day 741 | August 15, 2016 | Mount Bromo

Braved the narrow walk to the edge for a contemplative one with nature snap. Thankfully, survived it!
Another adventure worth waking up super early for. After freezing showers in our hostel around 4am, we packed ourselves into 4x4s to travel the dark path to Gunung Penanjakan. Being driven in the dark and through thick clouds at a mad pace, with very little visibility, made me fear for our lives. I had imagined we would drive into a deadly cliff edge several times. Would have been a dramatic backdrop to die in, tangled in earth and greens, bathed in starlight and lava -- Even through the windows of the 4x4, I could see innumerable stars, ancient light so far apart, yet seemingly sitting so close together. At that moment, I knew I was going to Bromo again, for the sole purpose of capturing star trails and the milky way.

We waited for the sun to rise over Bear mountain, the Sea of Sand, Mount Batok, Mount Bromo, and far behind, smoking puffs of smoke every so often, Gunung Semeru, the highest and most active volcano in Java. After one of the loveliest sunrises I've seen, we made our way down to the Sea of Sand to walk 3-4 kms to the base of Mount Bromo. There were horse handlers on the ready, but we chose to walk and enjoy the landscape at a slower pace. Having survived Ijen the day before, and fresh from a gorgeous sunrise, we were feeling fairly invincible. The steep climb up a flight of 253 steps was the trickiest part for me, with mud lining the steps, a flood of people jostling beside you, and narrow steps, requiring that much effort and care not to slip down. Once up the crater edge and looking into the whirling smoke inside the mouth of the volcano, hardship is forgotten and all is well again. Every effort, every struggle is rewarded with something worthwhile, stunning, and unforgettable.

Let the images tell the story...
View from Bromo Crater Edge
Stars from Gunung Penanjakan

4x4s in the Dark
Batok, Bromo and Semeru
Sunrise over Bear Mountain
Lovely Semeru
Achievement unlocked! :)
Driving to the Sand Sea
Walking in the Sea of Sand
Option to travel the Sea of Sand by horseback
Up the steps to Bromo Crater, Above the Clouds
An offering
Mouth of the Volcano
Spot the bouquet! :)
Smoke from deep inside the earth, like silky blankets atop the landscape
Our trusty 4x4
Fields in the clouds
A wefie with an indulgent driver uncle, who obliged by requests to stop so I can snap up some images :)

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