Merge & Al's Excellent Adventures

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Mmmmm …. Probolinggo mangoes

Probolinggo is a city on the north coast of East Java, Indonesia, and serves as a port and administrative center.  The city is known primarily for its proximity to Mount Bromo, one of Indonesia’s most visited volcanoes.  It is also a gateway to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.  When I visited there in December 2023, I originally planned to spend the day taking a taxi to Mt. Bromo (about 90 minutes one-way) and then making the hour-long hike to the top.  But first, I needed to take a ship’s tender to shore, as the port is not equipped to dock a ship as large as the MS Westerdam. 

All of this meant that my timeline would be tight.  When, due to operational reasons, the captain moved the all-aboard time up to 2:30 PM, and I knew that things would get dicey in terms of time, so my decision was made for me – no Mount Bromo on this trip.  No worries though, because there are some fun things to do in town, including visiting the local Probolinggo Museum and the iconic Red Church.  So off I went.

The narrow inlet the ship’s tender had to maneuver to get us into Probolinggo port
My awesome becak driver

I used a becak, or cycle rickshaw, to get around.  My driver gave me a running commentary as he took me to some of the more popular sights.  And in the city square, local dancers put on a performance to welcome the cruise passengers.

Local dancers welcomed cruise ship passengers
And then they gave me my own personal photo op!

Probolinggo’s economy is largely based on agriculture, with mangoes being a significant produce, alongside fishing due to its coastal location.  Those of you who know me, will remember that I LOVE mangoes, so this fact got my attention.  Mangga Arumanis or Harum Manis originates from Probolinggo.  Arumanis means “harum dan manis” or fragrant and sweet, just like its taste. They are not joking!  These mangoes are, hands down, the MOST delicious sweet mangoes I have ever tasted!  They are known for having a deep yellow, thick, soft flesh with little to no fibre.  I not only had a fresh mango smoothie, but also bought half a dozen to take back to the ship.  For the rest of the week, the staff in the dining room cut one up for me at breakfast every morning, and I have never been happier!  I remembered to take a photo of my smoothie when it was almost finished, but somehow, I forgot to take any photos of the mangoes!!  This is what happens when you love mangoes as much as I do!  Given that I forgot to take any photos, I used AI to generate this photo on the blog.

My mango smoothie was almost finished before I remembered to take a photo
The Mangga Arumanis actually do look this awesome!

My time in Probolinggo was limited, but I do hope to go back.  Perhaps to make the trip to Mount Bromo, but definitely to get myself some more Mangga Arumanis!

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