Mar 31, 2013

Bromo Trip #1 Post

Hello fellow traveler,

873.4 Km (approx) traveled from the hectic Capital city of Jakarta to the airy city in Eastern part of Java, Malang; 17 hours traveling duration using train (via Northern Coast) spent during this trip and a whole bundle of joy were accompanied along the road; felt like I'm just having a Limbo. Active volcano, frost temperature and breath-taking sunrise scenery at Bromo collided and made such an unforgettable memory for those who seeks for unbearable journey. As I've been trying to tell you forever, "I'm going to Bromo; before turns 25", and YES I DID! Finally, for the first time of my life, on March 28th 2013 Panji, Bayu, Rio, Nisa and me went to Mount Bromo during the Easter holiday...

Nisa with our bulk of carriers :D (minus Panji's carrier) in Pasar Senen station
Total luggages for 4-5 persons
Scenery along the train road
Finally, Malang! :'D
We rented public minibus to Probolinggo bus Terminal
Since we didn't have much time to air dry our towels, we made it inside the rented minibus!
Our male friends having Friday's prayer at the Great Mosque of Kejayan; it turns out that most Mosques in East Java using Arabic language during the preach :D
We decided to go to Bromo using Travel Package since the Tour Service belongs to friend of friend of mine *haish* and it's far more cheaper than common tour package available in greater Malang (nb: ours IDR 750.000,- Nett, including tranportation fee from JKT-MLG, SBY-JKT; excluding other transportation fees and meals). We departed from Jakarta by Majapahit Train (AC Economy) from Pasar Senen - Malang and followed by renting a public minibus to Probolinggo terminal since we have to meet with other tour's participants from Surabaya direction. Once we had hilarious moment for not knowing that many areas in Eastern Java are using Arabic language during preach session in Friday's prayer; therefore we unintentionally kept talking even though it's not allowed to do so.

After met with others at the meeting point, all participants were drove to Bromo through Pasuruan - Probolinggo and all the way to Ngadisari; the last village before Bromo's hiking trail. Going to Bromo was not as easy as I imagined before; first, many hikers are expert (in supply and preparation), while mine is more like amateur hiker; second, the low-temperature once made me hard to breath (especially in Penanjakan area); and third, cold temperature made me bloating all day & all night :( therefore better double-check your condition and belongings for low-temperature area.

Despite all the obstacles, I did really enjoy my trip to Bromo. FYI, the entrance fee to the Bromo Natural Conservation area is only IDR 6.500 for locals and IDR 25.000 for foreigners. (I know nothing for the differentiation, local government should be the one to be responsible and asked for.) Furthermore, vehicles from outer areas / guests vehicles should be parked near the entrance gate of Ngadisari and fellow guests can hire Jeep plus it's driver from the front gate entrance for around IDR 300.000 and up (depend on you bargain skill).

Meanwhile, for accommodation, hostels and local guest houses are available for lodging. However, if you want to stay near the crater rim, Cemoro Lawang is the best spot. The temperature ranges from 7-20 degree celcius, but during the dry season could reach below zero degree. Meals are not a big deal, many restaurants and small vendors sell various foods range from snack into heavy dinner. In worst case, if you forget to bring winter/cold equipment such as glove and shawl, street vendors will come to you and offer  one. It ranges from IDR 5.000 - 15.000.- once again, depend on your bargain skill.

We started our summit attack at 3.30 AM but unluckily one of our Jeep couldn't reach our home stay because the road was blocked by others sunrise enthusiasts who were queuing for entering the Bromo conservatory area. Going Hiking in public holiday could waste your energy since many people are also have the same purpose like you, so make sure your tour guide execute the plan as earlier as possible to avoid queue. After quite some times, we drove in the middle of dawn through sand desert with few lightning; thrill is in our veins. Thank to our driver, Pak Yono, who expertise in driving towards Bromo's sunrise view point. At least, we made it through Penanjakan 1 or the highest view point for Summit Attack. 

After satisfied with the Sunrise scenery in Penanjakan 1, we continued our journey to Kawah Bromo or Bromo's crater. The vehicles will drop you around the parking area, after that you can walk by or hire a horse to reach the bottom level of the stair. Have I told you the total number of the stairs is 250 stairs? Geez. The crowd made the area more like a market than a recreational spot. Therefore, we decided not to going up the stairs since we had to queue to reach the top of the crater. Lame. However, if you go Bromo someday, make sure you going up to the crater and see the activity of one of most active volcano in Indonesia.

Then our tour guide took us to Bukit Teletubbies or Teletubbies Hill; the name refers to the house of a famous children's cartoon. Nevertheless, I felt like I was in LOTR trilogy for being in such a beautifully contoured landscape. I'm in heaven. The hill was located behind the Bromo's crater and it's surrounded by Savannah. Next, we moved to Pasir Berbisik or Whispering sands; named after famous Indonesian movie which took a set in the sand desert located in the middle of crater's rim.

Before noon, we had to finish our journey and went back to our lodge because we had to catch train back to Jakarta via Surabaya. I couldn't sleep back then during the trip because I want to see the famous Lumpur Porong SIdoarjo which is a hot-mud lake caused from irresponsible drilling project from one of famous business venture *ehem*. When we first arrived at Surabaya, my first impression was "Surabaya is hotter than Tanjung Priok". After took a bath in the train station, I couldn't find myself felt fresher. The weather must be so god damn hot. Finally, another 15 hours train duration waits us to bring us back to reality.

For those who wandering the scenery in Bromo, please enjoy selected photos from our afternoon walk and Summit Attack to Bromo :)
Mount Batok covered by mist around 5 PM
Hello there! :D
Nasi Goreng ala Bromo for Dinner
5.30 AM (Penanjakan 1)
5.30 AM (along Penanjakan 1 trail)
5.30 AM (Penanjakan 1)
5.30 AM (Penanjakan 1) The sun began to rise
6.00 AM (View of Mount Batok)
6.00 AM (Penanjakan 1)
I left trail of my foot steps
Trees & The Moon
The fallen mist
Jeep park
On the road through Bromo's crater
250 stairs towards Bromo's crater
Beautiful scenery in Teletubbies Hill
Pasir Berbisik (Whispering Sand)
Edelweiss Bouquet
Every step is not a single mistake :)
Finally, I'm home at last.
We came back to Jakarta via Surabaya by Kertajaya (economy) train with a total of 15 Hours trip duration, 3 days 2 nights trip, and lack of sleep-mode that made me in an extreme-exhausted condition, caused: bloating, sun-burning, chapped lips and Panda-eye :"D
However, if you're domicile in Java island or at least you had watched '5 Cm' then hiking to Bromo is worth the trip. Make it into your wish-lists before you die; Mine would like to go to Bromo and see the Sunrise with my very own eyes *finally, another wish-list came true. Too bad that during our trip so many tourists were visited Bromo and made it more like a market. After all, my main purpose had finally accomplished: Summit-attack at Penanjakan Bromo.
Here's the souvenir from my Bromo trip. Enjoy!
Train Tickets: The MAGIC ticket
Bamboo Fan (for only IDR 2.000,- !!!)
Edelweiss Bouquets
My face before going to Bromo, aaand now it's getting tanner :"D
Going out with your close friends is worth than having splurge trip by your own. So, let's plan another trip and conquer the Island of Java!

note: All of the photos are not-Photoshoped due to the natural beauty of the scenery and object. Meanwhile, there's also interesting blog post written by Foreigner who travels to Bromo by bicycle. Kewl! Check him out: Pink Bike

Mar 27, 2013

It Takes One Step to Begin: Mount Bromo

"I'm going to conquer one of mighty mountains in Indonesia."

When friend of mine invited me for a trip to Mount Bromo, I was beyond joy to be part of the journey but also confused due to money issue. However, my curiosity (and my childhood dream) defeats all my worries and here I am preparing stuffs needed for the journey. This is my first time to go hiking to see one of most breath-taking scenery in Indonesia therefore best to describe my feeling is by writing down on this memoir, whilst my heart skips a beat every time I'm thinking how's our journey going to be. 


No Copyright Infringement Intended. Credit To Wikipedia.
Mount Bromo (Indonesian: Gunung Bromo), is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 metres (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god. Source: Wikipedia

I am totally confuse on what to bring and not to bring. After conducting small questionnaire to relatives, so, it's best to bring flannel clothes. Hmm, I make it simple: One-pair of jean and a sweater plus a wind-breaker will accompany me along the Sunrise-trip. Yes, I am going to see sunrise from penanjakan area, see the sun rises from 2,770 m or 9,088 ft above the sea level.

How about the preparation? Despite the cold-weather outfit that will helps me against the cold temperature in Bromo, do not forget to bring a flannel blanket. You read it right, a flannel blanket. Since I am sure, it will be bloody cold (even though it's not as cold as Autumn's weather in Finland) especially when you're taking rest or sleep in the lodging. Unfortunately, for this trip I won't use a special kind hiking-boots so Converse will accompany me for this journey (lame; true hiker would kill me for this sin). However, here's my preparation:
My outfit to defeat the cold temperature.
Above photo shows you my cold-outfit to defeat the frost temperature in Bromo: (From top) mustard beanie; mixed-pattern shawl, a black wind-breaker from GUMMO, a knitted sweater, and a grey jean's (minus the shoes). Well, not the best outfit to go hiking, excuse my shortage preparation.
Daily outfit.
A gingham shirt and jeans. Lovely. This one will color my day through out the journey. It's quite simple, isn't it? Well, you are in a new place, so being modest might helps you adapt with other local people.
Fluffy like marshmallow :3
A wool socks! This one helps me through frost temperature anywhere I've ever been. Thank God for having this as my feet savior. The Gelato Pique socks came from a magazine freebie ._. from a Japanese magazine, and it's been a forever travel companion of mine.
Best partner.
A red-leather Converse. Forgive my decision but I've just had blister on my little fingers and finally I chose this shoe to accompany me. Well, I also bring an official Mountain sandal, so at least true hiker will forgive me for that :P
Inside my travel bag.
 Amenities! One of my favorite amenity is the face moisturizer since I have a worst combination skin. Flash back during my trip to North Europe years ago, all my knuckles were blistered, bleed, and dried. Perfecto. So, cold temperature is not my best friend but funnily I'm a person who can adapt to cold weather. Recently, I have this Urticaria on my left arm and I hope it won't disturb my trip :(

Inside the travel bag there are 2 Shampoos (since one friend requests me to bring more -_- ); liquid bath soap; Cajuput oil from Cap Lang (Best.stomach-ache.relief); Face soap in a travel bottle; Tooth brush; Tooth paste; Moisturizer from Bless (Thank God for this!); Body lotion (this one moist a lot) and a wet tissue.
Total: 2 traveling bags
On March 28th 2013, I'm going to put my first step outside the door to see the breath-taking scenery of Mount Bromo with my own eyes. I hope this gonna be an unforgettable moment and life-quest journey before turning 25 in August. Since life won't turn back again, therefore enjoy your life in the best way you can YOLO :)

Mar 26, 2013

A Getaway from Concrete Jungle: Bira Island

"Heaven was an inch before our eyes." 

On November 2011, a group of my University friends and me planned an escape from the sturdy routines of mad Jakarta. We drifted to Thousand Island located remote from mainland of Jakarta for a holiday. Bira island was selected as our destination. Using traditional wooden ship, we departed from Muara Angke harbor and moored for another 6-hours. Sea's zephyr welcomed us with 32 degree celcius plus heat-shock. We met a fellow mate from a friend of mine and several other travelers (even a Dutch lady who celebrates her University graduation by solo traveling to SE Asia) who shared same passion to enjoy the sea's life. Spending our time sightseeing, snorkeling, and relaxing, nothing could beat this Heaven on Earth.

“Memories you capture on purpose are always more vivid than the ones you pick up by accident.” ― Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies

(Note: all photos are not Photoshop-ed due to natural beauty of the environment)

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