We had been considering hiking one of Indonesia’s many mountains or volcanoes for a while, and finally settled on tackling East Java’s active volcano, Mt Bromo. We got a train to Probolinggo, a town an hour or so away, and stayed in a hostel that provided transport to the national park’s entrance. We got up the next morning at 2am, after very little sleep, to begin the journey to the volcano’s base. We arrived around 4am, following a miles long traffic train of 4×4 jeeps hired to carry tourists around the area. It was a 20 minute climb up a nearby mountain to reach King Kong Hill, a less-known and less popular viewing point from which to watch the sun rise over the volcano. Mt Bromo is the remaining active part of a now extinct super volcano, rising from its centre with mountains forming the crater over 6km across the Sea of Sands. We waited for an hour or so in the dark, watching the volcano appear from the darkness below fraction by fraction as the sun slowly rose to the East.
This is us proving we went and showing how big and cool it is.
Around 8am, we made the climb back down the mountain, through beautiful forest, and started the 3km walk across the sand to the volcano itself.
It was another half hour climb up to the crater, but just like the first time, the views were absolutely worth the effort. The crater itself spewed sulphuric smoke and an intimidating and very humbling roar rumbled the ground we walked on; solidified lava streams made their way down the mountainside to the sandy plateau.
We returned to Probolinggo by mid afternoon and, after swapping hostels to a fancy hotel for local festival reasons, we slept for the rest of the day, ready for our flight to Bali on the following one.