To Java by Overnight Bus

Denpasar – 

This post is part of the summary-article 3-Week itinerary Indonesia on a budget (Bali, Gili Islands, Java) . You can either use the links in the summary to get detailed information about each place in the itinerary, or the floating bar at the botton of the page to navigate through each day.

Route Indonesia Bali Gilimanuk Java Probolinggo Backpacker Backpacking TravelOur ride from Ubung Bus Terminal to Gilimanuk goes quite smoothly. There is not really much going on in the streets at this time and I take a nap – despite all the music in the bus. No incident either while crossing over to Java at Gilimanuk by ferry. I decide to get out of the overnight bus to strech my legs and have a short walk on the ferry but don’t stay outside for long – I’m still tired. It just takes us 30 minutes to cross over to Java. Sometime around 5 o’clock I wake up as the bus stops at some kind of trucker’s service area. We make a stop for breakfast but at this time of the day sleep is rather my priority #1. I have a bite and crawl back onto my seat in the bus.

Route Indonesia Bali Java Bus Backpacker Backpacking TravelUnfortunately, I will not be able to fall asleep again – the driving style of the bus driver has changed from “pleasant and relaxed” to “risky and hazardous”. He always gives way too much gas and brakes just before the vehicle ahead, until he can overtake… You cannot sleep at all this way. At about 7 o’clock the inevitable happens: While being again on a risky overtaking maneuver our bus has to avoid hitting a truck, but crushing into a vegetable stand at the side on the road instead. We stop abruptly to get the damage examined. Mobile phones get pulled out of pockets, calls are made… and driver, vegetable seller and and ticket controller have a lively debate. This may take a while – the area around the left headlight doesn’t look that good and there is a big streak on the left side of the bus. Hmm. I decide to strech my legs – although a replacement bus was supposed to arrive nothing really happens. So after about an hour the driver decides to go on with the damaged bus.

Route Indonesia Bali Java Bus Backpacker Backpacking Travel 2 Route Indonesia Bali Java Bus Backpacker Backpacking Travel 4 Route Indonesia Bali Java Bus Backpacker Backpacking Travel 3

Probolinggo – 

We have finally arrived! We kinda get dropped off more or less at the roadside while the bus continues to the bus terminal (which is however further away from the residential area) – there certainly won’t be any hotel or anything similar down there. I open up the Agoda app and start looking for the next best accommodation – there is not much to choose from here most hotels are higher up the volcano area. We check in at the hotel “Bromo View”. Time seems to have stopped here. Although there is not really any view of Bromo from down here, you get some 80ies motel atmosphere…

While we are looking for a way to visit the volcanic landscape around Bromo, we notice that tourists are more unusual here than on Bali – we really stand out. There is a tour organizer just next to the bus station which offers a trip up the volcanic area at sunrise. In addition, there are shuttles for a transfer to Yogyakarta. Awesome! We decide to combine both and get told to be ready to get picked up at 2:30 tomorrow morning. We should also consider wearing something warmer than just a t-shirt, since it may get a bit chilly up there

As for dinner we decide to just enter the school cafeteria / trucker’s service area around the corner. This seems to be a family business, since I notice lots of old school pictures of many generations on the walls…

Returning at the hotel, we decide to already pay for the room now, since we’ll have to check out quite early – almost directly after returning from Mount Bromo. The quite friendly receptionist seems to have anticipated something like this – it seems common to get picked up for the Bromo Sunrise Tour here.

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To Java by Overnight Bus

by Mario time to read: 3 min