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Where was I when I wrote this: On a bumpy nauseous ride from Probolingo to Yogyakarta. We just picked up another 7 people on this mini-bus on top of our original group of 4. Transportation here is so random!
So this is the day when we’re finally out of our lavish pampered Conrad lifestyle and into the wild – the main island of Java.
How to get from Bali to Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta
I did a lot of research to try to figure out how we’d be able to fit in Mt. Bromo and Yogyakarta. Some suggested taking local transportation which seemed extremely complicated because you’d have to figure out which buses to take an know when to transfer as well. Not enough information was online schedule wise and nothing seemed very reliable so I strayed away from this option. There was also the flying option but that was too expensive and you’d only be able to do Yogyakarta. After a lot of forum hunting and Googling and eventually found this Perama tour company who kudos to them had a pretty legit website that actually had descriptions and prices of tours. I contacted them months ago when I found out there was a legitimate option to take a tour which took you from Kuta in Bali to Mt. Bromo then the sunrise Jeep tour and then finally to Yogyakarta the next day. It was one way and decently priced so I figured this would be the best option. On top of that I needed additional transportation to where the Borobudur was which is outside of Yogyakarta since we were going to stay at the Manohara hotel for a night to be able to do the Borobudur sunrise package (yeah I know…me and my sunrises).
So we get to the Perama tour office in the morning and I thought it’d just be us since that was all I had saw written down in their book the other day when I confirmed things at their office. Instead there were two other individuals that joined us (Valerie and…some Dutch architect student guy…sorry forgot your name!).
It wasn’t until 1 something when we finally reached the north west corner of Bali to catch our ferry over to Java. This is where the confusion started because I thought the bus was coming with us over to the other side. Instead the driver told us to get out and get our stuff. We were then handed over to this other guy who walked us to the ferry. The ferry ride lasted about an hour since we had to wait forever for the boat to leave and also to re-dock on the other side. Once on the main island of Java there was another driver/mini-van who we thought was going to be our last one. At around 5PM he stopped at some roadside restaurant and we finally had a chance to eat our lunch/dinner. In Probolingo we stopped once again and once more we got another driver and mini-van to take us up to Cemoro Lewang. The roads up here were narrow as heck but as with all Indonesian drivers were cutting in and out to pass slow cars and honking to get people out of the way. This guy particularly liked to speed up on turns and overtake during a turn. Crazy!
By 8PM we finally made it to our hotel for the night – Café Lava Hostel. For somewhere up in the mountain and middle of nowhere it was actually pretty decent. It had a TV and running (sometimes hot with some finagling of the water heater) water. We grabbed some soup at the hostel’s restaurant and headed off to bed by 10PM. Probably our earliest bedtime but that’s because we needed to be ready to go by 4AM for the Mt. Bromo Sunrise.
- Java and anywhere east of Bali is on a different time zone. Set your watch 1 hour back.
- Travelling in Java is mostly by bus and with that means that things are very slow. Be prepared to be on a mini-bus for 9+ hours to get from city to city. I would definitely recommend booking with some place beforehand instead of trying to figure out your transportation in Java along the way. We met quite a few backpackers with nightmare stories about getting lost taking buses, locals trying to run scams and even buses dropping tourists off in front of a tourist office instead of the main terminal. They say never to get off and insist on going to the main terminal. To save the headache just get some mini-van to take you where you need to go. I can’t say it’s sketch free and your driver/van may change a million times along the way but somehow the system works and you’ll make it to your destination.
- Breakfast @ Conrad
- Cab to Kuta Perama Tour office
- Hop on a mini-bus towards the G??? port.
- Cross to Java on a ferry
- Hop on another mini-bus towards Probolingo
- 5PM meal at some roadside restaurant
- Switch to another van in Probolingo
- Arrive in Cemoro Lewang (town outside of Mt. Bromo) @ 8PM
- Stay at Cafe Lava Hostel
Final shots of our Ocean View Suite at the Conrad
Head To The Next Day
To read about the next day, head over to Day 10 – Mount Bromo – Top On My List of Awesome.