The way to the Kawah Gunung Bromo and the Pura Luhur Poten…
After we were finished watching the sunrise at Penanjakan 2, we made our way back to the jeep. This turned out to be a lot harder than we thought, as there were literally hundreds of the same model jeeps parked on the narrow roads up the mountain. We spend about an hour trying to find our driver and group. I have to admit that I started to panic a little bit at that point, but suddenly the driver found us instead. We were so relieved.
Tip: if it is crowded on the Bromo Mountain during your visit, remember your jeep’s colour, license plate, and other notables (stickers, flags, etc.). Also write down or save the mobile phone number of your driver and other group members, just in case you get lost (like us).
The rest of our group had arrived a few minutes before us and since we were complete once again it was time that we departed to the second stop on our tour, the Kawah Gunung Bromo or the Bromo Mountain Crater and the Pura Luhur Poten (a Hindu temple located at the base of the crater). Our enthusiasm soon died however as our jeep wouldn’t start. What a bummer. Luckily, after about half an hour another member of the Bromo Travel Tour agency helped out by pushing us down the mountain and then the engine worked again. Hooray.
The ride to the Bromo Mountain crater was pretty cool. You’ll see some epic views along the way, such as immense open spaces with a sea of sand and grass between huge mountainous walls. It is incredible.
After arriving at the base of the crater we made our way to the top. The distance between the parking lot and the top of the mountain was further than it seemed. It’s quite a workout walking through the soft volcanic sand and dust that covers everything. And when I say that the volcanic dust gets everywhere, I mean everywhere. It will find a way into your camera, your nose, ears, bags, and your clothes. Be sure to bring a scarf or a mouth mask to make sure you don’t inhale too much dust.
A man offered us to take us by horse to the near top of the mountain. It is quite a bumpy ride and relatively steep at times, but we got there fast. Afterwards, however, I felt quite bad for the horse as it was foaming at the mouth and since the air was quite thin at that altitude it must have been quite a toll on it. I did not realize that beforehand and I feel slightly guilty about this.
The horse and man dropped us off at the crater. From there it was only a matter of climbing a very steep flight of stairs to reach the edge of the Bromo crater. Knowing that the Bromo Mountain is still an active volcano and occasionally erupts spewing smoke, dust, ash, and rocks into the air, this part of the park is closed when it becomes too dangerous for visitors.
We made our way slowly up the steep stairs and were greeted by stunning views of the surrounding area. This time, however, the danger was not the volcano itself, but the immense crowds that gathered along the narrow and small viewing area. It was borderline dangerous.
There is only a safety fence on the inside rim of the crater, the outside has no safety whatsoever. People were pushing and shoving to go up and down and it was quite chaotic. I even saw a few reckless people going up the unprotected edge of the crater. I thought that was stupid, irresponsible, dangerous, and just idiotic. There is definitely a chance one falls down due to a sudden strong gust of wind, so please don’t do that. I was reminded of various people that died while taking selfies in similar risky locations. It is really not worth it.
My old man rant aside, the views from the top of the crater were striking. The crater itself is quite beautiful, but turning around and seeing the sea of sand stretching out over a large area, were comparably amazing. Basically, anywhere you look provides you with some beautiful natural surroundings, which makes Bromo Mountain one of the must-visit-places of Indonesia.