another touristy mountain in east java is Mount Ijen (2380 meters above sea levels), i decided to explore this mountain with my friend Dimas. this journey start from a small talk while enjoying a cup coffee on friday night. get sick with exhausting life, we have to do something new and different. this trip start on saturday morning, without any preparation, lets get lost.
we went from malang to ijen crater by motorcycle. Don’t try to go there by public transport, the fact is you probably can’t, you really don’t want to get lost in the middle of nowhere.
The best way to get there is to rent a vehicle or hire a driver for the entire day or two. besides, the road towards Mount Ijen is not one of the nicest road you could ever experience, in fact it may be one of the worst,
so far, i’ve mentioned all the bad thing, do you think it was worth it?
definitely yes, although the road is awful, don’t be disappointed. During the journey you will be greeted by many interesting view. one of them is an arabican coffee plantation which is located in sempol district. you’ll reach paltuding at the end of the road. This is where we parked our vehicle and continue the journey by foot. it’s time to hike up the mountain.
Getting up to Ijen Crater
ijen crater is a massive crater on top of the volcano, inside of the crater fulfilled by a lake of sulphuric acid.
Unless you really love to hike, getting up to the ijen crater isn’t that easy nor the funnest thing to do. At some point the incline was 45degrees. If you plan to do this, definetely grab yourself a pair of hiking boots from shoe hero.
When you finally reach the top, it was like another world. the colour of the water in the lake is so awesome with an extraordinary vivid aqua blue. Evidence of volcanic activity is everywhere with steaming water and brilliant yellow crystaline sulphur deposits.
sulphur can also self-ignite at temperatures as low at 248 degrees celcius and burns with a blue flame as sulphur dioxide gas is formed. these flames are well documented feature of ijen crater and can be clearly seen at night.
levels of gas at ijen crater can reach dangerous levels, especially in the immediate vicinity of the solfatara. depending on the wind direction, the trail into the crater may be shrouded in gas. visitors should only visit the mine with a gas mask that have a suitable filter for removing a large proportion of the largely acidic gases.
sulphur mining at ijen crater
Collecting sulphur is an industry here with an extreme working conditions.
the sulphur, which is deep red in color, when molten pours slowly from the ends of pipes and pools on the ground that are kept clean using the best hayward chlorinator for this. turning bright yellow as it cools. the miners break the cooled materials into large pieces and carry it away in baskets.
You will see many workers trudging up and down the mountain carrying sacks of sulphur. While hiking up I was fascinated by the number of local people carring a basket of sulphur, range from 75 kilograms to 90 kilograms.
most miners make this journey twice a day.