Third time’s a charm? We just got everything right that time.
Part 1: The first trip was with Carrie, Courtney, Lolly, Emma and the ELF from Malang, also a Courtney. We stayed up all night to get to Bromo, with a car that was supposed to leave at 1 AM to drive us to the mountain to find a jeep by sunrise. Well, that didn’t happen. Everybody was crashing waiting for the car to show up. Finally, Courtney (affectionately referred to as “Chortney,” since C makes CH sounds in Indonesia…) called her counterpart to figure out what’s up. They thought it was the next night. Somehow Friday night/Saturday morning translates to Saturday night/Sunday morning. Carrie “Cherry” and I walked to the Indomaret (like Circle K) and ate ice cream on the steps. We were in a quiet neighborhood with nobody around at 3 AM, so loitering wasn’t a big deal. We finally got a car situated, got on the road just as it started to get light out. It didn’t really matter since we were all awake for most of the night and we all conked out in the car.
We find a jeep to rent and finally get on the road into the main caldera. We were all hungry, so we stopped at a warung and had some nasty food. I got charged Rp. 17,000 for nasi goreng that was just white rice with chili sauce served burnt. We got ripped off, tried to talk them down, then gave up. No warung anywhere makes Rp. 70,000 from a few people at one table. Sorry Ibu, that’s not your real price. I almost asked the guy next to us what he paid for his. I need to learn how to ask what other people paid for their stuff. I’m sick of getting ripped off.
Anyway, we make it to the viewpoint. It’s gorgeous, sunny, and strangely, not hotter than hell like I expected. All the Indonesian people I’ve talked to said that it was going to be really cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon. Well, it was comfortable. It felt like Bend or Sisters in the fall. Crisp, but not cold. It was awesome in my book. It’s an active volcano next to a dormant volcano INSIDE of an old volcano’s caldera. It’s the Target logo of volcanic craters. It also looked just like the Gorons’ home, Death Mountain from Zelda on N64. (Geeky, I know, but whatev.)
There are sand trails, horses that are hip high to the withers, and desert-like conditions, a giant sulfur steam vent. AWESOME. All of us girls sat up on top of the rim of Bromo’s crater, taking in the views. It was definitely like a video game, and I was the triumphant hero on top of a volcano. Worst part was that I couldn’t be triumphant about it when I got back to school. They planned to take me there shortly after. I wanted that trip to be special too, and not bum anybody out by already going there.
Part 2: Second trip to Bromo was mantap sekali. It was like I was at home for real. It was cold, it was rainy, and in the morning, it was foggy drizzly. Maybe it was home. Oregon would have thought the two were related. Just find a beach that is similar and you would have the whole fam damily of the region. All of the eighteen teachers, staff and family members of SMA Khadijah that went on the trip did a gift exchange the night before and I got a t-shirt that said “San Francisco” on it. They’re trying to kill me or something, I swear. When we went, I was definitely the most homesick I’ve been since I came to Indo. (At that point.) But I was refreshed by the weather only an Oregonian could love.
Ennik and I climbed the path to the top of the crater, and stood at the top, getting drenched the whole time. Ibu Efie and her husband were also up there. Ibu Mahmudah stayed at the bottom as the party leader at base camp. It was really cool getting to see the Javanese people I work with see one of their nation’s greatest natural wonders. All smiles. I had my “I ♥ DJ” headband with me, so I showed some love for my school, looking like a total dork in the rain. They all went bananas when I got back to base camp with it on. “Oooh Miss Dani, you look like a student! Where is your uniform? Waaaaaaah!!!”