The day started around 8am with a wonderful buffet breakfast. The Marriott had everything you could possibly imagine! A variety of freshly made breads, donuts and croissants, eggs, mini eggs Benedict, baked beans, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, freshly squeezed juices, fresh fruit, raw vegetables and an assortment of cheese. Staff would make fresh omelets or French bread as per your request and eating all day would have made me one happy girl.
Check out was 1pm and Vernon and I had yet to make any decisions. Finding a train ticket on a Sunday in Jakarta proved to be difficult. I went to the travel agency in the hotel but they couldn't help because their agent was closed. They directed me to the Alfamart to get tickets but they also were unable to help because it was Sunday. Our only option was to go directly to the train station.
We purchased two tickets (Rp$105,000/NTD$256/CAN$10/each) to a place called Probolinggo, leaving at 1:40pm. It was a two hour ride and we had four seats all to ourselves. Finding the correct train was a bit confusing (the train was late) and we were very thankful when a young kid approached us asking if we needed some guidance.
Probolinggo sits near the base of Mount Bromo. We had booked a hotel beside Mount Bromo and getting there on a Sunday was not easy. There is a tourist information office right across the street from the train station in Probolinggo but it was closed. There were a few touts hanging around the train station and one of them jumped on us immediately.
The tout kept throwing ideas at us when we weren't really looking for help. Unfortunately, we didn't have many options so we showed him the map to our hotel and he offered to take us over on a bike taxi for Rp$25,000. We knew our hotel was about one hour away so we were baffled at his offer and refused. He then had a yellow van pull up and said he would take us to the hotel for Rp$100,000. This still seemed too cheap but we hopped in the van. About 10 minutes later, we pulled in beside a hotel and the tout announced that we had arrived. This was where the small battle began.
We refused to pay the tout money because he didn't take us where we wanted to go. He insisted that this was the brother hotel to the one we were going to and they could guide us. We still refused to pay him money. We turned our attention to the people at the hotel and explained that we had paid online for a reservation of a different hotel and the guy called to confirm our reservation. Then, out of nowhere, appeared a calm guy who spoke fairly decent English asking if he could help. Whether this was all a game and they were all involved together, we will never know.
We told him we needed a car to get to our hotel and he started talking about tours to Mount Bromo. At first we didn't really want to listen to this as we were upset about dealing with the other dishonest tout who was still outside waiting for our money. This new guy did have reasonable prices and was easy to deal with so we sat down to discuss our plans. We gave him Rp$25,000 to pay the tout outside and started planning a tour with him.
A three-day two-night tour to see the Mount Bromo sunrise and the iJen Crater cost us Rp$1,300,000 (NTD$3,200/CAN$125) per person. We paid the money and waited about 20 minutes for a car to arrive. The ride up was almost two hours and sadly it was dark the whole way up. The roads were tiny and windy and we were curious what things would look in the daytime.
|Bromo Permai 1 hotel|