A Random Blog of Everything I like
As I have said before, I was off to East Java and to make it simple, I had one of the most memorable vacations of my life. It was memorable because of the good and the bad part of the trip.
I have so many things to share here and it won’t fit in just one post, I will try to share the days of my East Java trip as a weekly posts. The good memory happened in East Java but something unpleasant happened when we stayed in Yogyakarta, we’ll get to that part later.
The trip was hosted by Jong Java, a group of young men living in Surabaya. The requirement to join the trip was very simple, we paid them the amount they had set up earlier and then we met at Taman Pelangi ( Rainbow Park) in Surabaya at 11 pm. I have never been to Surabaya my whole life and to avoid being lost in a city I know nothing about, I decided to go with my roommate. We visited her hometown in Lasem (somewhere between Semarang and Tuban). We took the bus from Pulogadung – Jakarta at 11 am in December 20, 2013 and we arrived at her hometown at 3 am the next day. We stayed at her home for about 12 hours because we had to leave and head to Surabaya at 3 pm.
There were 7 people from my school who joined the trip, my roommate and I came with bus, (I forgot to asks my cowork whether they allowed me to share their name or not…so I will use initials) WY came with train and he arrived first in Taman Pelangi, EL, AS, MH and LL came with plane but their plane was delayed so we had to pick them up at the airport. There were 29 participants and Jong Java provided 2 elf cars (I really don’t know what you call this kind of vehicle in English, it’s Isuzu Elf so we always call this small bus as elf) It looks like this> here
We headed to Mount Bromo in the middle of the night. Almost everyone was asleep in the car, I guess everyone was tired. I didn’t sleep much because I am not a good in-car-sleeper. I saw how our small bus tried to maneuver through all the steep turns as we climb up to mount Bromo. We changed our vehicle with jeep because it was impossible for other vehicle to continue climbing up especially in the slippery sand. We used 5 jeeps in total with 6 people inside one jeep. It was a fun ride. The jeep driver is used to such dangerous road and easily steered the jeep through the narrow road. It was really dark but it wasn’t a problem for the driver.
We tried to catch sunrise on Mount Bromo but when we got there, there were already so many people waiting to see the sun showing he face off to us. It was so hard to find the right spot so that I could take a shot of the sun. Before the sun showed up, I walked around and captured the image of Mount Semeru. I came back to the sunrise spot and managed to capture it in between so many heads. They weren’t a great shot because my pocket camera badly needs an upgrade (planning to buy a new one before my next trip.
Before and after the sunrise, I could see the beauty around Mount Bromo…the beauty of my country. If you look carefully, you can see the the highest mount in the pictures (which is also the highest mount in Java)…that’s Mount Semeru, a mount I really want to hike one day.
As the day grew brighter, we went down to the sea of sand. Before we reached the sand, we had a chance to take some pictures of Mount Batok. Both Mount Bromo and Mount Batok are in Tengger caldera (about 10 km in diameter) They are surrounded by sea of sand.
We were lucky that we took the trip on wet season because if we came to Bromo in dry season the sand will be everywhere and we MUST close our nose and mouth. The rain had made the sand looked like solid soil. It was still early in the morning. We could see cloud hanging around the mount. It was an amazing view…cloud, everywhere we turned our head.
To see the crater we have to climb up through a steep mount of sand and then there’s a stairway with 250 stairs. I was already tired by then and decided to skip climbing up the stairs . It was still the first day of our trip and I didn’t want to tired my self down on the first day. The stairway was full of people and I was really not in the mood to have a queue while climbing up.
People can ride on a horse to go to the stairway, the horse was rented for 5o thousands rupiah (about $5)…but it will only go as far as the stairway, you still need to climb the stairs by yourself 😉
While waiting for the others to climb down and gather around our jeeps, I took the liberty to enjoy the surrounding. I took a picture of a statue and marveled at the fact that even though there was sand everywhere but grass can still grows on it.
Our next destination was to see the Teletubbies Savannah, it was called like that because it looked like the savannah in children series called teletubbies. It looked peaceful with its yellowish green color. The other side of the savannah was also beautiful, there was cliff that looks both threatening and peaceful at the same time.
Our last destination on our Mount Bromo trip was to visit Pasir Berbisik (whispering sand), the name was taken from a movie with the same title (here). The sand dunes looked silvery and shiny. My camera couldn’t capture the real beauty of their shine, but they truly shined…they looked more like silver dunes than sand dunes.
Mount Bromo and everything around it are very beautiful…BUT it wasn’t my favorite spot of our trip. If you think everything I have shared here is already beautiful, wait till I share DAY 2 next week 😉 the destination of our second day was by far my favorite of all.
We were supposed to visit Madakaripura, it’s a place famous for it’s waterfall…BUT when we got there, the sky decided to send the rain down. We weren’t allowed to go see the waterfall because to go there we have to cross a river and there was a possible flood on the way. Someone told me (I don’t know whether it was true or not) that a group of college students died because of the flood and it happened quite recently. He might be telling the truth because at that time, there were some policemen telling everyone to back off and they also told the people who were already at the waterfall to come back.
We missed the waterfall but that didn’t quite ruin the day. We still enjoyed Bromo 🙂
East Java Trip- Day 2 : Ijen Crater will be posted in January 3, 2014.