Wednesday, September 10, 2014

On hunting the blue flame @ Ijen Crater, East Java, Indonesia

There are only two places that can see this blue color flame, one is in Iceland and the other one is in Ijen, Indonesia.

Ijen crater located in East Java, nearest city is BanyuWangi and Ijen village  This is another volcano area different from Bromo. This volcano needed a 3km hike up to the edge of the crater and 1km hike down to the volcano lake.

Ijen Crater @ Indonesia
In order to hunt the blue flame, we have to leave our hotel/resort at 1am in morning by 4x4 to the base of the volcano. The journey is 1.5 hours from the place we stayed, it was a rough journey with winding roads, and traveling in the jungle pitch dark.

We finally reached the base, tour guide calling for last call on civilized toilet before we hike up to the crater. 

The first 500m was a gradual slope up the hill... At the end of the 500m, the slope becoming steeper and steeper. We need to go through 1.5km of steepest slope i.e. around 45 degrees. It was a tough 2km climb. At last we reached the workers' canteen which serves coffee and hot instant noodles. The last 1km was not as tough as the 1.5km steep hike up.

The moment you reach the top of the crater, you can view the nice blue flame from far. just a few blue dots. Then there is another 1km to go down to the base of the crater. Going down to the base was another challenging path... Rocky and steep down 1km with total darkness. You couldn't figure out the edge of the path which might be 100m deep down. So scary (only realized after the sky is bright) The only lights for lighting up the path is our torch light. Quite challenge eh~

At the end of the 1km hike down to the crater, the nice blue flame was our reward...

the blue flame
At the bottom of the crater you could also see the sulphur miners working... they are mining the sulphur and it was interesting to be so up close with the sulphur mine. BTW, the stingy smell like rotten eat was so turned off... Luckily my friend has prepared the N95 mask which can eliminate the smell by 99%... So we could hardly smell anything when we were there. But guess what? the smell was penetrated into our clothing until today...

Sulphur mining

Fresh Sulphur brew from the volcano
We stayed at the bottom of the craters for around 2 hours just to capture all the pictures that we desired... And of course not forgetting to camwhoring :-)

TZ in N95 mask - Smart eh~
The whole journey ended at about 9am. The tour guide and driver sent us back to the hotel.

Guess what? we went up twice in two different days because of first day we didn't manage to see the nice blue flame. So we made another trip up the next day. Total hiking in Kilometers = 14km for both days :)

It was a tiring trip but it was a good experience with the astonishing view of the blue flame...


Small Kucing said...

wow...i didnt know about blue flame there

TZ said...

Small Kucing: hehehe~