Walking on the Moon

Trip Start Apr 16, 2008
Trip End Apr 15, 2009

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

After some late night bargaining outside Probolingo train station I arranged myself a lift to Cemoro Lawang, the crater town most popular for accessing Mount Bromo. Technically the whole mountain is Mount Bromo but due to multiple more recent eruptions since Bromo first lost its top there are several mountains within the super crater. After shelling out over 12 euro for a hotel room (ouch!) and getting a good half nights sleep I awoke at 3.30am for an early hike across the crater floor (aka the Sea of Sand). I turned down the option of being ferried around in a 4x4 beach buggy and instead set out by myself in the pitch dark down the crater wall and across the surface of the moon. After spotting some more torch lights I joined another group of confused astronauts and we found our way to the central and most active vent to await the sunrise.
Although I knew I was somewhere special I did not know what to expect to see by the light of day. But I was totally unprepared for what was revealed as the perfect night sky (Milky Way and all) gave way to the rising sun. I saw that I was surrounded by a completely alien landscape which in the mixture of poor light and choking sulphur smoke look like some sort of fantasy artwork. I also saw across the Sea of Sand that we had traversed over the previous hour and a half.
Always looking to bite off more than I can chew I elected to attempt the hike from the crater floor up to the viewpoint and still get back to town in time for my bus departure at 9am. So I left the other 20 or so crater walkers and set off across the Sea of Sand again. It was tough work and in total I was walking for almost 5hrs before 9am that morning but not only did I have the views totally to myself (most of the tourists take the buggies and visit the viewpoint first and the crater after) but I also had an amazing and unforgetable hike. I honestly could not stop taking photos and so I have had to cut out quite a few for this entry. Definately one of the most amazing moments in my trip so far as I stood by myself on the trek looking out across the early morning crater through whispy dawn clouds. Certainly an image and a feeling I can remember easily without any photo.
After arriving at the viewpoint a bit behind my intended schedule, I only had 10mins to catch my breath and grab some last snaps before my battery (camera) died before beginning the hour scramble back down to the town. I was absolutely spent by the time I arrived back late to my hotel. Two fried eggs on toast and a quick shower and we were off to the Ijen Plateau for a totally different volcano experience.
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