Day 4. Exploring Taman Nasional Bromo Tengger Semeru.
Finally, the day that we have been waiting for has arrived. We were so excited to take Cica to Bromo. For Yufi this is going to be his 4th time visiting Bromo. For me it was my 3rd time. Last time we went to Bromo was in motorcycle in 2008, wait that was just for me, for Yufi the last time he visited Bromo was in 2011. We rode a motorcycle (I was the navigator a.k.a the passenger hahahahah) from Jakarta to Bromo, you can have a peek of the journey at my old blog http://anakku-falisha.blogspot.com/2009/08/1000-km-in-attempt-to-view-mystical.html
To me, Bromo has always been a magnificent place. There is no way you could get bored with Bromo, the mystical view of Bromo at sunrise has been a magnet that dragged everyone from all over the world, the sand dune, the fog, the Savannah and everything surrounds it are magical . Thing that we should be proud of actually, but coming to date, I think it needs a professional hand to manage it, so the beauty and natural of Bromo is preserved as is also preventing people from destroying the place. we would want this iconic place to last in years to come right?
Anyway, let me flashed back on the night before the trip. The guy who give us the motorcycle was finally arrived. He got one KLX (a motor trail)for yufi and a 125 Vario for me, woooottt?? Yes, let me give you an intro about me, the 2nd rider in this trip. Motor bike although you could say is my daily mode of transportation, but when it comes to ride it, I am a super occasional rider. What does it mean? I don’t ride motor bike on a daily basis. I ride a motorcycle from my mom’s place to a supermarket in rare occasion, although the supermarket is close but I just don’t want to walk hahahah. Other occasion is if I go travel for business say to Bali, especially if we have a home visit, I rather rent a bike, faster and efficient than renting a car. In sum, my bike riding repertoire is minimum as well as the skill I might add. I ride a MTB though if that counts 😀 . Back to motorcycle part, Yufi asked me whether I would like a KLX as well, although I can ride a motor bike with a clutch but I had a doubt whether I will get used to with the clutch fast, at least based on my experience I would need a day or two to get used to so I opted for a Vario for safety assurance. Yes, it looked less macho compare to if I was riding the KLX but going down the cliff was not a beautiful sight either. With bicycle you could always climb back but in Bromo where most cliff are bottomless, that definitely not a good option.
So at 4 am, Yufi woke us up, we sort of bribed Cica with the nicest sop iga to accelerate her mood. Got ourselves ready, we had 2 backpacks in which both are with me. Cica rode with Yufi on the KLX. I prayed a lot hahahahahaha
We went out accompanied by a puzzled look of Harris employees, I think they thought we were nuts…I mean we had a car but opted to ride a motorbike to go to Bromo hahaha.
Turned the engine on, (I made sure everything in place including my helmet, Cica’s helmet, our body protector. I am just hoping Cica can stand going on a bike for hours.) first we filled the gas into both bikes.
The route we took was Malang – Tumpang – Ngadas – Jemplang – Savannah Bromo – Cemoro Lawang, ditto on the way back
Malang in the morning was pretty packed already, I made it well till Tumpang although I want slap Yufi for leaving me behind because I was still working my feeling for riding a bike, craapppp but after that I was okay (slightly feeling smug, hahahahah) could sort of get the hang of the bike and lucky it was also automatic if it was clutch might took me longer than that. Alrighttttttt not bad for an occasional rider. We stopped at Tumpang to pack up on snacks and drinks because there will be no warung available after Jemplang.
Riding was very nice (I think I would ride motorbike more often) especially with a beautiful view like we were having, a stream of fresh, cool air was caressing our face, really refreshing. Villagers were already out and about. Yufi rode over a chicken on the way up, lucky the guy who owns the chicken was so understanding that his chicken broke the law by playing on the main street he waved and told us to continue, I gave Yufi the look, man watch your road!
The view was beautiful, Cica was having a good time on the bike which was awesome, we were afraid that she would complaint a lot, but it didn’t happen she was so amazed by the view and the road trip.
We made a stop just before Jemplang, there was a small warung, we opted for hot tea. Tea was a soul mate for cold weather hahahah we took some pictures there and talked with the warung owner. He said there are not many people passed this road unless they want to hike to Semeru from Ranu Pane point.
We continued the ride to Jemplang gate. Before the gate we arrived at a rest area. The area consisted of rest area, public toilet and parking lot, but it was empty. The route we took is not really popular among tourists. Most tourists either took Probolinggo – Tongas – Cemoro lawang (which I think is the main gate because public transportation to this place is abundant) or Pandaan – Tosari route. The route we took was empty and only farmers and the locals going up and down. But it was good we could enjoy the road without worrying about the traffic. The road was not exactly smooth, it was small with lose gravel and broken asphalt, I made it through without accident (I am so proud of myself hahaha, I don’t care if people think that the trip is not incredible but it was to me)
I was served with an awesome view ahead, I just had to stop and took some pictures. I am not bragging but the view was super, I lost word actually. Great Allah really magnificent. I was so amazed, even after a couple of visit I am still amazed. I was so proud of taking Cica along in this trip. She has to know how great Indonesia is (yes tell me I am such a patriotic, but it’s bloody true) She might not understand now how beautiful Bromo is but hopefully she will appreciate us, the parents that we take her to magnificent places hehehehe
We continued on to Savannah, this was where the road difficulty level (at least for me) rising. From broken asphalt to mix of dirt and lose gravel (if it was MTB, you can’t brake so much because your MTB will slipped and you might fall if you lose your balance) I was really cautious and stayed focus in handling the bike, I had to watch for steep descent as well as lose gravels to get to the Savanna. Finally, we arrived at the savanna it was even better close up. I couldn’t stop admiring the view. The sand was still hard, so I could still have a good handling of the bike.
Now, it was my turn to ride the KLX hahahahahah awesome!!!! I think I might get this bike for meeee. Feeling greattttt
The real torture was coming as we continued on to the sand dune behind mount Batok. The sand was getting loose and hard to ride on but thank to my skill (ahayyyyyyy) I successfully stay on the bike without falling but my legs were all sore by the time we got to the sand dune. Yes your legs are needed to keep your balance in tact that includes several kicks to the sand to keep the bike going otherwise you would ride off track (no such track exists, I was trailing behind Yufi most of the time). I think riding MTB gives you a good sense of balance (hahayyyyyy) as we usually ride in mud, slithering dirt (ahh I can’t stop feeling smug hihihihi)
We stopped at the sand dune for some more photos. Cica was amazed but asked whether a children playground available somewhere near hahahahha, Cicaaaaaa this is Bromooooooo, Yufi and I shrieked at the same time hahahahah. We gave her a fast geographic knowledge of Bromo and surrounding. maybe next time we will take her view the sunrise. The reason we didn’t go this time is to not upset her 🙂 by waking up too early in the morning
After enough taking pictures we continued to the temple, again had to swiveled through the loose sand, exciting and tiring hahahha. Many people were already on their way back. Most people wake up as early as 2 Am to go to Pananjakan to view the sunrise then go down to mount Batok. There is a temple and sulfur crater. I had been there so we were just going around the temple. Many ojeks were there carrying passengers up and down. Since it is their daily activities, it seemed that they don’t have any trouble riding on the sand. Most were riding at full speed. There were horses as well for those who opted for traditional method of transportation.
We plan to have lunch at Cemoro Lawang. We rode up and stopped at the hotel we stayed before Cemara Indah Hotel. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1144644-d1235260-Reviews-Cemara_Indah_Hotel-Probolinggo_East_Java_Java.html.
This hotel famous among international tourist. The hotel is decent, but the view is magnificent. It has a terrace that has the view of Mount Batok.
We took off our shoes, they were filled with sands and felt so hot hahaha. Apparently The restaurant of Cemara Indah only served buffet for lunch. They don’t have ala carte menu so we moved to a restaurant nearby the gate. We ordered some food for lunch and some hot tea.
After, stuffing our tummy with food, we saw that Cica was a bit sleepy. Time was showing 12 PM, O no time for her to have her siesta. We gathered 3 chairs together for her to lay down. Thank God, she could sleep well. We grinned and looked at each other, means she’s ready for backpacking trip hahahaha.
After 2 hours, she finally woke up and refreshed. It was around 2 PM so we had to hurry back to Malang otherwise we might stuck in Bromo and had to retour to Probolinggo.
Bloody Vario had a loose brake and the not so good thing about riding an automatic bike is that you have to squeeze the brake at all times. I had to ride down carefully from Cemoro Lawang down to the sand, Maaaannn I was so scared of slipping away from the main road. Bloody hell.
The track going back was already gone because of the wind (I think this is why people called the sand dune “pasir berbisik” because the wind made the sand hissed) but at least we were not so direction blind so we could find our way back. There were a couple of trails and motorcycle heading to the same direction.
We stopped for another photo sessions before leaving Bromo.
At last, time to go back to Malang. Such a great experience and Cica seemed to like it a lot (now she always asked what’s next hahahaha)
Arrghhhhhhhhhh the way back was even harder, because the road was all descending and the bloody Vario had a really bad brake. I had to be really careful riding it. Yufi already left me behind. If I squeezed the accelerator the bike would end up at the bottom of the cliffs, crappppppppppp
So I had to content myself not to accelerate hahahah well had to enjoy, it was kinda raining as well. Cica asked to stop for an instant noodle. So we stopped at the post right in front of the gate to Ranu Pane. We met a guy who drove an offroad style Jimny. He drove with his son. We had a chit chat and apparently he was an MTB lover and a down hiller. After sharing a story of MTB and adventure as well as asking for MTB tracks around Bromo, we said goodbye to the guy and Bromo all together.
We were accompanied by rain on the way down, again I had to ride very slowly. I really loved the route we took actually.
We arrived at Tumpang again at around 5.30 PM and it was so crowded. Yufi left me behind, I had to ride like a crazy person to reach him and Cica. We sort of lost in direction hahahhaha but finally arrived at Malang. Looked for early dinner again it was Sop Iga. Finally arrived at Harris Hotel feeling tired but satisfied and happy.
Cica still had the energy to swim while Yufi and I were just laying down on the chair by the swimming pool. Kiki is also coming to see us tonight also.
Overall it was a great experience for Yufi, Cica and I. We were underestimate Cica’s endurance. In total she was on the back of the KLX for around 11 hours. I made it to Bromo on a motorbike safely without falling over the sand as well as made it through the packed road from Tumpang to Malang hehehe
One most important thing, Yufi’s dream of having a Father and daughter adventure has been accomplished, in fact he took the whole family with him 🙂
Until next time Bromo!!!!!!
Continue to Part 4 – Yogyakarta and surroundings.