Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 14 August 2013 • Blog
Personally, I’m not a big fan of watching sunrises. I’m just as ecstatic to open my eyes and see daylight, as much as any sunrise enthusiast in the world. Every waking day is a miracle. But I can’t win when traveling to Bromo. The Bromo sunrise is one of its main assets, thus any group would usually be scheduled to watch it.
Most people, as I, would witness the sunrise from Pananjakan. It’s a higher point across from the active Bromo crater where you can see the whole area. Its most prize possession is the sight of Semeru, Java’s highest volcano in the distance. I can’t argue how beautiful the eastern sun ray falls on the side of this mountain, showing the rough details of the volcanic complex, while still having a haze of mist on its floor. It makes any amateur picture look professional.OK, I admit. Even being a bit grumpy that morning because lacking of sleep and the freezing cold summer air, I still managed to enjoy the sunrise event with the group. It’s a sight, all right!
I have to say; the mountains weren’t my favorite part of the sight. I’m more of an edgy girl. Although I wish I meant edgy and anti-mainstream, I really mean I’m a big fan to see the edge of the crater complex. It became noticeable as the sun slowly lit the area bit by bit. It’s a neat cut of nature through ancient rocks and seems like time hasn’t changed it much, even though weather and rain can change the structure of rocks. A house just on the edge would be prime real estate. This clean cut structure is seen surrounding the whispering sands and the savanna
Just on the corner of the main stairway to the crater is the sand desert. It’s a plain of black crater sand as far as the eye can see. Further in the back is the ‘whispering sands,’ which is said to ‘whisper’ when winds are blowing fast. After these whispers, the sand desert forms soft zigzag patterns, as that of yellow sand deserts. Being so vast, it was like a satire scene: dark yet beautiful.
This spot was a title of an Indonesian movie ‘Pasir Berbisik’, which is the translation of ‘whispering sands’. It was also shot in this very place. The story was pretty much social problems amongst the poor that lived on a desert plain. So this landscape was that good to be made into a movie.
(People turn poetic when describing mountains. I can’t say I’m the first to resist this urge.)
Another interesting surprise of Bromo Mountain was the savanna behind the crater. If you head further west from ‘whispering sands’ you will come upon a vast green savanna, which is totally the opposite of everything you just saw earlier. Seems like the effects of the acid fumes and crater sands didn’t leap west, resulting in a more humid plain of crater soil. Grass grew on the plain and the walls of the mountain edge. It became a great place to just lie on the grass, sunbathe after a cold morning, or even tan a little. It’s a place to have a picnic. Being so foreign to savannas, Indonesians call this part of the world Teletubbies Hill, as in that Teletubbies TV serials for toddlers.
I’m still not a fan of sunrises but I’ll get up if I have to, especially it could be the best time to see details of things being lit slowly by the sun. I guess in Indonesia the morning sun is the best time to travel considering the air is not too hot and still has its crisp.
I still enjoyed myself.
The ‘rule of thumb’ tour is if you rent a jeep, they usually take you to all these places within a day. It’s a good amount of time to spend the first half of the day as the sun might get too steamy coming into noon. I’m not too sure of the prices as I was on a group trip with Explore Solo.
You also might want to read what these bloggers say about the sunrise at Bromo Mountain: