After leaving lovely Yogyakarta the journey south through Java continued. We spent nights in Tawangmangu and Malang, but franchement if I dedicate a post to each of those I shall never get through this trip. So, in brief...
We visited a cool waterfall:
Ate the most delicious plate of fried noodles of my life:
Had a traditional East Javan feast sitting on the floor:
And walked through the streets of Malang:
Speaking of which, it really was cool at Mount Bromo. And I mean literally.
Being so high up, the temperature was a lot cooler than we'd been used to!
Mount Bromo is an active volcano in East Java with a huge crater around it known as the "Sea of Sand". We were going to have to cross the Sea of Sand the next day (through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops...) to watch the sunrise, but we'll get to that.
First up, it was time for sunset.
Not too shabby, eh?
But it ain't a patch on what's coming, mes amis.
After an early dinner, I went to bed at 8.30pm in preparation for getting up at the quite frankly disgusting time of 3am.
I am not a morning person. I do not enjoy waking up early.
This, however, was worth it.
We donned our new woolly hats (50p from the hotel, a lot more if you wait until you're up the mountain!) and more layers than I thought I'd ever need on a trip to South-East Asia and ventured out into the night.
I felt surprisingly OK! I was excited! And oh my days, you guys, the night sky. I have never seen so many stars in my life! It was incredible! Also, all the constellations were the wrong way round as we were in the Southern Hemisphere. Weird.
Into 4x4s we climbed to be driven up the mountain before walking the rest of the way to the viewpoint.
I sort of apologise for the amount of photos that are to follow, but I also don't. Hopefully they speak for themselves as I think I'm at a loss for words...
We saw the lights of the village twinkling below, and the sky slowly lit-up, turning from one fiery colour to another.
I have to admit there were a lot more tourists there than I'd been expecting, so I daren't think how busy it must be during high season.
There was nothing to do but watch, and it was truly wonderful.
It's just nature. It just happens.
But also chilly, so once the sun was fully up, we made a beeline for the nearest café for tea, hot chocolate, pastries and fried bananas. Mmmmm... Isn't it lovely to hold a warm mug in your hands when it's cold?
On our way back we stopped in the Sea of Sand to admire the volcano.
It was really cool. So volcano-y.
Yeah, we did jumping pics, because why not?
They weren't all perfectly-timed though... Ahem.
After more breakfast (I ate three meals before 10am that day and I'm not even ashamed), we hit the road again - there was just one more stopover before it was Bali time eeeeeeeep! Mount Bromo has definitely been one of the highlights of my trip.