Ijen Crater located in Indonesia, East Java Province, Banyuwangi District. Well, it’s my home town, I come to the crater once in six months and this is my second trip to Ijen this year. I won’t tell you the technical Information about Ijen, (wiki already did that hehe) But in this post I just want to share the feel. I fall in love all over again every time I visit the place. what a beautiful sight. How could nature become so awesome even my heart beat so fast every time I see it. and I’ll never forget the experience for the next six months till I come to Ijen again. Some of tourists also feel the same way. Ijen left a deep impression in their heart.
Aaand today, after all the -seems to be- infinite work load in my workplace, I finally went to Ijen this Morning with those 3 great friends of mine. today will be a one-day-travel back and forth from Banyuwangi city to Ijen crater, that was the plan. because, if you just want to see the crater, Just see the crater I repeat, we don’t need to stay overnight in Paltuding.
So, here is the route.
- Ride a motorcycle / car from Banyuwangi on 7 AM. There are several way to reach Paltuding, but We -always- take Glagah course because that’s the only reasonable and accessible way to reach Paltuding. (look at the map above)
- arrive in Paltuding about 8 AM
Paltuding is the Camp area. This is your starting point to reach Ijen Crater. You can park your car / motorcycle here. You’ll also find some food stalls. and before you trek you have to register yourself at the information room.
- Start the Adventure.
Ijen Crater well known because it has Sulfur mining down there in the Crater. To reach the mine down there you have to go trough a path full of rocks and boulders . But if you really lucky and an adventurous kind a person, you can start trek early in the morning around 2 / 3 AM from Paltuding and down to the crater. You might find the infamous blue Flame of Ijen Crater. which -from the information I got- There are only two places in this earth who has this Blue Flame, Alaska-America and Banyuwangi-Indonesia and not only the crater who attract the attention of the tourists but also the sight along the way to the Crater. It’s awesome, extraordinarily beautiful. you can see another mountains around Ijen.
Note : the girl in the picture is me. and every time I see this picture, it reminds me of pictures I saw about Scottish Highlands, they look alike, isn’t it?? and a great view to have a pre / post wedding Picture. it gives me an Idea, Mr. A do you got the idea??? I give you a signal…
Ijen also well known because of his eternal flower, Edelweis. it grows in the peak of the mountain. but the fire burned most of plants (many years ago) and the government set a rule to protect it ever since.
On the way to the crater you’ll bump with men who carry the sulfur, great amount of sulfur, in his shoulder. They are the sulfur miners. each of them loads about 75 kg – 90 kg of sulfur. They mine the cooled sulfur from the pipes in the crater. they break the cooled sulfur, then put it in the basket. Then they have to climb back to Crater lip and walk down to Paltuding for weighing the sulfur they get and they will paid for IDR 600, for each kilogram they transported as in USD it will be USD 0.06 it’s not even one dollar (USD 1 = IDR 9,601.00 source : Bank of Indonesia date 12/20/2012). Most of the miners make the journey twice a day back and forth from paltuding to Ijen Crater with that amount of loads in their shoulder with the high possibility of getting poisoned by the gas when they mine the sulfur down the crater with no protection. it’s a great-risky job with verrryyy low wages.
A film titled ‘Where Heavens Meets Hells‘ by Sasha Friedlander tells exactly about those superman (Sulfur miners I mean). That’s two sides of Ijen. well, the conclusion is no matter what, I LOVE THIS PLACE. And hopefully the government or anybody has the solution for the sulfur miners.
If you want to visit and happen to be someone who live outside Banyuwangi(or even an International tourist) but lack of Information, let me know. I’ll give you all the Information you might need. 😀 I’d love to help you guys.
Note : tribute to every Photographer who took the picture. Thanks a lot.