Three days in Java or how we got on another planet
28 September 2018
While planning our second trip to Bali we realized that we want exceptional emotions and adventures, so tell me what can be more impressive and memorable than climb onto active volcano? Our friends recommended us to book the trip with Indotravelteam and we were so impressed that took another one too!
Day 1: We were lucky enough to get seats in Pierrik's car – heart and soul of Indotravelteam and our decent amount travelers headed off.
I watched him driving and thought how lucky am I to meet such person: his main obsession in life were volcanoes in the most beautiful country –Indonesia. We laughed and talked a lot, I didn’t even notice how the time passed by and we were on the ferry making panoramic photos trying to fit in two islands – Bali and Java.
After the ferry we got back on track, promptly moving higher and higher above the level of the sea. Changing landscapes are behind the window, we are surprised by trucks filled more than s limit with vegetables: everything – carrots, cabbages, and lettuce – enormous sizes.
We all joke about toxic mixes for the vegetables and magnetic fields that make crop so huge, but everybody understands that this happens due to the fertile land that volcanic soil has made the surrounding area.
After a while, we finally reach Bromo village. Outside is a perfect refreshing air. Our place for the night has only warm blankets and a shower. They warned us: “You will have to leave your comfort zone”, but “Ha!” they obviously never spent a night in a Hong Kong hostel in Chungking Mansion, where your comfort zone kinda leaves you by itself. And here you get a huge bed and clean toilet – what else do you need at 8500 feet ( 2500 meters) above the sea level?
We left our luggage in the rooms and went for a dinner. Oh, dinner! Actually, it can make a whole other story. But making a long story short: you won’t leave before will get 2-3 extra portions from Pierrik: a couple of main courses, chocolate pancakes plus banana pancakes plus chocolate-banana pancakes Nr.2 and ginger tea. Only after this “light” dinner, we got back to our rooms to get some rest before Bromo.
One more thing! Hats, I almost forgot the hats! Locals sell warm natural wool hats. Take two: one for you and another one – for the best gift you can bring from Bromo volcano.
Day two: We wake up couple hours before the dawn and get in our jeeps, which will bring us to the "King Kong" viewpoint. Again, an extra “Special Thanks” to Pierrick - he knows when all the tourist arrives and create a crowd, so he brings us there much earlier. We got our VIP sits to see the volcano at the sunrise. Photo storage fills up with photos as the sun rises. It's impossible to describe one has to see it.
Moving ahead on the tourist (thus we started a bit earlier than others) we head through the ashy desert to the sacral temple, located at the foot of the Bromo volcano – the legend says this place is a home to the god Brahma ( he gave life to the Universe).
We come to the edge of the crater; we stand in front of the buzzing and rumbling giant all covered in white clouds. I make a wish and through a sacrificial bouquet in the crater (by the way my wish came true). I turned back and could not decide what’s more impressive a crater opened up to you or a lunarlike landscape all around. I try to find more space on the phone to make some photos. The only thought in mind is: is it real? Do everybody else see it as well?
Day 3. You can feel Kawah Ijen way before your eyes can catch a glimpse: the air has a specific sulfuric odor, everything around grows intensely. They instructed us, gave masks and flashlights and we started our ascent. Our guides were surprised how we rushed under the starlight sky up and up passing everybody by. We make a stop before the last part of the track, next second we are up on the top. Light of the whole island Java area below us, a full of star sky is above us and ahead of the smell of the party of this night – inferno disco.
Step by step we went into the clouds which nicely “cuddle” us. We take best places (as always) we observe a unique natural phenomenon – blue lights. Imagine ten feet tall blue light coming up from the inner earth trying to go as high as possible. Seconds before dawn and everything you see around turns shiny white – second nature wonder for tonight. The sun goes higher and higher and surroundings reveal a new miracle – enormous, green, acid-volcanic lake just behind our backs. Guide proudly announce us it’s a largest acid-volcanic lake in the world. Of course, everybody wants to touch it. It's aloud if you do it quickly :)
The crater is filled with light and we see the craziest picture ever: sulfur mine with its workers, lake and unbelievable colors around. Tired but overwhelmed we got back to our cars and head to our last checkpoint – breakfast at the family of locals. It’s a completely new experience and the food is so tasty! Traditional and delicious food is another bonus from Indotravelteam.
After the breakfast everyone falls down into a deep sleep - we sleep in the car, we sleep on the ferry, after reaching back to Bali we sleep again. Morpheus kingdom reigns everywhere. It's obvious why we slept so much – in three days we've visited and experienced so much we needed rest and massage for the courage.
Thanks again to Pierrick and the whole team of Indotravelteam for the most unusual organization of the so typically normal group tours. Isn't it the professionalism?