the temple yet. They would be awaiting the hordes of tourists who would be watching the sun rise from the view point high above us. At this point the sky had gotten a little brighter just in time for me to see I Bromo just in time to see Matthew getting close to its base.
There is a stair case up to the lowest rim of the volcanoe. The stair case has 253 steps. Legend has it that this number differs whether you count going up or down. I lost count. Both times. I guess the accountant in me is not as good anymore.
The sun was well on its way up by now. Perhaps this is what helped me to overcome my usual crippling fear of heights as I circled the the barrier-less crater. In fact only the first 100m or so of the rim has a lower than waist high fence.
There was only about 6 of us up on the rim at this point spread out about to glimpse the shifting colours of the sky as the sun formally graced us with her presence while we basked in her glow.
Parts of the crater rim were so narrow & weak that I almost fell a few times. Not fun. At the highest point I regretably put my foot on a loose rock and slipped a few metres off the outer edge. I honestly do not know how I managed to recover from this yet I was very thankful that I did not slip on the inside of the bubbling smoking crater.
On the walk back, the tourist hordes had well and truly arrived. I felt like I had made the right decision coming here down the view point as it felt that bit more personal stood atop the very much active volcanoe watching the sun come up.
After a shower and a quick nap it was off to the sandy shores of Bali for some fun in the sun.
It took over 10 hours on the bus complete with a ferry from Java across to Bali.