Sunday, 28 April 2013

Surabaya trip – 28 Apr 13

We woke up extremely early at 3.30am as our guide mention yesterday to gather at 4am. Our jeep driver is already waiting for us outside the lodge. The 6 of us squeezed into the jeep where my sis and I sat at the front while the rest sat at the back.

We drove through the dessert to Mount Penanjakan in complete darkness. Everywhere looks the same to me and I'm really amazed with our driver ability to navigate around. After an hour, we reached Mount Penanjakan. There are already many people waiting here for the sunrise. It is freezing cold here and the mask comes in handy as we used it to cover our face from the cold.
Waiting for sunrise
Look at the crowd

We first saw the ray of light at 6am and the sun rises within the next 30min. The view is simply magnificent!
The famous Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

We left Mount Penanjakan before 7am and saw a wedding couple taking photo shot here. I'm admired the bride as she is able to withstand the cold temperature and take photos here. 
Couple taking wedding photoshoot
Numerous jeeps

We took the jeep from Mount Penanjakan to the base of Mount Bromo. Before we could get out of the jeep, many horse owners have surrounded us. We bargain the price to IDR100,000 ~ S$13 and each of us got a card from the horse owner. This card is to find the horse owner on the return trip.
Riding a horse

It's very dusty riding through the desert and I have prepared surgical mask for all of them. I also bought a disposable bag which is washable as the sands will be trapped from top to bottom.
Riding to the base of Mount Bromo

After riding for 15min, we reached the based of Mount Bromo. The 300 steps up to the crater looks strenuous, we paused for break in between and took 5 min to climb up to the crater. There are two rows of steps to facilitate the movement of the flow of people.
Steps up to Mount Bromo crater
Mount Batok
Paddlers selling drinks
Panoramic view from the top of Mount Bromo

There are wooden fence surrounding the crater near the staircase. Further from the staircase, there are no barrier to prevent people in the event of falling into the crater. I dared not walked further beyond this point.
Mount Bromo crater

On the way riding the horse back to the jeep, we stopped by Pura Luhur Poten which is worship by the Tenggerese living here. When Muslim missionaries tried to convert the descendants of the Majapahit princes who are Hindu, they fled into the mountains in the  Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and continued to profess Hinduism.
The mysterious Poten
Entrance of Poten

We then proceed to the Whispering Savannah. It is completely different here as the greeneries is a spark contrast from the grey sands desert at Mount Bromo. I have saw in a documentary that the horse owner will come here to collect grasses for their horses as there are abundance of grasses here..
Been here and done it
One moment before
One moment after
Driving across the desert
Savannah vs Desert
Sand dunes
Group photo with the jeep driver

We returned to Lava View Lodge to have our breakfast. I have done so many things by 9.30am whereas in Singapore, I should still be sleeping at this time during the weekend.
Lava View Lodge
View of Mount Bromo from Lava View Lodge

The rooms at Lava View Lodge are very basic. The water heater was not even functioning properly when we used it yesterday. The water discharged from the heater at the beginning is lukewarm then after a minute it's cold water. We have to quickly bath ourselves amid the cold weather to prevent ourselves from catching a cold.
Superior room
Basic bathroom

The variety of the breakfast offered is very limited. It's either nasi goreng, mee goreng or bread, eggs and fruits.
Buffet variety
Eggs section

After our breakfast, we packed our belongings and left Mount Bromo. The scenery on the way downhill is picturesque and looks ideal as an retirement place. The driver stopped at a midpoint for us to take photos.
On the way downhill
Am I in Europe?

It's an hour drive from Mount Bromo to Madakaripura waterfall. Our guide has helped us to negotiate for 2 guides for IDR150,000. However a third guide keep following us and our guide reassured me that we only have to pay for 2 guides.

There are 7 to 8 rivers to cross and we have to soft trek for 45min before reaching the waterfall. It's quite slippery when crossing the river but the guide will handhold our hands when crossing the river.
Crossing the river
Make shift hut selling snacks
Madakaripura waterfall from afar

There are peddlers selling ponchos and plastic bags near Madakaripura waterfall. I have done my research hence I have bought poncho from Singapore. Those without poncho will definitely will get as there is a waterfall to cross under before reaching the last waterfall.
It looks like rain falling from the sky
Madakaripura waterfall

We had lunch at a restaurant on the way back to Surabaya. The chicken is so skinny that we don't feel full at all.
Fried chicken

We stopped by Sidoarjo mud flow which is about an hour drive from Surabaya. There is an admission fee of IDR10,000 ~ S$1.20

Sidoarjo mud flow is the largest volcano mud flow in the world and is the result of the blowout of a natural gas well during the drilling. The mudflow has buried more than 600 hectares of land, displacing 39,700 people and submerging three subdistricts, 12 villages, 11,241 buildings and 362 hectares of rice fields. At its peak Sidoarjo spewed up to 180,000 m³ of mud per day. I'm sad to learn that the locals have to relocate and some are suffering from cancer and other diseases. 
Leeves containing Sidoarjo mud flow
Sidoarjo mud flow

We reached Artotel and proceed to check in. I like this hotel a lot as it's very funky and contemporary. There are many artistic displays which makes the whole hotel interesting, especially the hotel's slogan "The Earth with ART is just EH".
Creative and artistic displays

We were allocated 3 rooms which are side by side. The wall paper are different for every rooms. As the hotel was just open during the year, the rooms are clean and well maintained. 
Studio 20 room

We then went out for dinner after checking in. We planned to have dinner at Layar but the driver couldn't find the location hence we had dinner at Supermal Pakuwon Indah. We ordered 2 large pizzas, drumlets, cheese rolls and drinks at Pizzahut and this dinner cost  us IDR460,003 ~ S$62.
Pizza hut for dinner

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