I met Laura in a hostel in Malang. Both of us wanted to go to Mount Bromo, an active Volcano which was around 70 kms from here. There were many Tour Packages to take us there but after seeing the exorbitant prices, we decided to go there by ourselves. We found a cheap Uber and hopped in. Google Maps showed 3 different routes but the Uber Driver took the shortest route and in an hour and a half, we were on a Mountain pass. After sometime, the Uber was stopped by some guards at what looked like a National Park entrance. They told us that we took the wrong route and the car wouldn’t be able to pass any further as there is no paved road at many points from there. So, we decided to take a motorcycle taxi and started going on through the National Park.
It was already sunset by then and the road was difficult. In the dark, I could see the smoke coming out of a Volcanic Mountain that kept me excited. After a while, we passed the mountain road and entered the Volcanic Ash fields. It was probably the most dangerous ride I experienced while going through the ash fields. The road was pretty slippery and the driver was bending the vehicle like a Moto GP racer to maintain balance and it was scary. So, after some Heart-in-the-Mouth moments and some screaming, we finally reached the exit of the national park where our homestay is located. Apparently, we came to that place through the National Park whereas everyone else would enter the Park from this point. After going to the homestay, we realized that we didn’t have enough cash for the National Park entrance which is around 220,000 Rupiah (17 USD). To add salt to the wound, there were no ATMs in this place. We decided not to feel down by this and after talking to some fellow travelers, we found out that there was a path which takes us to the viewpoint for sunrise without the need to pay the ticket. But something unexpected happened at this point. There were some German Travelers who were in desperate need of a hotel and came to our homestay. Laura was kind enough to give her private room to them and take a lesser room. By doing this, she got the difference of the rooms in cash and we had enough cash to go to the park. (Such a Smart Deal :D).
We started trekking at 3:30 Am, the next day to the View Point. My phone GPS got messed up and we took the wrong way which was a steep road downhill. After going 700 m in this road and constantly annoyed by the Motorcycle Taxi people to hop on their vehicles, we realized that we were going the wrong way. So, we turned back and started walking uphill. After walking 4 Kms uphill, I was completely exhausted and couldn’t hike any further (I thought I was fit. This opened my eyes. Lol) . It was already time for sunrise and there was a viewpoint here where a handful of people were watching the sunrise. So, we decided to watch it from here. As the sun rose from the skies, the whole national park lit up and it was the most beautiful thing you could see. Mount Bromo, which is named after Lord Brahma is the main attraction. It continuously emits smoke and makes for a great sight. To cap off such an eventful day, while everyone left and we were about to leave, Mount Semeru erupted (We came to know later that it erupts a few times everyday) which you can see as a cloud of smoke in this Picture and we were lucky enough to witness it.