Wake-up at 3.30 am! We do not take a shower, as there are only two possibilities: freezing cold, or boiling hot. We leave by jeep for Penanjakan, at 2770m on the rim of the caldera, to see the sunrise on Bromo. There is a light drizzle. A number of other jeeps already arrived; we step down, and continue by foot. It's completely dark, save for the lights of the motorbikes bringing other tourists. We enter a small amphitheater, and we are definitely not alone: there must be a thousand people here!
Half of them sit in the amphitheater, and the others are massed against the fence, or even over the fence: which is rather dangerous (for them) and annoying (for us, as they hide the view ... although, to be fair, it doesn't make a lot of difference). It still drizzles. It is not so cold as we expected (around 10 °C
). The day is dawning, and the volcanoes become visible.
Bromo is the one smoking, behind the dead tree; the one on the right is inactive; in the background, Semeru (also active).
The sun makes of brief appearance: everybody turns left, holding his/her camera at arm length, to take of picture of it, but without Bromo, of course. It's rather ridiculous. And then we are find that we are simply engulfed by the clouds, and there is absolutely nothing more to see.
We leave the amphitheater, and go back to the jeep (I had taken a pic of its license plate, just to be sure we picked the right one). We join a column of jeeps descending into the caldera, on a very bad and dangerous road (holes are hidden by foliage!).
Rain has stopped. All the jeeps go to a parking lot, and we continue by foot, in a sort of black desert. It's also possible to hire a horse, which is what Josette does.
We arrrive at the foot of the volcano, and now it's just a matter of climbing 250 steps to the top. Some people are selling flowers, to be used as offerings to the volcano.
There is smoke coming from the crater, but it is not as impressive as the Tangkuban Perahu, near Bandung, with its lake.
But the view on the caldera is breathtaking.
I count the number of jeeps: 150 (meaning 750 tourists). If we add those who came by motorbikes, we are indeed not far from my estimation of 1000 persons. Back to the jeeps ...
... and the hotel, for breakfast. We are now above the clouds, and the view is absolutely stunning. It's a moment that should not be missed, as, 15 minutes later, we'll be in the mist again.