Volcano Hike!

Feeling awesome. 

I woke up at 10am after an amazing sleep. All feelings of migraine had gone and I felt so much better. 

I looked over at B’s bed and she was awake reading. She said she had also had a good sleep so we were reading to go to Mount Bromo. 

B went to ask the owner about our options and she came back to say we could either get a car or a bus to Mount Bromo. 

We went to have breakfast and discuss options. I had a vanilla pancake and orange jelly. It was very sweet but nice after hardly any food yesterday.

We decided that instead of getting the bus to the bottom of the volcano we would get a private car which would take us up to a viewpoint and then to the volcano. 

We also booked a bus to Bali for the evening, our only option. Relived we had onward transport booked we went to shower and pack ready for our trip. 

The car arrived at 11.30 as requested and we were surprised it was just a normal little car, rather than a jeep. 

We were in the car about 10 minutes when he pulled over and then swapped with a younger driver. 

It was just over an hour to the viewpoint, going up steep winding roads. The air con had to be switched off as the car was struggling to make it up the hills. 

We were going through beautiful hillside farms with paddy fields and vegetable crops in perfectly straight lines. Little villages were dotted here and there, along with a few hotels and homestays that we had seen on the internet when looking for somewhere to stay. We were very glad we hadn’t booked one of these after our 14 hour bus journey yesterday.

The viewpoint looked over to a grass covered volcano and a crater. Ashamedly, we weren’t actually sure which was Mount Bromo, but we decided it was the crater from what we had read. 

We took lots of photos and then B set up her tripod so that we could take some together. There was a wall which we sat on. As B pressed the timer she said wouldn’t it be funny if she fell back on camera. When she then actually nearly did fall backwards it wasn’t so funny! We didn’t get a photo of us on the wall!

We headed back to the car and the driver explained that we could get a jeep to the base of just 50,000 more or we could walk it.  We decided to get a jeep, as he said it was an hour walk there and then back again. 

We descended from the viewpoint and then parked up on a little road. 

We used the time to put on our suncream, which exploded all over us because of the air pressure! A few minutes wait and a jeep arrived. We swapped vehicles and went up a different way. 

We came to the entrance and then started to drive on a huge expanse of desert. Just black sand everywhere with the volcanoes in the distance. We both looked at each other and said thank goodness we weren’t walking this!

The jeep stopped about 1km from the base and he said that he would wait there. 

We set off across the black sand, the sun hot on our backs but a cool wind giving me goosebumps. 

We passed motorbikes for hire as well as horses that you could ride to the base of the volcano but we were happy on foot. 

As we got closer, the air smelt of sulphur and it was quite breathtaking. 

We started our assent, along higgledy-piggledy paths that had been carved into the lava flows by all the people before us.

It was amazing. The lava had frozen in streams down the side of the volcanoes and it felt like we were in Jurassic Park or a film. It was nothing like anything I had ever seen before.

As we climbed the smell became quite over powering and with the lack of oxygen we were struggling to go quickly. 

We took lots of photos, refusing all the selfie requests from other people. It’s just so annoying, we are here to see the volcano not be a performing monkey for their Facebook. 

We got to the bottom of the steps that lead to the top and took a few more photos, catching our breath. 

We took the steps at 30 a time, pausing every 30 and then having a drink every 60. 

When we got to the last 20, the lava dust was so thick that the steps were full and almost angled backwards so it was quite hard to walk up. 

Wow!

I don’t know what I had expected but I was blown away by the view at the top. Inside the volcano, we were looking down to plumes of smoke coming up. The rumbling sound was so loud, gurgling under the smoke. 

The stone to the back of the crater was green, I guess from the sulphur. The rest of it was black.

Over the edges around the top was quite a bit of rubbish but mostly sacrifice and gifts that had been thrown in. 

We took lots of photos and a few videos but nothing could do it justice. It was just spectacular. 

As we were up there, a man climbed over the barrier and started to collect the coins and gifts that had been thrown in. It was so dangerous but to him the risk was worth it. 

We headed back down, both struggling with the lack of oxygen and in need of sugar. Our legs were shaking as we went down the stairs. 

I told B Sri Lanka stories to try and take her mind off the trek. When we got to the bottom we bought a tiny bottle of coke from the stall for a stupid price. It was also really hot but we just needed the sugar. 

Back at the jeep, the driver told us to sit on the front and he would take a photo. We thought this was very nice of him. 

Back in the jeep, we realised that as he had been taking the photos his other jeep driver mates had posed in the background and had their photo taken too! 

The journey back to the car didn’t seem to take long at all. We were busy chatting so the time passed quickly. 

We swapped back to the car and then we were on our way back down to the homestay. 

The driver stopped halfway so B could take photos of a waterfall in the distance. 

Back at the homestay, we washed our hands and face which were covered in a layer of black dust. B had a black leg where she had been hit by a gust of wind and so went into the toilet to try and wash it off. 

We swapped to our flip flops and then walked down the road to the shop. We had great fun finding gluten free snacks, including corn crisps, soya bean thins, grape mentoes and sponge hoops (which taste like kitkats). 

We got 2 carrier bags full of snacks and it came to a grand total of £4! 

Our bus to Bali was due to collect us between 8pm and 10pm, no one was sure of the exact time!

We had a few snacks and then ordered some dinner. After an hour we were given our drinks and B her rice. I had ordered noodles but they just told me after this long that they don’t have any! So I order rice instead and wait another 15 minutes. 

Thankful I have my food before the bus arrives and manage to eat it too. 

We spend the time waiting just chatting and laughing. It’s so nice to have B here. 

The bus arrived at 9.15pm, just a minibus which is nice. The homestay staff helped with our bags and we were then told to sit in the very front next to the driver. 

B went to get in first and the driver said no and pointed to me. Great, he obviously like the look of me!

It’s a bit squashed up in the front, and the driver keeps brushing against my leg when he changes gear so I’m a bit worried about falling asleep. I’m sure I’ll be fine but for now I’ll stay awake! 

It’s pretty scary, the driving is like a game. It’s a single carriageway road with a continuous line of traffic. However instead of just accepting this, everyone just tried to overtake each other. 

There have been a few “Eekkk!” moments and one “I’m actually going to die” moment when a lorry was coming straight for us, but so far I’m still alive!

We are due to arrive in Bali about 8am and will be able to check straight into our hotel room as it was booked from today. I’m so looking forward to a shower and then a bed! And then the beach! And a cocktail!

Surely a week on the beach with B will coax Sazzle out?! 

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