We ended up flying to Surabaya for an impromptu trip over one of the weekends. With most places in Indonesia, I find it easier to book a driver because of the long distances that you would normally have to cover, and in this case we had engaged the services of Bromo Indah Tours and Travels.
The process was fairly straightforward and we were picked up at the airport to head over to Malang. There were lots of cabs available – prices to Bromo were quoted around IDR1.2 to 1.5 million (I always struggle to wrap my head around these big numbers).
The drive to Bromo is about four hours, but traffic on weekends and public holidays can cause delays and we were stuck for quite a bit in traffic as well. By the time we arrived to Bromo it was evening, and we checked into our hotel.
Malang was colder than I thought. It was easily about 18-20 degrees, and it rained through the night as well.
We woke up at 4am to drive up to the peak to see the sunrise. There were several small shops on the way to the peak where you could get a hot drink and wait until it was closer to actual sunrise.
I’d heard so much about the views of the sunrise over the craters and was really looking forward to it, but unfortunately because of the rain we had really poor visibility – after an hour plus of waiting, we decided to abandon the wait and head down to the Sea of Sand.
The Sea of Sand was the vast plains beside the volcano, and you could either choose to walk or ride the horses up to the crater. We ended up forgoing the trip up to the craters as well because of how foggy it was, and headed straight for the savanna, also called Teletubbies Hill.
Needless to say, it was such a disappointing start to the morning that I really thought it was going to be a wasted day, but the view of the Bromo savanna was beautiful, with the long grass in the hues of green and gold stretching out up to the foot of the hill, where the fog was rolling in. There were lots of Edelweiss flowers that grew almost as tall as me, and apparently in another month or so the hills would be dotted with blooming wildflowers.
We also went the nearby Whispering Sands Beach, a black sand beach called such because of the whispering sounds you could hear as winds blew. The name was apparently coined during the filming of some local movie, and the name stuck ever since. You have to use the 4WD to get there, and it’s nice to just stand and listen to rustling the sand makes.
The day did end on a more positive note than it started with, and although I was rather disappointed that the weather actually didn’t work out to our favour, we still saw some beautiful views of the countryside.
I think our guide Rahadian felt pretty bad so he really did try and find some alternatives for us, but the rain was much too heavy throughout the day and we eventually went to Surabaya town for the night. For further enquiry of tour packages, you can contact them at +6282226848049.