When I was younger, I always wondered what it would be like to look inside of a volcano. Well, in Indonesia, at Mt. Bromo, I found out.
But first, I would see the sunrise illuminating Mt. Bromo.
Our journey started the night before. Our bus had to park far down the mountain side before the road became too narrow and steep. There we transferred into a series of beat-up Toyota 4x4s and raced up the winding road as if we were in Ferraris. I felt sick as we bounced and slid around the back of our jeep for 20 minutes before arriving at our hotel.
We would then rest up. The next morning our alarm went off at 3:30 am before we piled back into the jeeps and rode through the darkness a few miles further up the mountain.
At the end of the road we were surprised to see plenty of other intrepid souls doing the same thing. We were all here for sunrise over Mt. Bromo and the astonishing panorama of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The area, located in East Java was declared a national park in 1982 and is one of the highlights of any trip to Indonesia.
The viewpoint for sunrise, high above the caldera, required a 20-minute hike up where we waited a few minutes, all looking towards the east. But the real show would be in the opposite direction.
Here the sand sea and Mt. Bromo and the rest of this ancient caldera would be illuminated by the orange rays of the sun. It is a landscape comparable only to the surface of the moon. Inside this gigantic former volcano, five new volcano cones have emerged. To the right of Bromo, in the foreground, stands Mount Batok, the only one which is no longer active.
In the background looms the massive Mount Semeru, rising to 3,676 meters, the highest mountain in Java. You can often see a puff of steam escaping out the top.
After sunrises we took the jeeps across the sand sea and hiked up Mt. Bromo. Here, some chose to ride horses up the volcano. The hike wasn’t difficult—but it was uncomfortable. Throughout the 45-minute hike, winds whipped up fine sand and minerals into our face and the corners of our eyes.
The last section is too steep for horses and must be climbed by foot. At the top is the big moment when you get to peer inside an active volcano.
So what does it look like inside a volcano?
Well, it smells bad from all the gases, and like I said, was difficult to protect your eyes. It was steep looking down inside, and all we saw were some clouds of gas seeping out. But we were looking inside of a volcano!
Our journey to Mt. Bromo was part of the international blogger trip to Indonesia sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.