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Volcano sunrise and Bali returns

In Java I started really loving the mornings. The early ones, 3 am rise to go on night time bike rides around town in search for the best view to watch the light of day. After waking up to the magic of Borobudur, world wonder buddhist temple, I decided to move on from Yogyakarta and take the ten hour train to Probolinggo for the Bromo volcano sunrise. My head would hit the window more than once on the way there. Stunning rice field views couldn't keep me awake. But at 3 am I was up again.

A jeep took us to the view point. We bought coffee, rented jackets and waited for the sun to warm us up completely. I like the idea of arriving somewhere when it's pitch black dark outside. You have no clue where you are and what all the fuss is about. Slowly the night turns into day and all becomes clear. Japanese tourists take twenty pictures a second, the flashing and clicking makes my head spin. The volcanoes let out breaths of smoke, filling the morning sky with clouds. I stand in awe, watching black turn into pink, orange, blue. The moon is only a curvy line above my head, ready to give way for the sun.

A bumpy ride takes us to Bromo. We ride horses to the top of the crater, peering down into the active volcano. He spits out milky clouds. I swear I can feel the earth tremble. He makes loud growling sounds, like airplanes are taking off inside. Sweaty faces, dust masks. The sun is climbing high, time to travel on.

The bus to Bali flies in front of me. There is no stop sign so there is no stopping. I yell and a man on a motorbike slaps his hand on the side of the bus, making the driver slow down. I run, throw my bag and myself inside. People are sleeping, they come all the way from Jakarta. Snuggled up in pillows and blankets, seats leaned back like beds. I'm too fascinated to sleep. I want to see the scenery, plus the tv is busting out nineties boysband videos. N'sync, Westlife, 98 degrees, Blue and the rest of my childhood, for hours and hours on end. Ultimately the screen is quiet. I close my eyes and doze off. Until the driver found his other DVD. One Direction, Justin Bieber, you name it. It was funny for an hour, but now I'm starting to feel sick. I roll up in a ball and sleep my way back to Bali.

It's night when we arrive at the port in Gilimanuk. I tell the driver to drop me off here. He laughs and drives but when I take my bag he looks concerned. He gives me advice in Indonesian, asks me if I'll be okay. For sure, I'll be fine! I'll just hop on a bus to Pemuteran! No buses to Pemuteran. No taxis. Too late at night. Hm. I ask a guy on a motorbike the only word we both understand: Pemuteran? He smiles, puts my backpack in his lap, gestures me to hold on tight and off we go, from the highway through windy roads. After what felt like five hours, we arrive at the destination. A dead street, a couple of restaurants with the lights off. I'm too tired to look for cheap accommodation, I've got the feeling I could just fall asleep right then and there.

A guy stops his bike in front of me, tells me to hop on the backseat. His brother has a guesthouse and I look like I need a bed. At that point I'm willing to pay just to sleep on the floor, I don't care. He takes me to a side street, opens a gate and knocks on the door until a woman wakes up. She shows me my room and I start laughing like a teenager in love. A big bed full of flower petals, a garden in the bathroom, a shower under the stars. She brings me a welcome cocktail and I just want to give her a massive hug.

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