17.01.2017 29 °C
A late night or very early morning ?
Anyhow we got up at 3am and left in 4WD Jeeps, driving up the slopes of Gunung (Mountain) Pananjakan at 2,770m (9,000ft) and
on-route crossing the Laotian Pasir plateau (know as the Sea of Sand), a volcanic sand plateau.
We engaged 4WD and the low differential drive in order to get across the dunes and up the slope out of the sand and
back on to another track up the mountain.
Eventually we reached the summit, parked up the jeep and went to watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo and
the surrounding volcano massifs now slightly lower than us.
Shadowing Mt. Bromo is Java's highest peak and one of it's most active volcanos; Gunung Semeru at 3,676m (12,000ft).
The cloud started to lift, as the sun starred to rise to reveal a grand vista of volcanos dotting the horizon.
(There are still around 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia).
We then retraced our tracks down the mountain, back to the Sea of Sand and then set off to walk up the slope of Mount Bromo to it's crater rim.
The trek was relatively easy as the volcanic sand soon became solid as we started to gain height.
Just before the base of the crater rim was a Hindu Temple high up on the plateau, built by the local Hindu people,
as they believe Mt. Bromo is place of special religious significance and still give offerings to the mountain which include flowers and animals !
Passing by the temple we climbed a staircase made by the Hindu's to the crater rim at 2,392m (7,800ft) to be greeted by
large plumes of sulphur and the sound of the active lava core below.
We walked around the crater ring for as long was we could wearing scarfs to protect us from the sulphur,
which at times became very toxic, after about 20 mins, we'd taken enough photos and couldn't stand the fumes any more so we hastily descended to our jeeps and returned to the hotel for breakfast before leaving to travel to our last stop in Java, Kalibaru.
Kalibaru is located in the Eastern Province some 200Km from Mt. Bromo.
We arrived at the station to be greeted by another serve downpour, luckily our guide called the hotel and
they came and picked us up in 2 army jeeps.
The hotel was plush, set in the grounds of a old Coffee & Cocoa plantation, which still continues today,
but part of it has now been turned into this lovely hotel retreat with manicured gardens, plus it also boasted a 20m pool and a Java Spa.
When we arrived our bags hadn't as they were coming by bus later and given that it was still hammering it down with rain,
we decided to have a relaxing afternoon in the hotel with a traditional Javanese Massage, complete full body by 2 strong ladies !
It was still raining by evening time, so we stayed at the hotel for a nice meal and a couple of beers -
Well it was our last night in Java :-)