The Adventures of Uju in Indonesia – #3 In the Middle of the Night

Right after our very exciting hike on Pulau Sempu, we packed up and departed Malang at midnight to head to the village of Tongas, where we were met by the jeep and driver who would take us on the sunrise tour to Bromo. Uju wanted action-packed, and she got it.

At 3 am, the driver drove us into the caldera to head to Penanjakan 1, which apparently has different views than Penanjakan 2. Our Bahasa was stretched beyond limit, because we weren’t sure what exactly we were doing, driving around in the mist. Turns out, the driver had no clue either. We followed two other jeeps who followed us, all in the dark, and we narrowly missed tumbling into the ravine in that volcanic ash. Just kidding. Anyway, our driver decided it was smarter to eat humble pie, apologised for his appalling sense of direction, and offered to take us to Penanjakan 2 instead, the tried and tested spot. We had no complaints with that. In fact, as soon as I realized we’d be the first ones there, I got excited at the prospect of ‘shooting stars’, and quickly hired the horse to haul me up. Souvik and Uju decided to take the hard way on two feet.

Starry night it was, and we were much too early.

Bromo at sunrise


So we stood around, shivering in the cold, taking some long exposure shots undisturbed by people, noise and flash photography.

Bromo at sunrise


And we waited. And shivered.

Bromo at sunrise


And waited. And shivered some more.

Yeah, you get it, right? I also got cursed by my loving companions for getting them up there so early. So we waited.

And then there was a big cloud cover, and we didn’t get to see the sun rise. It just got bright all around.

Bromo at sunrise


By which time there were hordes of people joining us and taking ‘flashy’ pictures.

So we decided to be silly ourselves.

Bromo at sunrise


Actually that’s the goody photo. Here’s the silly one. Uju couldn’t hold her pose for 25 seconds, so she’s all blurry.

Bromo at sunrise


We needed to squeeze some more juice out of our Bromo visit, so up the volcano it was for Uju. I decided to sit out this one, so that we could finish the tour on time, and not take 3 hours to climb 200 steps.

Bromo at sunrise Bromo at sunrise


I crossed the ravine in daylight, and got some interesting views. Imagine – it’s all ash, no rock!

Bromo at sunrise Bromo at sunrise

By this time the sun had started to thaw us, and all the dew from the ground started to steam up.

Bromo at sunrise

The biggest surprise for me was the greenery. Just a few months back, we’d been here, amazed at the brownness of the landscape, and now, it was showing signs of life after the wet season, even seeping into the caldera.

Bromo at sunrise Bromo at sunrise Bromo at sunrise Bromo at sunrise Bromo at sunrise

We took a pit stop at Java Banana, before driving off to Surabaya for the next leg of our journey.



Categories: Island-hopping in Indonesia, TravelTags: , , , ,


  1. Beautiful photography Aarti.


  2. great pics. need to come solo n do some trekking with u guys!


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