Post Bromo, we headed to Jember where our hotel was located. We rested throughout the afternoon before checking our at 10pm that very same day. I know, it’s all kinds of screwed up and it made hotel bookings a confusing affair.
Address: Jalan Gajah Mada no. 253, 68131 Jember, Indonesia
According to the guide that brought us up to Ijen crater, it was colder that morning (we started our hike at about 2 am) then the day before. We also heard stories about his experiences with other customers, and how fast they could hike up. There was 1 marathon woman who could run the entire way up! Impressive!
The start of the hike was pretty mild and gets pretty steep mid-way until we reached the resting point. It became even steeper before it plateau out as we approached the crater top. Wearing shoes with a good grip is key because the ground was pretty sandy.
There’s always the “taxi” – human pulled carts, that will carry you up for a fixed price of 1 million rupiah, regardless of where you got on – if help is needed. Going down, the price varies depending on where you got on board. But it’s definitely a lot cheaper.
Ijen crater is famous for its blue fire, a natural phenomenon that can only be seen in the dark. The blue fire occurs as the sulphur oxidises in the air. So if you want to catch a glimpse, an early morning hike is a must. It was a pretty good day that day, so the smell of sulphur was not strong at the bottom of the crater. If you need gas masks, they are sold at the top of the crater.
The pipes laid along the crater carries the liquid sulphur from the source to a zone where the miners can collect them. As the sulphur cools, it changes from orange to yellow.
As the sun rises, the beautiful greenish-blue crater lake can be seen.
Miners carrying at least 20 kg of sulphur up and down the crater for a livelihood. According to our guide, most stay in the crater area for about 3 days to work before going home.
There are various hole dug along the crater rim which allows the miners to hide out from the cold winds at night.
and a view of Mt Merapi from the crater.
After hiking down, we headed to our hotel in Surabaya to catch some snooze for the night before heading home. I would highly recommend the Artotel Hotel if you’re ever staying in Surabaya. The rooms are wonderful and it comes at a bargain price tag.
Artotel Hotel Surabaya
Address: Jl Dr Soetomo 79 – 81, 60264 Surabaya, Indonesia
Now that I’ve finally caught up with all my travel posts, till the next post, bye!