Avoid Bromo Tennger if you are asthmatic or sensitive to altitude sickness. If you enjoy volcanic ash and Jurassic landscapes, visit it. Located in East Java, Bromo Tennger is a magnificent national park but be prepared for a long taxi ride. Bring books or something else to entertain yourself because it took us almost six hours from Surabaya airport to get to our hotel. We must have had the oldest taxi driver in town. He drove a weeny faster than snail pace, and that was at rare moments when he reached top speed. That was the normal part of the journey because it got weird from here. After a quick local roadside lunch the taxi driver’s wife somehow ended up joining our trip as well. Don’t ask me how…
When we finally arrived at Cemara Indah hotel with one driver and three passengers, a suffocating haze of volcanic ash hovered over the valley. Mount Bromo had re-awakened and had spewed a massive mushroom-shape of ash high in the air. We stepped out of the taxi and walked through a fresh layer of dark mud to get to our hotel room. I decided to wait taking deep breaths until I got to our room but almost ran out of air and my longs started to scream for oxygen. Luckily I managed to open the door just in time. I took a deep breath and as I inhaled I smelled a stale two star retirement home. This was our ‘superior’ room. It was definitely not superior but the view over the valley from our veranda was.
The next morning the dusty atmosphere had miraculously cleared up and offered a clear view over Tengger Caldera and its active volcano. As we were having breakfast we were told that Mount Bromo’s last eruption was in 2011 and that the lava outburst is a five year cycle. 2016 is going to be a blast of a year.
Cemara Indah hotel
Jl. Cemara Lawang, Ngajisari, Sukapura,
Probolinggo, Jawa Timur 67254, Indonesia.