19-04-2012 The early morning call was at 3am but we were awake anyway I think we were all excited! It had been cold last night too and we had all slept well because of it. The route across the crater in the dark was fun but we were all glad that someone else was doing the driving and he knew the way like the back of his hand which was good as this jeep only had one weak headlight working! When we arrived and parked up there were around a hundred people already there and loads of jeeps. Andy and Simon found a spot on a ledge with no barrier and I stood up on one of the outlooks with a nice secure fence! (Vertigo). As the sun started to rise it began to show such a beautiful out of this world scene that I just dont have the words to describe it. Hopefully the photos will help. Andy set's up his camera for the sunrise. The morning mist hides in the shade of the massive crater before being burnt off. This is an HDR image made up of 5 exposures, which best resembles what are eyes saw. The colour and light were simply incredible... with the sun up the intensity of the colour diminishes... A panorama shot of the National Park and it's lunar landscape. We took so many photos and could have stayed for many more hours but our jeep and driver was waiting and so we left at 6:30 and headed back to the floor of the crater the Laotian Pasir. The tour was now going to drop us off just by the Hindu temple which lies at the foot of Mount Bromo, (This temple is only used for special days of celebration during the pilgrim calendar) and we are to walk the 253 steps up the edge of Mount Bromo to stare into its steaming guts! We had a few of the local Tengger people try to get us to hire some ponies to take us up the slope towards the steps and initially we were all no, no, we are going to walk! it wasnt until we had passed the temple and started to head up the hill that I thought nahh .Ive got a few rupiah in my pocket Im going to get on a horse! They guys started to laugh as they saw me pass! I think Simon was surprised too! To tell the truth it was, of course, a lot faster and easier than walking but the horse was not the easiest to ride: a funny little thing with a strange short stride and reminded me of the small horses we saw all over the Steppes of Mongolia. In fact the whole Laotian Pasir reminded us of Mongolia it was just the way the sands absorbed and almost muffled the sounds. As we finally approached the steps some more locals had made grass flower bundles and were selling them as offerings to Bromo to keep the volcano calm. Of course just a tourist ploy but for just a couple of dollars I thought it was a nice idea. For the locals of this area a couple of dollars makes a difference to their day and only a very small difference for me to pay out. And to tell the truth, we had not been hassled at all. When we eventually reached the top of the steps all 253 of them! the view was spectacular, both looking into the steaming crater a deep dark hole into what appeard to be a vast nothingness and looking out across the sea of sand. Once again I had a panic vertigo attack. Well its not surprising really as a thte top of the steps you just step onto the ridge no hand rail, no fence, nothing to stop a headlong drop into the crater one slip on the loose soil and whoosh youre gone! With the amount of people all teetering along the edge I was having serious waves of strong vertigo. I managed to walk part of the way along grasping Simons hand so hard that he eventually had to tell me to stop hurting him! I also had to let go of him as he needed to take photos! So we threw in our offering and I slowly made my way back down the steps that were covered in loose ash making them quite slippy. Looking into the depths of the crater... We were now all ready to return to the hotel and grab breakfast and a good stong coffee! What a morning. The rest of the day was taken up with taking all of of photo and video footage off the cameras and sleeping! I was so dog tired that I slept after breakfast for almost 3 hours! Later on in the day we had all thought about going out for another ride across the crater bed but as a massive sand storm had come in we just stayed in the hotel and marveled at the views once more. The sunset was once again beautiful.