Ash, Moonscape, and Paying Premium

Trip Start Oct 23, 2006
Trip End May 08, 2007

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Saturday, April 14, 2007

T.K. and I made it to our hotel near Mt. Bromo in the dead of night. Even though we were on the same bus, we came by different means. T.K. had bought an entire package deal that included transport, lodging at Bromo, and then transport the next day to Bali. I planned to follow the same route, but being the experienced traveller that I am, I decided to buy tickets for each leg of the journey myself. I figured I could save money that way. Don't worry, I won't leave you in suspense. I'll admit early on, that was a bad move. By the time T.K. and I were on our way to Bali, I'd outspent him by around 200,000 rupiah to do the exact same trip. Live and learn. Such is travel.
Let me fill you in on the time between our late arrival and my final tally:
Even though we came so late, we were the first bus to arrive. T.K. and I had already eaten by the time the Czeks arrived. I only gave the briefest of pleasantries before retiring to my room, setting up my bed, and watching the last 20 minutes of 6 Days 7 Nights with Anne Heche and Harrison Ford. ( I still have no idea why I watched it. Maybe to induce unconsciousness that much faster; or at least the desire for it).
The next morning was early again. Another sunrise. This time we were well ahead of time. No delays. Way to go Bromo.
We watched the sunrise from a ridge on the far side of a large barren expanse. Bromo's cone was in that expanse, and beyond Bromo was the cone of a much taller and more impressive volcano, Gunung Semeru. The view in pre-dawn light was stunning. I couldn't wait to see it illuminated by the colorful spectrum of the sunrise itself. But I would have to wait, and I'm still waiting. At some point, everyone there just had to admit that the sun was already up. Too many clouds that morning. No biggie. Bromo was still good.
So good, in fact, that the cone itself was our next stop. Our jeep pulled up to the base of the cone. We were immediately besieged by locals trying to get us to rent their horses for our ascent to the crater lip. Screw that! I came to hike. I wanted to earn my volcano. T.K. and I started up the path and hoofed it all the way to the... stairs? Yup stairs. And the horses only would've brought us up to the first step. No avoiding the stairs. But there were a lot of stairs, and they were shabbily made which made it like a cross between hiking and finding out why those Red Sox tickets only cost 4 bucks. The difference, however, between Fenway and  Bromo was that this nosebleed section overlooked the smoke-spewing, sulphurous depths of a volcanic crater. Good times.
But they were quick times too. After Bromo's crater (and refusing horse rides for the way down), we ate breakfast, packed, and left to catch the bus to Denpasar. And that's the story for next time.
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