Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Volcanoes weekend: Mount Bromo, Kawah Ijen

Today I will tell you about my last weekend. During 2 days we visited 2 volcanoes, had 2 sleepless nights, numerous hours of driving, hours of trekking and a beautiful experience.
Our first stop was Mount Bromo, located about 4 hours driving from Surabaya, the capital of East Java. Mount Bromo is a part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park that covers 800 square kilometres in the centre of East Java.
We stayed at Cemoro Lawang village, the closest village to the volcano, at Budi Jaya homestay (Rp 150 K). Our exploring of Bromo started by the wake up at 2:30 to go see the sunrise. So our guide booked us a jeep (Rp 500 K) to go to Gunung Penanjakan view point. It’s about 45 min ride from the hotel. You also have to pay an entrance fee (Rp 300 K). Before going there, I've read on the Internet that someone walked there, but well, we didn’t take this risk.
It’s also would be better to come a little bit in advance, as there are a lot of tourists and, otherwise, it will be difficult to find a good spot to watch the sunrise. Also put some warm cloths, because it’s really freezing at night and early in the morning. I had to buy a wool scarf to warm up.
After sunrise and enjoying the views of Mount Bromo, we took our jeep to go climbing the Bromo itself to see the crater. At the parking we took horses to get us to the stairs of the volcano.

Waiting for the sunrise and warming up with hot tea

Mount Bromo

View on Cemoro Lawang village

On the way to Mount Bromo

Someone left their love in the crater


Our next stop Kawah Ijen, volcano of East Java filled with sulfur. It is famous for the most acid lake in the world and the blue flames in the crater that you can see only at night.
So after several hours of driving from Cemoro Lawang, we arrived at our homestay Cartimore (Rp 220 K), located at the coffee plantations Kebun Balawan.
At the hotel we booked a car to drive us at night to the volcano (Rp 300 K), about 1 hour driving. If you want to see the blue flames, you’re better leave from the hotel at 2 am. There is no need to go earlier, because the trekking to the crater starts at 2:45 am. When arrive at the parking, you have to take a local guide (Rp 200 K), and to pay the entrance fee (Rp 30 K). Then starts the most difficult part: you have to walk about 1h30 to the crater: 1 hour of going up and about 20 min flat and 10 min going down to the crater to see the blue flames.
It is very important to wear a mask to protect yourself from the sulfur. Most of guides have gas masks, so you should better ask him to provide you with it, because simple medical face masks have no chance to help you here.
Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to see the famous acid lake because of the strong fog. Well, saved for the next visit. 

Cartimore Hotel

Blue flames

Baskets to carry sulfur

Sulfur in the basket

He sells some souvenirs from sulfur

After Kawah Ijen we took a car to drop us at the airport at Banyuwangi, about 2h ride from Ijen. You have two options to go back to Surabaya: car or plane. First option, it’s about 7-8 hours driving, second option – 2 hours driving to the airport and then 55 min of flight to Surabaya. We paid Rp 400 K per person for our tickets, taking into account that we booked them 2 days before the flight.
On our way to the airport we found plantations Kalibendo (Perkebunan Kalibendo). These are coffee and rubber plantations owned by Chinese origin people. Their owner, very nice woman, made us visit plantations and try the coffee (which was very good by the way). They also have a new project of ecotourism: Ecotourism Perkebunan Kalibendo.

coffee at Perkebunan Kalibendo

coffee grains

The process of getting latex

Coffee plantations

Ecotourism Perkebunan Kalibendo

So it was a very interesting weekend, which ended with a good coffee and some snacks from the owner.
You are very welcome to contact me if you need more information J

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