– JUNE 23, 2015
Its time to move on from Jogyakarta to climb a couple of mountains. The shuttle bus picked us up from our Jogyakarta homestay at 7:30am and proceeded to pick up another 11 travellers from different hostels in the city. The ride was 12 hours long, so we got ourselves comfortable for a long ride. The road rules in Indonesia are pretty much that cars stay on the left side of the road…and that’s pretty much it. Cars will drive into the incoming lane and then honk their horns to inform oncoming cars that they need to slide towards the ditch. Its freaking chaos, as cars drive excessively aggressive whenever they feel like it. Our particular shuttle bus driver was exceptionally nuts, so any thoughts of getting a nap went out the window in the first 5 minutes.
White knuckles and 12 hours later, we arrived at the town of Probolinggo to switch drivers and into a more powerful 4×4 bus. The road from here took another hour and the road was extremely steep and narrow. You definitely feel like you’re taking your life into your hands when you let these drivers navigate these skinny roads in disrepair.
As we arrived at the Mt Bromo base town and it was right around zero degrees. We had to add a few layers of clothing (unlike the rest of Indonesia that sits around 30 degrees daily) and find our homestay for the night. It had no heater and very leaky door seals, in addition to the bathroom window having no window pane. Yes, it was an open air bathroom in a place that gets at or below freezing on a nightly basis. We made it through the night and got up at 4:00am so we could walk the 60 minute hike to catch the sunrise at Mt Bromo.
The shuttle bus picked us up the next day and we went on to Mt Ijen. I won’t go into the details of how the Bromo to Ijen travel had to be coordinated to keep the negativity to a minimum. However, if you travel to Java and don’t have a story of travel plan mayhem then I call bullsh*t.
For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.