[simage=409,200,n,left,]We once again failed to make it to Flores for Easter, but a trip to East Java and Bromo was a good last minute choice for the long weekend. We headed off with our friends John, Michael and Karen to Surabaya on a much delayed Lion Air flight, stayed one night near the airport, and then headed off to Bromo on Good Friday. The drive to Bromo is a bit of drag, but after about 3 hours we were driving up though the great countryside to the village on the ancient crater rim that overlooks Bromo. Like most people we stayed in Cemoro Lawang, which is is the closest village and literally perched on edge of the north side of crater rim. Despite the number of people that pass though, Cemoro Lawang is a lovely place and the farmland of mostly cabbages and corn fields cover the slopes of the crater rim away to the north, and terraces reach up the steep surrounding slopes.
Bromo is probably the most popular volcano attraction in Indonesia for good reason. Bromo sits in the middle of the “Sea of Sand”, an ancient crater, with the perfect ridged cone of Gunung Batok next to Bromo. On the crater rim, the viewpoint is Pananjakan, from where thousands of people watch the sun rise with Bromo and Batok in the crater below, and Java’s highest peak Semeru in the background. In the Sea of Sand, there is also a Hindu temple. The only problem is that you don’t have to earn the fantastic view – there is a road that leads from Sea of Sand up to within 5m of the summit of Penajakan, and most people take trips by four-wheel drive jeeps or motorbikes for the sunrise. On the Easter long weekend we were there the viewing point was a circus, with hundreds of jeeps lining the road near the Panajakan summit. We managed to do a good hike from Cemoro Lawang to Pananjakan, and avoid the crowds until the last 15 minutes of the hike. We also walked into the crater from Cemoro Lawang and across the Sea of Sand to Bromo. At the foot of Bromo is the temple and got some great views on the morning we were leaving of the crater full of mist.
On the way back to Surabaya, we went to look at some Hindu temples that are found on the slopes of Gunung Penanggungan, near the to the resort town of Trawas. This looks like a great small volcano to come back and climb another time.