Breath-Taking Bromo. 2015.

I have only known Bromo from my geography class when I was still in Elementary School. I have never really seen the actual Bromo until Nan Triveni Achnas made “Pasir Berbisik” in 2001. That was my first glimpse of Bromo. And that was it, until this year.

My best buddy asked me to go with him to Bromo for his pre-wedding photoshoot. I was excited of course, but I didn’t really know what to expect. I have always been more of a beach person and was never really been a mountain person. The only concept I know about hiking or spending some time on a higher ground was camping in Puncak, or going to Bandung, West Java.

What got me all excited was the idea of spending several days with some of my favorite people, outside Jakarta. Bromo was only a place to go to. Another, so I thought, place for tourist to go sightseeing and then leave with some nice photos.

Apparently, I was wrong. The Bromo experience was way more than that.

We had to wake up at 3am to catch the sunrise. Okay this is new, I’ve seen too many sunsets, but I’ve never seen any sunrise. Normally, I’d still be sleeping when the sun rises. So yeah.

I was told that I had to wear mask to cover my nose, my mouth, specifically my lungs, from the sulfuric air. I was told to wear boots, because it’s not really a friendly environment for any of your beloved fancy kicks. It has to be boots. Well, if you love your shoes that much just like I do,  boots is the only option. I was also told to wear layers, so I did. I put on a comfy tanks with a long sleeved denim shirt, with a thick sweater (which I’d only wear in winter countries), and a super thick wool knitted shawl. I took it fashionably serious.

And there I was, stepping out from my comfortable hotel room at 3am. It was freakin cold, and the sulfuric air was undeniably annoying. The bright side though, the sky was full of stars, which was a rare thing to see if you’ve been living in Jakarta your whole life.

We hopped on to the jeep that would take us to our first stop, the Bukit Cinta (the Hills of Love, it couldn’t get any cheesier than that), to watch the sunrise. It took us about 30 minutes ride, I couldn’t really remember because I was sleepy as hell, and the journey was bumpy. It’s not really a good deal for your empty stomach to endure such trip that early – so a little tips, before you leave your hotel you might wanna grab a snack or bread, otherwise you might get all dizzy and wanting to vomit during the trip. And it’s all dark outside. Can you imagine being inside an airplane at night where you can’t really see anything and you have to experience a heavy turbulence? Yea it’s four times worse.  So I just closed my eyes and tried to sleep, even though I couldn’t, and prayed that this will be over soon haha.

We stopped at the bottom of the hill and we had to hike all the way up. It took me perhaps only 5 minutes or less to reach the top, but it felt like FOREVER. I was running out of breath.

When we got to the top, it was almost 6am. The view was magnificent. When the sun made its first peek behind all the mountains – like a shy cute puppy hiding behind a wall, I literally held my breath and stopped moving. It’s really beautiful and it lasted longer than watching a sunset. I couldn’t describe it in words here, you have to experience it yourself.

First time experiencing Sunrise

We climbed down the hill at 7-ish am. And moved to another spot, the Savana, it’s a huge cogongrass (ilalang) fields. The sun was out already, but it was still freezin cold. Some of the grasses even had ice on it. From the Savana you can see the top of Bromo covered in mist.

The Hills of Love

We had a break for breakfast which we brought from the hotel and ate it inside the jeep. Oh by the way, we were staying at Java Banana Hotel. I’d really recommend Java Banana because it’s very comfy, clean, has good service, and most importantly the foods were delicious. I dislike hotels that can’t serve good foods.

Another stop we made was at the Pasir Berbisik. I’ve never been to Dubai and went to its Desert Safari, but I’ve seen some photos of it in Google, and from what I saw, this Pasir Berbisik area is pretty much the same. As far as you could see, it was all white clean sands greeted by the blue sky and rocky mountains afar.

Pasir Berbisik

We took a lunch break, and a short power nap before we continued our journey. I didn’t really remember what was the name of our last stop, but it’s pretty much like the Savana, but it’s quite far and pretty much hidden. We spent the afternoon there, enjoyed the mesmerising golden hour, which as you can see from the photos were pretty much look like the Desert Safari in Africa. From to Dubai to Africa.


Golden Hour

We waited for the sunset before we headed back to the hotel, changed our clothes, cleaned up, packed our bags, checked out and left the hotel. We continued our trip to Surabaya, but that’s another story. We left at 7pm and arrived in Surabaya at 10.30pm, I slept all the way of course.

So yeah, to sum it up, here are some few tips to Bromo first-timer:

  1. Make sure your powerbank and camera are fully charged.
  2. Wear boots! My boots were all dusty.
  3. Wear layers!
  4. Had a mini breakfast before you leave the hotel.
  5. Choose your travel companions wisely, I thank God for this troops I traveled with.


HG. (@gersonhenry)

The Bromo Troops

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