It has been a long time since my last hiking in Nepal (which was some time last year) and my last vertical walk in Menara BCA (which I don’t remember when). I never worried about my trip to Ijen mountain although I knew it would involve long hiking, and I could say I thought it was going to be easy since I ran 10 K regularly. But sorry dear, I was totally wrong. I lost my breath when I was on my way to the top. My leg felt hurt. Welcome pain.
It felt like walking on an incline of 45 degree and almost constantly with few reliefs.
We started hiking at around 3 am, and finished at around 5.30 am. When I reached the top of the mountain, the sun had already risen, and I could not see the famous blue fire of Ijen Crater. Too bad. But it was okay, because view from the top was amazing. I got too see so many views, the crater of Ijen itself, mountains, cliff, forest, fog.
Ijen crater is a crater which functions also as a sulphur mine. The altitude is about 2799 m above sea level. Here, you can find many miners who carry the sulphur on they shoulder down the mountain to be processed further.
On each trip, a miner could carry around 80 kg of sulphur. For one kg of sulphur, they get paid Rp. 965, so for each trip they get paid Rp. 77,200. On a typical day, each miner usually can make two trips, so their income per day is about Rp. 154,400.
I saw their shoulders full of scratches made by the rattan carriages used to carry to sulphur. I felt pity for them.
Well, I didn’t use my DSLR camera during the first hour I was at the top of the mountain. I just used my phone camera, because I have no filter to shoot sunrise. I spent time to do selfie, group selfie (which we Indonesians call wefie), took pictures of my friends, and just simply enjoyed the view. Suddenly, the fog went away and sky became clear, so blue, and my heart melted. I got my DSLR camera out from my bag and took so many pictures.
The view was so wonderful which made me felt no regret to have spent the time, money and energy to come there. Thank God for allowing me to come here to enjoy the uniquely beautiful sceneries of the Ijen Crater.
I came to Banyuwangi with friends from my photograhy club, named Asialens. One of the members, which also happened to be the former head of the club, Mr. Jeffrey Sukardi, brought a drone with him. We flew the drone in Kawah Ijen. Being a bit of antimainstream, guess what, we did a group selfie using the drone… yeeehaaa… it was so cool.
Another challenging part of going to Kawah Ijen was actually the hike down the mountain since the path was quite slippery. We had to be really careful so that we didn’t slip and fall. I saw a tourist slipped and fell there.
I think it is enough for now. I would not write too much about how nice kawah ijen was because you can see it better in the pictures. Enjoy!!