On top of the Bromo

Just before midnight Julius came to fetch us for our drive to the Bromo.
We arrived around three o’clock at a small restaurant where I had my kopi tubruk.
But I didn’t feel too well, even the coffee didn’t taste as good as usual. I felt very tired.

We had to go by horse, we all had a small lamp with us. I was thinking back when I had  my own wonderful and faithful horse Trip. Oh my horse and I had so much fun together, we had been real friends.
But now I was going to climb the Bromo and watch the sun coming up that morning on the 5th of October 1996.
We went by horse until we arrived at the bottom of a high and steep stairway going upwards like it seems, right to heaven. It was a heavy climb and it was also very cold as well. It was also still very dark when we arrived on the top.
But around 4.30 a.m. the sun came up, it was a most beautiful sight, a breathtaking scene. It looked somehow extraterrestrial, something I had never seen before. We stayed there on the top for about half an hour. There were several young Thai men and women who had climbed with us, they were so nice to let Agnes and me sit on their folding chairs. Real wonderful people.
And then slowly we followed the group going all the way downstairs again back to our horses.  We could see the mount Semeru with a pall of smoke. The Semeru is a working volcano. What a beautiful sight!
I went straight to bed when we arrived at hotel Splendid and it was 16.00 p.m. when I woke up again.  Agnes was also very tired, so we just went into town where we had something to eat.

The next day we went to Tretes Panggung, the plantation where Agnes and I met when she was 9 years and I was eight years old.
We went over Dampit  again, but then came the trouble, Julius had to drive over very bad roads, completely neglected.
He had to ask many times where he could find this plantation. But at last an old man came to sit next to Julius and showed him the way and so there it was at last, Tretes Panggung.  The house from Agnes parents was gone and so was our house. I was more than pleased to see this part of my life back. I didn’t say it but although we had a most beautiful view, it didn’t touch me like Sumber Sewu does,
my wonderful green plantation.
Tretes Panggung  is now a kampung ( village) and no longer a coffee and rubber plantation. Also here the people were very friendly, we had a cup of coffee and one of the young girls spoke in English to us. She had stayed in Canada for a several years.

By chance, Agnes saw the furniture of her parents back in one of the houses. A young woman showed it to us, being very proud of her furniture. Agnes didn’t tell her that she recognized it as her parents furniture. But later on our way back we had a good laugh about it. Poor Julius had to drive the same way back to Malang.

After a good lunch we went by becak ( a bicycle-taxi) to the Lavalette Kliniek, that once was the hospital for the coffee-tea and rubber planters and their families.
The ride by the bicycle-taxi was absolutely an adventure. Now and then we really thought that cars and trucks were going to overrun us, but as by an miracle we arrived save and well at the hospital. Traffic in Indonesia is crazy, yet there are very few real accidents. Really amazing.
The Lavalette Kliniek was still as nice and clean as I remembered it. We were even allowed to have a look in the kitchen. It is wonderful how friendly people are, how the Indonesians make you feel welcome, and love to show you around.

Malang is a town to be very proud of. But of course I had known that already since 1936!
On top of the Bromo
On our way back on the horses
The stairway to the top of the Bromo
The Lavalette Kliniek
One of the long corridors from the Lavalette Kliniek
The maternity ward from the hospital. My youngest was born overhere in 1937