Surabaya onto Gunung Bromo

Trip Start Apr 16, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Arrived at Surabaya after 5hours on the train late at night and without a clue where to stay and go.After walking round in circles for half an hour flagged down a rickshaw driver and asked for the cheapest hostel in town.After he rode around for 20minutes lost arrived at the hostel and woke the owner up who then showed me the crappiest room there in his house for 60,000!The worst value for money so far,asking for the money straight away and after walking around Surabaya at night and deciding there wasnt a lot to keep me there and deciding to get a bus the next morning as the city was just full of shopping malls and expensive hotels got back to the hostel where the owner was asleep after going out and getting beer on my money to get drunk.Had to pinch some candles from his living room as the lights werent working and sat eating my food from the supermarket by candlelight while the owner was flat out on the floor like when Daniel gets back to find Mr Mihaghi drunk in Karate Kid!
Got up at 9am to get the local bus to the main bus station in Surabaya and after ignoring the local touts managed to find the main bus and not get ripped off to get the 2hour bus to Probbolingo,the jump off town on the way to Gunung Bromo,the Volcano where I was heading.Realized that Indonesia is a lot harder to travel in,not the order of Thailand or Malaysia and its impossible to know who or where the proper government transport places are,the locals just seem to run the transport so you dont know if your paying over the odds or not!
Sat with a Japanese guy called Kay while we waited for the bus to arrive to take us up to Cemara Lawak,the town to access the volcano from.I asked to use the toilet but when realised I had to pay and said its ok I could wait,the bus driver says "ah i can help you no problem can use my mothers place" So I follow him 200yards down the road,thinking I wont have to pay nice one,use the toilet and get out,his mother stands in front of me demanding money!!!

We wait on the local tiny bemo until it gets full,waiting about an hour as none of the buses leave until their full!Made our way up the winding mountain for 2hours until I get off at Cemara Indah,a hotel in the tiny village of Cemara Lewak,and the views spectacular.Perched on the edge of a 16km wide crater,overlooking the smoking volcanos and Mount Bromo as a backdrop,not bad!

Paid 50,000 for a room with a bed and nothing else lined with rugs on the wall and realise its going to be a cold night as were so high up,so bought a wooly hat and a pair of socks off one of the street sellers!
Had to sleep in 2pairs of trousers,my wetsuit top and jumper but still too cold to get to sleep,left the room at 4am to get into one of the Sand buggys that id arranged to get to the top of the mountain to see the sunrise.

Sat in the back of the 4x4 to drive across the sea of ash,and up the mountain to the viewpoint,where about 200 other people are making their way to and even had a football style stand so people could stand and get a good view!

The view was amazing though,stood on top of a mountain with Bromo and two other mountains in the background still smoking and spewing ash from the top while the sun came up.

Then back into the buggy down the mountain and to the base of Bromo where you could get a horse to the top of the mountain,but decided to walk-all the time wearing my socks underneath the flip flops!not the best shoes to walk up a mountain in!

Started to trudge to the top and up the 200 steps to the top of the crater,but the sulphur was so strong it took my breath away and made my eyes water,just about made it to the top but had to turn round and come straight back down before I suffocated!
Got back to the hotel and grabbed some breakfast before catching the bemo back down to Probbolinggo at 9am to get the next bus leaving at 11am onto Denpasar,Bali.
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