|View from Mt.Penanjakan|
On 24 December 2012, we joined a 3 days 2 nights tour to Mt.Bromo and Mt.Ijen, two highlights in East Java tourism. Mt.Bromo is undoubtly the number one tourist attraction in East Java in regard of number of visitors. Also famous within local people, I had visited Mt.Bromo several times since I was child, but Mt.Ijen, due to its long distance from my hometown, Surabaya, and its accessibility, I had never visited.
We departed Surabaya after 2pm, then drove all the way to Probolinggo. The drive took about 3 hours and we arrived in a cheap hostel in Probolinggo about 5:30pm. After having fried duck and chicken for dinner, we walked to nearby Alun-Alun (a plaza in the center of the city).
We woke up at 2am then started to drive to Cemoro Lawang, where we changed to 4WD Jeep (old Toyota Land Cruiser). It was local holiday season, that so many cars heading to the top for the sunrise. You have to rent one of the Jeep to get into the sand sea and to the Mount Penanjakan (the view point) though you will see many locals go with their motor bikes.
Mr. Tukik (literally means baby sea turtle) drove us with his jeep through the darkness of the night into mountain zig-zag road, then passing the sand sea (desert) right into the cloud, and climbing up to Mount Penanjakan to see Mount Bromo. Mount Penanjakan was a place on the top of the greater caldera, to view sunrise and Mt.Bromo nicely.
|The 4WD Jeeps crossing the sand sea|
Due to the crowd, we gave up continuing our drive to the top, instead we stopped at a place where we could see the sunrise nicely. The view was really pretty.
After spending some time watching the sunrise, we climbed down into the sand sea, approaching Mt.Bromo, which was located inside the greater caldera, in the middle of the sand sea. We walked about 20 minutes from the car parking area to the beginning of the stairs to Mt.Bromo crater, where we could see the crater center from the top.
|Mt.Bromo crater edge|
We started the long 5 hours drive to Mt.Ijen, our next destination, after having lunch in Probolinggo.
|Pasir Putih beach|
We arrived at Ijen at about 5:30, we stopped at the entrance where people could enjoy the nice view of Mt.Ijen and surrounding mountains, then continued to our hotel, Homestay Arabica, owned the farm belong to government.
Our driver, Mr.Dukun Gunung, recommended us to climb up at night, to see the phenomena called, Blue Fire, at the place where the people was doing the sulphur mining. The phenomena only could be seen at night, when it was dark.
Departing our hotel at about 1am, we arrived by car in the climbing gate to Mt.Ijen at about 1:30am. We had to pay that night, 250,000 rupiahs for the guide and 60,000 rupiahs for 2 cameras.
|Sulfur Miner at Mt.Ijen crater|
After hiking uphill for about 2,5 hours, we arrived on the top of Mt.Ijen. We could see the Blue Fire from the top. To see the Blue Fire closer, we climbed down into the crater, where the sulphur miners were working. Amazed not only by the strange beauty of the Blue Fire, also by the miners, they had to carry 70-100 kgs of sulfur from the bottom of the crater to the sulfur factory. The miners could get 700 rupiahs per kilo of sulfurs carried.
We were in the top till about 6am, then started climbing down. We stopped by at a powerful water fall, and to a hot spring, before starting long 8 hours drive (including a lunch stop) back to Surabaya.
|Local Boyscout at Mt.Ijen|
|The powerful waterfall located near the hot spring|