Climbing the Bromo
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The next destination is the valley inside the volcanic ring. The jeep rides some fairly weather-beaten tracks from Mount Penanjakan to the lush savanna that resembles a scene from “The Sound of Music” in Austria.
Once arriving, jump off the jeep, tell the driver to kill the engine, and close your eyes. Feel and listen to the wind breeze. Then open your eyes. It’s a whole different world compared to the flat black ash desert that could be seen from the top of Mount Penanjakan.
Further along the winds blow the ash desert to lightly break the silence. The area is known as “The Whispering Sand” (Pasir Berbisik). The volcanic ash and sturdy rocks scattered on the caldera make it feel like you’ve arrived on the moon.
Then set off from the lunar landscape via the most popular activity: horse riding around the crater.
Get on your spurs and explore at a more leisurely pace on a local steed.
Horse riding on ash
In the middle of the caldera, there are locals renting horses for around IDR 100,000 for an hour’s ride. These horses are available to be ridden freely, though the owners will tag along and if given your camera, will have a field day filling it with shots from all angles.
Majestically standing in front of Mount Bromo is Pura Luhur Poten, a temple used by the native Tenggerese people for the annual Yadnya Kasada sacrificial ceremony.
After trotting around, there are 253 steps to be climbed up to the sulfuric crater. However, hiking is prohibited if the volcanic activity is considered too dangerous for tourists to come close, as happened in early November 2010.
The complex was formed by repeated eruptions each of which created new volcanoes and calderas. It began with the eruption of Mount Nongkojajar, which reached the height of 3,000m, then continued with the formation of Mount Ngadisari, Old Tengger Mountain, Mount Keciri and finally the current peaks of Mount Cemoro Lawang, Lautan Pasir (Sea of Sand), and Mount Bromo itself. Mount Bromo is now the only active peak.