Ring of Fire

I have long heard of the beauty of Bromo, and I just got to be there to witness it with my very own eyes. The trip to Surabaya had always been on my mind since 2011 but the plan had been shelved because of volcanic eruptions. 1 May 2014, I was finally on the plane to Surabaya! I arranged with a tour agency in Indonesia to take us to the places we had planned. We arrived at around 8pm (Indonesian time) and set off to Probolinggo. To catch the sunrise, we had to set off at 3.30am. We had barely 3 hours of sleep that day! The jeep ride to Mt Penankakan took about an hour. Over at Mt Penankakan, you will find many tourists already there, ‘chopping’ for the best spot to capture the beauty of the sunrise and Mt Bromo.

After sunrise, the jeep took us to Mt Bromo. There is no sign of road toward Mt Bromo, Jeeps hover along the big piece of land like cowboys. No roads, no traffic light.

We stop at a distance away from Mt Bromo. From here we had to walk for about an hour which includes climbing 245 steps. The walk is not particularly strenuous but for the less than physically fit, you could opt to take a pony ride instead.

We set off for Kawan Ijen after the sunrise tour. The journey from Bromo to Ijen took a good 6 hours! Ijen is famous for the blue fire/flames. To view the blue fire, you will need to set off around 1 am from your hotel. We were physically exhausted and decided to give the blue fire a miss. We set off at 4am instead and it took me more than 1 hour to complete the 3 km walk to the crater. I had only a small waist pouch with me, and the walk left me panting nonetheless. Along the way, we met miners carrying sulfurs which weight approx. 70-100kg! According to our guide, they would usually do two trips per day. We did not catch the full view of the crater as it was fairly cloudy that morning.

For nature lovers and shutterbugs, a trip to Surabaya should be on your wish list. You will not be disappointed with the magnificent view of Bromo and Ijen.

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