I went to Mt Bromo for the ‘uncountable times’ on last January with a friend of mine and his parents. It was still erupting since November 2010. Compared to the last time I visited on the end of December, now Mt Bromo looks dreary by the ashes everywhere. Plants are dry. Road were covered by ash and hotel has no electricity but only generator that we could not watch TV in the room.
Honestly I didn’t really sleep well that night, because there are few tremor quakes that shake the bed. I bet every guest staying in Cemoro Lawang Hotel didn’t sleep well that night too.
There are not many tourists that day that stayed at the same hotel as we did. As the dangerous zone is still from radius 2 km from the crater, we didn’t go through the sea of sand. Just watch the crater from in front of the hotel.
Sunrise was nice and can be seen from Mt Penanjakan 2. Mt Penanjakan 2 is alternative peak where you can wait for the sunrise without crossing the sea of sand that is considered in alert status. Penanjakan 2 located lower that Penanjakan 1. For this, you don’t need to go with local transport that is Jeep/ 4 WD. You can just trek round 20 minutes to the foot of Mt Penanjakan2 and you need to climb steep path to the top which will take about 20 minutes. Horse riding also possible from hotel to the foot of MT Penanjakan if you don’t like to walk.You will know where you are when you see the smoke of Mt Bromo can be seen. The sunrise will accentuate mountains that are at the east part of Bromo Area like Mt Semeru, Mount Ijen and Mt Klakah.
I think wearing mask is important when Mt Bromo is erupting. Prepare your self with warm clothing and flashlight. I remember European tourist could not go up the mountain and need to wait for other tourists with flashlight to go further.