East Java Awe and Wonder Trip 2023

During the October half term, the Sixth Form students, accompanied by three brave teachers, set off to East Java, Indonesia for the trip of a lifetime to explore the country’s volcanoes.

We landed late on Thursday evening and were introduced to our guides, Taufik and Alfie, before setting off on our long bus journey to the first hotel. After arriving, we had about an hour to shower, nap, and change into some warm clothes before heading off again, this time travelling in Jeeps. At 3.00am, we arrived at our stop near Mt. Bromo where we stopped for some warm Milo and homemade banana fritters as it was incredibly chilly.

We then walked to the viewpoint where we watched the beautiful sunrise over the volcano before getting back into our Jeeps and travelling to Mt. Bromo’s base. From there, we started the hike up the mountain, passing horses with rainbow-coloured manes and being surrounded by lots of dust. We climbed until we reached the edge of Mt. Bromo’s crater, from which we could see and smell clouds of sulphur emerging from the centre. An incredible sight.

Soon it was time to head back to the hotel for some breakfast, a nap, and to pack up. We made it to the next hotel but there was no time to settle in for the night as we had to leave for Mt. Ijen at 11.30pm that same evening.

We began the trek up Mt. Ijen in the pitch black, guided only by the stars and our torches. This was the most physically challenging day, but the crater made it worth it. At the top of the climb, we had to put on our gas masks as we began the descent into the crater. Here we observed the blue fire – the reason for our nighttime hike – as it can only be seen when it is very dark. The crater itself was a beautiful teal-coloured lake. We could only enjoy the view for a short time though as the sulphur gas is extremely strong. Eventually, we started our climb back down the mountain, with some choosing to take the ‘lamborghinis’ (push carts).

After we all made it safely back down, we headed back to the hotel to pack up again before travelling on to our next base. Once we made it, we were given the option of relaxing or going to the beach. Obviously, we chose to go to the beach. So we once again boarded our buses, this time we had the magic of carpool karaoke to keep us occupied.

We stayed at the beach until sundown and then went back to the hotel to have dinner. The next morning we were allowed a lie-in until 3.30 am, before setting off to theTumpak Sewa Waterfall. Once we arrived, we had some breakfast sandwiches and began our trek. The refreshing spray soaked us, but the view was amazing. There were natural pools to relax in, and the sunshine warmed us up. We had a delicious lunch and set off to our final hotel. We slept very well on Sunday night and appreciated the lie-in on Monday before heading back home. It was an incredible trip, filled to the absolute brim with sites of awe and wonder.

Cordelia, L6

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