I am completely ashamed to say, when I was packing in Brunei for this trip, I completely underestimated Ijen.
We don’t know each other very well, we were not acquainted yet.
At 12am, I was suited and booted and ready.
New shoes bought specifically for Ijen. Blue for the blue flame.
At 12am we assembled inthe lobby. Masks were distributed.
Then comes the safety briefing.
We filed into 4WDs and off we went. The journey took 1 hour over precarious dark roads but was very calm, cool and windy.
Arrived! Ladies ready?
We were given face masks, but if you want to go down to the crater lake, you can rent better gas masks. I bought gloves though cause cold haha.
The total hike is 3km. 2km is supposedly flat land, easy walking, and last 1km, is more of a climb.
Eventhough it is dark:
Half way up, there’s a lovely tuckshop.
Kira aku cam confident lah nda lagi lama sampai. Haha.
The lady selling at the tuckshop said she’s there everyday and goes home every 10 days – what a life.
So onwards to the journey and everyone kept on saying flat land soon. Noooo its not flat hahaha. Just less steep!!!
My advice is just take it slow! And eventhough it’s so easy to just GIVE UP, I didn’t and so I continued up.
With my “escorts” hahahaha. I think they were worried I’m gonna faint or something hahahah. Talked to them the whole way, asked about their lives, which part of Indonesia they were from, where their wives are from, what they do if not on this trip. Haha
Actually I love to hear about other people’s lives and love to ask questions. Apologies if u were ever in the mercy of mine hahahaa.
By the time I arrived, there was already a queue at the entrance so I didn’t and chose to see the sunrise instead.
This is the moment when I realised: I’m on Mt Ijen.
If I did go down, this is what I would’ve seen:
An amazing crater lake & Ijen’s signature blue flame.
Beautiful and turquoise.
This trek down is a precarious 45 minute descend which requires u to wear proper gas masks so be sure to rent them back at the base camp otherwise u can’t.
Anyway, as I sat down waiting for the sunrise, these are the things I saw and observed.
The sulphur is sold to agents who will in turn sell them in Surabaya.
Then sadly it was time to walk down.
When we went up, it was so dark so u can’t really see a thing. But on the way down, i realised that there were so many beautiful plants!
Spent so long just documenting and taking photos of them!
Also on the way down, saw another mountain beyond the clouds.
Sulphur sovenirs were also for sale. Unfortunately u have to hand carry them if u bought them as they’re not allowed in your luggage when u board the plane.
Also felt like my knees were made of jelly haha.
Then travelled on bus to a place called the Baluran National Park which made me feel like huh??? I’m in Africa????
We saw deer, and the biggest buffaloes I’ve ever seen in my life!
Read more here.
Then left Baluran and checked into our hotel, Hotel Santika. Really beautiful and modern. 🙂
But it was definitely one of the best days of my life! Slept with a big big smile on my face.
Hashtag #mountaineer! 😂😂😂