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"Is this even planet Earth?"

23 May 2019

Freespiritbylisa joined the three day trip to Bromo and Ijen. She’s amazed at these two places, and here she shares her experience.

Can somebody explain to me what I’ve just experienced? Planet Mars? The movie Avatar? Seriously witnessing Bromo and Ijen was beyond what I expected. The spectacular breathtaking views were nothing short of amazing. I wish all could experience “the volcano spirit” with the Indotravelteam.

Everything started in a minibus from Bali. I was mentally prepared for the 12-hour journey. The funny thing is, I found it peaceful to travel by bus. I got a comfortable spot next to the window, resting my back against the seat my headphones are plugged in. I’m chilling, turning my body’s relaxed mode on, feeling the moment, Inhaling and exhaling. There is nothing I have to do. There is no stress. There is no hurry. It’s not much I can control. I focus my mind on breathing and observing. My eyes rest on the surroundings, which changes quickly, along with the vehicle’s speed. Music flows. I’m fading away with my thoughts. The song’s rhythm and beats touch my soul, then I smile. I smile because I know an adventure is waiting.

We arrived at Bromo in the evening and went straight to a small warung restaurant for dinner. I love those excellent family restaurants, there so authentic, and you get a taste of real Indonesia. All of us sat around a big table and started to get to know each other. It was cold, a bit dark, and we all had a lot of clothes on. Excitement and anticipation were running through our bodies, as we all were excited for what was coming. Ricky, our guide, gave us all the information we needed for the next day, such a lovely and funny guy. After two big cups of an exotic ginger tea, a delicious soup, and a plate of traditional Javanese food, I felt warm from the inside, full and prepared for Bromo.

2.30 am. Clothes on, hat on, shoes on. Packed bag. All set. Ready for volcano spirit! We sat four and four in a jeep, driving in the dark, a bit cold, and we had no idea about the surroundings. It was bumpy, uphill, and everyone was half sleeping. We arrived and walked to the viewpoint. Easy to reach, and we were a bit early. I bought a cup of hot chocolate and was standing there in the dark—2.650 meters above sea level. The sky is full of stars, and as usual, I'm so amazed by that. I saw three shooting stars while waiting for the sunrise. At that point, I was already satisfied, haha.

The sun starts to rise, and I could spot Mount Bromo. WOW. The view was incredible. It doesn't matter if I looked right or left; it was a beautiful view in all directions. It was mystical, with the fog and smoke from the volcano surrounding the mighty mountains. What to say? Magical.

Then we crossed the “sea of sand” to reach the path that leads to the top of Bromo. Two hundred fifty steps later, we were standing on the edge of the crater, like literally on the volcano, and witnessed this fantastic creature. I had no idea we would be that close. Unreal feeling.

As a happy and excited girl, we left Bromo for the next adventure: Ijen. My second time, I got to experience this unique place. Seriously it felt like another planet. To see Ijen, you need a little bit more encouragement and effort to get there. But well worth it!

The alarm went off at 11 pm. We took a two-hour car drive and a 1.5 hours hike along the beautiful mountain path under a starry sky. We reached the top, and you could see the magical blue flames. And top of that, witness the stunning sunrise above the largest acid lake in the world. Amazing. Respect for mother nature. What else to say?

I am still having a picture of the magnificent landscapes in my head. This trip is a truly unforgettable memory.

Love,

Lisa (@freespiritbylisa)

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