We took a bus for Probolinggo to Bondowoso, it was a split decision as we arrived to the bus station in town and the tout quickly offered us the VIP bus that was about to leave for 75,000 rupiah we counteroffered him 50,000 (it should have been 35,000 as we realized when we watched locals pay, but close enough) he agreed and we were on our way again. The bus took two hours before we arrived to the tiny village of Bondowoso. Like clockwork stepping off the bus we had people wanting to talk to us, wanting to sell us stuff, wanting to know where we were going. We told them we just want cheap accommodation we are not trying to go to Ijen yet, surprisingly one of them actually pulled out a map and showed us where the cheapest accommodation could supposedly be found. We took down his name and number as he conveniently is also a private driver and told him we would let him know if we wanted to go to Ijen the next day. We walked the few kilometers into town to investigate the homestays and hotels and shockingly found that the one we were recommended to was only 66,000 a night for the three of us, only 2$ a person for a private room and wifi in the lobby, yes please! It was a welcome change form the 150,000 most places charge. The town itself is completely non touristic, with no attractions other than being a gateway to Ijen, but that is how we like it, the only bules in town. We spent our time wandering the markets eating lots of cheap Indonesian food, and in the end decided that we would skip over Ijen Volcano for the time being and visit it on our way back to Java; the fumes are very strong right now and the weather should be better in a month when we return.
Anchovies and more, dried fish galore