From Sukamade beach to Mt Bromo – part 3
After a fun activity observing turtle laying eggs on a full moon night and release the babies turtle at Sukamade beach, five of us (Alan Yeo Yuan Lun, Loh Ee Chong, Hu Enwei and Ong Peng Kiat and me) will continue the journey to Mount Bromo via Probolinggo, we stopped at the home of a friend in Banyuwangi for a short break and wash our face and replace vehicles that we use. From Banyuwangi to Probolinggo, we can use one of two alternate paths, via Jember or via Situbondo, our friend suggested us to use Situbondo route by consideration of road conditions much comfortable and flat, after completing affairs, we begin the journey to Mount Bromo in Probolinggo, this trip is going to last for about 6-7 hours, throughout the course my friends spend the time with playing cards in the back of the car and chatted some topics that I did not understand, because I do not understand their language. We occasionally stopped at the mini market to buy mineral water, beer, snacks and dinner at Kraksaan – Probolinggo, in a shop serving seafood dishes.
I was offered a beer by my friends for a drink together, with their innocent little faces say “we know maybe beer is banned to be a publicly distribute in Indonesia, but we want to high-five to the boss” and we had a drink together. I had thought, it might be banned, whereas now, we can buy beer in almost every mini market that can be found along the road on Java, and for myself, it’s not big deal. We also share the knowledge in playing cards and telling stories about the motivation to support business in each country, from the conversation I know some of the general differences between a card game motivation in Singapore and Indonesia, they bet on every card game, card game in Indonesia is not always used to put a bet, it is often used for entertainment only, in particular, Singapore legalized gambling but not in Indonesia, people always secretly when gambling, while in Singapore, they are free to do so, and it becomes one of the state income tax.
We arrived at the hotel at the foot of Mount Bromo approximately 10 pm, then get out of the car we felt cold fresh air and distinctive mountains and we enjoyed it, after drinking hot tea we had to rest because explore Bromo will start early morning at 3 am, time for rest relatively short in, but that’s it, the tour is always draining power and reducing the duration of our rest, a tour was tiring but also fun.
2:30 am I was awakened by the hotel clerk to prepare, as did my friends, we were picked up by Hardtop at about 3:15 am, I always use this hardtop every I visit Bromo, and I already called ahead of time to explore Bromo today. This morning we will witness a famous beauty Bromo sunrise, we will go to Penanjakan, a location in altitude, from here we can enjoy the Bromo sunrise with landscape mountains as background in the area of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, on arrival at Penanjakan, there were many hardtops that preceded us, and we had to walk about 100 meters because our hardtop was far behind the queue. Bromo seems is never quiet, every day throughout the year Bromo is always full of visitors, including the time we visited, although working days, people meet at Penanjakan to watch the Bromo sunrise, early morning air at Bromo area is actually cold, but because there are hundreds of people who gathered here, Bromo not so cold again.
This is the awaited moment, as the sun rose, the sky so brightly colored, the combination of blue color sky, red and yellow at dawn as forming painting in very broad background unattainable, when the sun is getting shined we looked away to the right side of point arises sunrise, the beauty of nature painting pamper our eyes and every visitor, coating mountains that look great and beautiful from a distance, surrounded by a sea of sand that is protected by high cliffs mounting, and we’re standing on one of the cliffs. This region isolated from the outside world and just like the area has their own world, from the height, Mount Bromo was clearly visible and most arid lower than the other, the smoke billowing from the crater sulfur, in front of Mount Bromo is Mount Batok, higher then Bromo and almost impossible to climb, on the farther side, Mount Semeru, the highest peak in the Java, sturdy towering and majestic, take your pictures with the mountains in the background, we look like being in the dazzling paintings.
Bromo Crater and Teletubbies hill
The rising sun, we got down to the sea of sand to visit Bromo and climb to the crater, we arrived at the parking area on the sea sand, and four of my friend continue to climb Bromo crater on horseback, while I have had several times visited Bromo, so I choose to wait for them in the parking area while enjoying a hot meatball and playing with cute dog owned by a local resident who played at nearby parking location. From a distance it seems clear Poten temple is located just below the foot of Mount Bromo, a sacred place by native Tengger was a place of worship for Hindus, the Hindu community across the country will occasionally come to worship in the temple, and once a year Tengger community held a traditional ceremony called Kasodo, the ceremony begins the parade troupe that brings all sorts of offerings towards the temple to pray and ended by throwing offerings into the crater of Mount Bromo. Poten temple in the sea sands located between the parking area and stairs leading to Bromo crater.
Soon four of them came, and I was finished eating my meatball, then we went to the Savana of Bromo, this place is known as Teletubbies Hill as a form resembling locations in the Teletubbies doll play in their cartoon series, rolling green hills in the distance, there is a path that will guide us to a certain height to the hills and we could follow it, even though the sun was getting hot, cold air immediately make the tourists comfortable when playing around the hills. Once satisfied to take pictures, we left the savannah towards Bromo Sand Whisper, a mini desert formed from the ashes of the eruption of Mount Bromo, for hundreds or even thousands of years, this is the last spot to be visited when exploring Bromo, by noon we finish explore Bromo and back to the hotel for rest and lunch. As usual, I will invite my friends to eat at home of Agung one of my friends that I deliberately asked to prepare lunch for us plus our driver.
Tired explore Bromo was nothing compared to the tired explore Ijen, ascent field is obviously different, after all, in Bromo we much helped by hardtop that takes us to all the interesting places in Bromo, after lunch, we rested at the hotel, at 1 pm we’ll continue to visit one of the legendary waterfalls that still has historic links with Gajah Mada the Prime minister of Majapahit, a high waterfall and beautifully situated on the slopes of Bromo mountain, waterfall named Madakaripura.After a short break we went to the waterfall location, approximately 40 minutes from Bromo, upon arriving at the gate of the waterfalls, we still had to walk down by the river and cross it sometimes guided by local residents that we lease, after approximately 30 minutes, we arrived at the waterfall, that resembles splashes of rain, every person who visited this waterfall will definitely wet, there are a lot of rental umbrellas here and rain coats are made of plastic, if you do not want to get wet, you can rent an umbrella or buy a rain coat. Unfortunately when we arrived at the waterfall site are drizzly, local guide advised us not to linger in the waterfall area, because if the rain came suddenly, there was the possibility of flash floods will come, so it will close the path back, and we do not want to stuck in the waterfall area due to rain or flash floods. After taking photos and enjoying the atmosphere, we immediately left the area of the waterfalls and back along the river bank, the torrential rain when we got back, we were lucky to cross the river flow is not too high so that we can still go back to the gate. We enjoy taking hot tea at the stalls that line inside the area of the waterfall entrance, after all the rain coming down so hard, but after waiting some time, the rain also never let up, we finally decided to go back to the hotel without waiting for the rain to stop.
Tonight we were supposed to spend the night at the homestay provided by the rafting operator Pekalen – Probolinggo, but after considering the information from the operator that there are a lot of mosquitoes in the homestay would we live, we decided to once again spend the night on the slopes of Mount Bromo in the same hotel. When we arrived at the hotel the rain had stopped and it was afternoon, we will spend the rest of the day at the hotel on the slopes of Mount Bromo in the evening while enjoying a cold Bromo, tomorrow morning after breakfast, we will continue the journey to the rafting location in Pekalen river, which is still in Probolinggo.