Myself and a few travelers I'd met in the city of Yogyakarta in eastern Java (Indonesia's most populated island); found ourselves on a train barreling towards the town of Probolinggo. Our mission was to visit the Mount Bromo, and it's excitable neighbors for a hike to the crater of one of the most active volcanoes along the "Ring of Fire."
After arriving in Probolinggo and a two-hour bumpy ride to the village of Cemoro Lawang; the jumpoff point for Mount Bromo; we found a cheap place to sleep and hit the hay. The next morning we rose about 8 AM and stopped off for some cheap breakfast at a local warung (cheap eatery) and began our descent into the "Sea of Sand"; a desolate area that surrounds the volcanoes.
The walk across was hot but enjoyable as we childishly stomped through the moon-like dust. Once we'd arrived at the base; past the dead-eyed horses and faces in the sand; it was time to climb the 253 slippery steps to the crater.
After some sweat and a few tears we made it up and were blown away by the view. There was even a man; who we dubbed "the Courageous Crater Cleaner"; walking along the inner rim picking up trash left behind by past visitors 😡.
A few hours spent at the top and a joyfully easy walk down the slopes through the void, and we were back in town laying in wait for the sunset to arrive. As the dying light started to work its magic I decided to throw up my new drone and get some shots of cliffside getaway; it was so worth it.
The next morning we woke at 3 AM to witness the main attraction at Mount Bromo; the sunrise. After a long uphill battle, we finally made it to an unnamed viewpoint far from the tourist hotspots and settled in for arguably the best view I've had after nearly two years on the road.
You can find the complete story at apackandamap.com/mount-bromo-without-guide; where I dive into how you can visit Mount Bromo without a guide while spending virtually no money at all.