Two days ago I stayed at Mt. Bromo. I woke up at 3am to catch a 3:30 jeep to the panoramic vies to see Mt. Bromo and the other two volcanos. It was a fun ride in the back of this Jeep, well it was not really a Jeep, but a Jeep type vehicle. Anywho it was a fun ride across the black sand desert to climb up the mountain to the view point.
I was here during the low season, but still, sooooo many Jeeps and people, it was crazy. We got to the viewpoint around 4:30 and the sun would rise at 5:15. There was a polish couple in my Jeep that I met. Very nice people. The guy totally reminded of the act0r Chrisoph Waltz, in that the way he looked. We joked about how cloudy it was and how they spent their last couple of trips going to see sunrises at temples and all they say were clouds.
The sun rose and it was nothing but clouds. We could not see a thing. So we laughed it off and went back to our Jeep. On our way down the mountain we asked to stop at another view point. This made our trip worthwhile. Seeing Mt. Bromo and the other two volcanos, in the distance, was beautiful.
We then headed to the base of Mt. Bromo itself. The Jeep let us out and we hiked about 30 minutes or so across the black sand desert and up to the rim of Mt. Bromo.
Mt. Bromo was spectacular. So incredible to stand on the rim of a volcano and look down into the bowls of the earth. The deep churning sounds and sulfur smoke that spewed from this hole in the earth was something I have never seen before. Incredible to see this beautiful work of nature. Something more incredible that man could have ever made.
I am so happy to have made this trip and visited Mt. Bromo.
Later that day, around 5:30pm I got into a rented car and was driven 7 hours to Ijen to see the blue flame. Ijen opened at 1am. Around 1:30ish my guide started us on our 1.5 to 2 hour hike up the mountain and down into the crater of Mt. Ijen. What a great time that was. It was pitch black, could not see much farther than my flashlight. The hike was not bad at all, for me at least.
Once we made it to the rim of the volcano that is when things slowed down. No the trail went from being 10 feet wide to being a single trek down into the crater. It was fun and dangerous. You could never do anything like this in the states, somebody would get sued.
We made it to the bottom of the crater and there were the blue flames bellowing out from the earth. Pretty cool. Something about the sulfur when it reacts with the air it turns this beautiful blue color.
I had a great time down here, but then the sulfur smoke spews out and overcomes us all. You cannot see your hand in front of your face. I was wearing a respirator and my eyes teared up and every breath I took burned my nose and throat. I never had a panic attack, but right then and there I think I realized how one must feel. My guide told me to squat down, get closer to the ground. I squatted, closed my eyes and pressed my respirator tightly against my face and breathed as slowly and calmy as I could. I knew there were many people around me, they were okay, so I was okay. I was fine. This was such a crazy experince.
There were many miners in the crater of Mt. Bromo. They mine the sulfer and carry it out of the volcano. Crazy. If you saw the “trail” they have to climb on a daily basis with the weight of the sulfer they were carrying… you would easily pay their wages to not do that work.
Anywho. Such a great time. East Java has many volcanoes.
I am now in Singapore on a visa run. Off to Bali next.