Mt. Bromo & Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

Agung, the largest volcano in Bali, had blown its top and flights in and out had been grounded. My friends had to fly back to the States, and with no signs of the airport reopening anytime soon, they had to book their return home some 430 km away at the closest airport in Surabaya, Java. It was a must. A driver was expensive so my girlfriend and I offered to hit the road and drive them. “Let’s make a road trip of it” I said. Sweet. The 4 of us devised a plan to maximise this opportunity and turn lemons into lemonade, so to speak. 

Mt. Agung - aviation code red. 

Mt. Agung - aviation code red. 

Mt. Bromo is on the way to Surabaya, just south of Probolinggo, and we decided we HAVE to see this at sunrise. We booked rooms at Jiwa Jawa, a nice hotel close to the sunrise spot, and began our journey. The route in Bali up to the ferry crossing from Gilimanuk to East Java, and then the road West Jakarta bound is a notorious truck route and its extremely `sketchy to say the least. I’m talking coaches overtaking 3 slow trucks on a blind corner scary. But we made it, albeit an impassable detour to peer at the second largest waterfall in Indonesia. Our poor Sedan could go no further, but luckily a local man with a fine mullet and small bird in a coin purse showed us the way back and also a picture perfect pulled back jungle view of the waterfall. It was splendid.  

There must be over 5000 vintage Toyota Land Cruisers in Bromo, so we had no trouble organising one through the hotel. Departure was at 2:30am for sunrise. I was tired. We all were. But super excited. 

We packed into the back of the Land Cruiser and set out driving into the cold and mysterious mist. Like blindfolds with mini headlights, we made our way through the other foggy darkness, past foggy tourists, through some tents, to a nice lady who had a warm fire and hot, sweet coffee. And we waited.

Watch the short 1min video clip to see how the light greeted us. What a majestic place! Extra footage from my friend Joe who had his Mavic drone and sent it on a mission for some hero shots. 

Our friends left after our adventure and made their flights, and I drove with my girlfriend back to Bali that morning into the night, safe and sound. 

True story. 

Music is by Lord Huron - The Night We Met