Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mt. Bromo, The Jewel of East Java

"This story article was featured on We Said Go Travel Travel Writing Contest on December 17, 2014"

It was a very tired office week. I felt that I have no energy left to face another day. Out of the sudden, a friend from my college called and asked me to go to Mt. Bromo with him and another friend. I instantly agreed because of one reason.  I’d never been to Bromo, period. In addition to make a perfect excuse, It was just the right time to escape for a while from work activity. “It’s now or never, let’s do it!” I said to myself to overcome my doubt, since I learned from several reviews that the track is difficult. We decided to go there the next week after.

The journey was never been easy. We had a lot of disagreement almost in everything, like who will be the driver for the night shift, where to stop to buy meal, which way was the shortest way, and some other ridiculous things. Despite of that, I felt that the different characters among us complete each others along the journey. One thing that still unites us until now is the passion to share the experience and togetherness. After 12 hours overland trip from Jakarta, we finally arrived at Ngadisari village, the nearest village to Mt. Bromo. We got a best deal to book nice and cozy backpacker hostel at the slope of the mountain, which was only Rp 75.000 per room for one night (USD 7 per night). We also had an arrangement for the jeep tour at reasonable price. The local villagers were very friendly and communicative. Nice cold weather combined with the villagers’ friendliness made us very enthusiast with our journey.

On the next day, we woke at 3 AM and rode a 6 passenger four-wheel drive jeep to catch the sunrise. It was about 45 minutes to reach Mount Penanjakan, the first stop that was the perfect spot to see the sunrise. It was very bumpy and winding track, but it worth every inch as we reached the destination.  It was magnificence and breathtaking. At that time, a lot of food stalls was already in service. They offered boiled noodle, steamed corn, fried banana and hot drinks. Local people also make money from selling or renting jacket since it was very cold and the wind was so breezy. In about 5 degrees Celsius, we all drowned in silence while watching the first ray of light appeared from behind of the mountain. Camera was the most wanted gadget and nobody wanted to miss their pose in that dramatic moment.

As the day turned into a bright morning, our tour guide who also our jeep driver once again told us to ride the jeep heading to Mt. Bromo’s crater. However, the jeep only brought us to a spacious parking area right below the crater. From there, we still have to walk about 30 minutes to reach the first step of the crater’s stair. We saw a lot of horses with passenger on its back; it had been a favorite choice for tourists who don’t want to get tired of walking. Still, everyone had to walk along a hundred of stairs with 60 degrees angle to reach the top of the crater. As we got there, we never stop gasped and amazed by the scenery. The layer of clear blue sky, white cotton mist and grey gigantic volcano rock was spread perfectly in front of us. God made this beautiful view as a reminder for human being to appreciate His creation, to keep grateful with His gifts; the soul we live and the air we breathe. It made me realize that lately I never thank enough to God, I always complaint in most of my time. The source of the negative attitude was because I have married for 4 years but have no children yet. The moment after, I called my wife on the phone and said that she is the most precious gift that God had sent to me and told her that everything will be alright as long as we have each other. My wife, clueless, only answered:”I love you too”. My friends told me I was so sentimental, but aren’t we all?

It was a journey that we would never forget.  It might not be served with luxury facility, but we got all we need, we got the views and a reminder to keep positive in live, so it’s priceless. I wish I could visit Mt. Bromo again with my wife so we can share and embrace that amazing moment together.

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