Travel East Java & Bali Indonesia Part II

I never thought am would hiking to the center of an active volcano on the island of Java at 1 in the morning. But there i and wilson fellow photog from JB, doing exactly that, along with our tour guide "Ananta & Porter" and a couple of headlamps. We were completely and utterly unprepared for the adventure, which would turn out to be more challenging—and more memorable—than anything we could have imagined. On reaching the crater rim at 2700m you can’t but feel a little proud of yourself (and the airs a little thin too). But pack for strong winds and sulfur! You are just on the edge of the crater and on one side you can see west Java spread out below and all the way to sea, and on the other is a beautiful blue/green sulphur lake and the rest of Ijen. If you want to see an incredible vista, but at an achievable hike for most people this is the place :)

Ijen CraterIjen Crater

Capture with Sony A7s Adapter Viltrox & Lens Canon TSE17/F4

Kawah Ijen was one of the most brilliant parts of my trip so far, Kawah Ijen Volcano lies in Eastern Java. It is one of a series of volcanoes, including Bromo, Raung, Semeru and Merapi. Ijen is famed for having some of the most astonishing views on the island, due in large part to the surrounding volcanoes, as well as the picturesque turquoise lake that lies in the volcano’s crater. This lake is also the largest acidic lake on earth! No, what we were interested in was a phenomenon much more unique—Mt. Ijen's legendary blue flames. That there are only 2 in the world (the other one is in Iceland), and can be seen only at night. This is liquid sulfur, which has caught fire and burns with an eerie blue flame. Acidic gases emerges from the fumaroles among yellowish chunks of sulfur, and burns liquid sulfur.

Hiking in with the stars made it a really beautiful experience.A two-hour hike is required to reach the rim of the crater, followed by a 45-minute hike down to the bank of the crater but I do not have time to get down to the bottom because it is too late to photograph magical blue fire, the blue hour/sunrise begins. 

Mt.Ijen MilkywayMt.Ijen Milkyway

Capture with Sony A7s Adapter Viltrox & Lens Canon TSE17/F4  

The sulfur miners who work inside of the volcano. The work is grueling; it’s a job that no one would do for any reason other than income. The miners begin their day at 1 a.m. with the four kilometer hike into the volcano. The miners’ job is to then break off sulfur and carry the backbreaking loads 90kg on their shoulders to a nearby refinery. They do it for around Rp200k a day, a decent local salary. Unfortunately, the miners don’t have the decent safety equipment they need for the conditions. During our time in the crater, I only saw few of miner wearing a respirator. The rest were breathing in toxic gasses, day in and day out, using only thin cloths or sarongs as protection from cold and toxic gasses. But despite the hazardous conditions, it’s a job that provides extra income from tourists. The miners sell trinkets and souvenirs made from sulfur, or serve as photo subjects for a small tip.

Kawah IjenKawah IjenPorter and Miners were warming their body with a bonfire when they are very cold conditions.YES brady cool i can`t stand still

The MinerThe Miner

As the day progressed, we sat and walked around the volcano for an hour and decided that it was time to head back. Now to trek downhill on a steep slope. When going downhill, my knee blady hurt painfull compare climbing, after 1 hour we reached the parking spot where Jeep drive was waiting for us. We decided to get some breakfast from the canteen. Mee Rebus with egg and some coffee. 

so in summary, why go to:

Bromo – much more accessible. If you are lucky enough to see the sunrise it will probably be one of the best one’s you’ve ever seen. The hotels are of a much better standard and it’s all set up nicely for tourists.

Ijen – nicely off the beaten track it was uphill. Steep. More than 60 degress in most places. Along the way we were greeted by Sulphur miners who worked from pre-dawn to dusk to extract unadulterated sulphur from the volcano crater. Badass! As the sun rose, we took in the beauty of the panoramic view around us. Amazing crater views. A steady hike for people who like walking and want something to accomplish.

above the cloudsabove the clouds

Be sure to wear good hiking shoes and comfortable clothing. Carry water and tissues, or bring a surgical mask to cover your mouth with if the conditions are poor.

If you want to photo hunting in Indonesian especially Mt.Bromo & Mt. Ijen a tour guide contact Irsam Soetarto or Ananta White Wings (Facebook)



great memory... nice story... thank you so much Pak yudi....
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