My Trip to Bromo was fantastic! Last week was the 3rd times that I was riding out of Semarang by Vespa with my husband and it was such a memorable experience, I would love for to do it again!
The Surya Motor Riders, an enthusiast group which I joined last week organized and outing to Bromo last Thursday. Bromo was a great place to visit because of its vast natural terrain, picturesque sights as well as wonderful food along the way.
We were supposed to leave Semarang at 22.00 pm but it was raining hard. So we leave at 00.00 am. We stopped by Salatiga to meet up the rest of the gang. Yusar, who will be leading the group later on, briefed to us about the road that we will be travelling as well as cautioned us that because the travel would be long and monotonous, it is important for us to try to keep ourselves awake and entertained.
And then we started our journey….
Somewhere along the middle of the journey, traffic got congested and got heavier as we went along. And then the skies got darker and angrier and the rain poured down. I always get nervous at times like these as visibility is low and tempers are high. Accidents always happen on the roads when there’s a heavy downpour.
It was a very loooonggg ride. We stopped only for some of us to refuel and for all of us to stretch our legs. But it was really fun for me. Everywhere we go, there will be someone waving and shouting, “Vespa! Vespa!” at us. I saw that there were also other motorcycle group along the road. Even they were waving and giving us the thumbs up. I feel happy and proud.
After about 21 hours, we finally reached Bromo!
It was already evening so it was uncomfortably cold. I was wet, cold, tired and miserable. The gang went to dinner at the hotel. Even though I wasn’t that hungry, I find myself polishing off the ‘soto’. It was sooooooo good!
Later on, we sleep and set alarm for 03.00 am to see the sunrise.
My husband and I woke up at 03.00 and then we climbed the hill to see the sunrise. Although we didn’t manage to see the best view from Bromo (because it’s rainy season), but that wasn’t a big deal. Because that wasn’t the first time for me visiting Bromo. Actually, that was the fifth times I visited.
I always loved driving in those types of environments because it presents quite a challenge to any driver, let alone one on two wheels. (And the views are always rewarding.) You must be able to handle the curves well because there is little room for mistakes in altitudes such as these. But the reward and payoff are without question: the views are immense and there are plenty of stops along the way if you so choose to stop for, say, a picnic or hike along your drive. Btw, the weather favored me, so I figured that I would film the ride as well.
and then it was time to head back….
This journey was very physically challenging indeed. My back and legs felt sore from all the riding. It was already nightfall and the only illumination was from our vehicles. I definitely wouldn’t want to be stuck here alone! My mind started to play tricks on me.
After what seemed to be forever, I was really grateful for the quick stops at ‘Angkringan’ the way so that I could get warmed up again. A warm drink and a stretch of the legs and we were off. After dinner, we said our goodbyes to each other. By the time I reached home, the first thing I did was to head to the bathroom to get out of my dirty and wet clothes and have a nice warm shower and then collapsed in bed and snoozed immediately after that. I was that tired!
I realise that I didn’t buy many things in Bromo. I still had a little souvenir, though.
// FAQ //
- What kind of Vespa did you have?
Mine is a Vespa Sprint 1975 150cc.
- Did you have the original tires, or did you ‘upgrade’ before you left? What kind of Vespa preparation (maintenance, etc) did you do or have done before you left?
I put new tires before I left – they were a bit of an upgrade but nothing super fancy – and had the tires replaced and a tune up in Semarang.
- Did you have any ideas of how to fix different things that might go wrong (basic understanding of the motor, etc)? My husband is great in basic understanding of the motor.
- Have you ever crashed/fallen off/somehow injured yourself or the Vespa?
- Did you drive in any sort of inclement weather? What did you do when it rained?Yes. I rode in the rain many times. I stopped at Indomart several times, layered trash bags under my bags (I didn’t bring proper MC rain gear).
- How many hours a day did you ride, and did you ride only during certain hours of the day? It varied, based on where I was.
- How often did you stop to take breaks during the day’s ride?
Often. I’d stop to eat, to gas up, to do jumping jacks if I was cold, to take photos. Stopping often kept me alert. And a lot of fun things happened when I stopped!
- Did you ever have any problems with your Vespa – oil, tires, etc? Yes. My muffler was broken.
- Were you ever in a place where you worried that there wouldn’t be a gas station in time, how did you make sure you never ran out of gas? The only time I was mildly concerned was along Highway in Ngawi, because towns are so few and far between.
- Did you have music, and if so, how did you listen to it? No! I really missed music. I sang a lot. Helmets have really awesome acoustics. LOL
- Did you experience any fear that maybe it really was a bad idea, or that you were taking too many risks with your life? I know exactly what you mean. Only one person in my life at the time was supportive before I left. As for the true, valid, compassionate concern ~ my answer to this (to others and to myself) is that “the bad things” could happen anywhere. I could wreck and lose a leg while riding in big city or even in a tiny, safe suburban neighborhood. Give yourself every reason to succeed with proper knowledge and confidence (not to be confused with cockiness), and then, why not go for it? Safety is an illusion. Another illusion is that you are ever not safe. I say this because the things in my life that have seemed like the worst things at the time have proven to be the things I am most grateful for.
- Did you learn anything from the trip? Tons and tons. This question deserves a book (winkwink!)
This route makes me happy, both as a person who enjoys driving through mountainous terrains and driving roads that demand excellence. The views don’t hurt either. If you are ever in the area, put this on your to-do list. If you aren’t planning to visit, then just watch the video up above and enjoy ‘Final Song’ from MO (Andrey Azizov Remix)
As always, safety and excellence in your riding. Cheers folks!