3 days in Java - Kawah Ijen & Mount Bromo
27 June 2019
Meeting in Seminyak, our trip began with a long day of transport. The trip was made in a very comfortable minibus, taking us all way from South Bali up to Bedugul and further on to the ferry port in Gilimanuk. We passed through some incredibly beautiful, rural, and untouched landscapes on the way, making a long day of transport a great experience.
Arriving in the village of the Bromo site, we had a delicious local dinner (including some of the best ginger I’ve had). We got the opportunity to buy some cheap, but surprisingly, warm beanies to protect us from the cold at an altitude of 2,300m. After that, we went early to bed, preparing ourselves to wake up at 3 am the following morning.
Waking up at 3 am is not nearly as bad when you know what you’re about to experience - the mighty Mount Bromo.
Aboard an off-road 4x4 Jeep, we were taken to the “King Kong” viewpoint, overlooking the three volcanoes Bromo, Semeru, and Batok.
When we arrived, it was still completely dark, allowing us to gaze at a clear and starry sky. Seeing shooting stars while the silhouettes of the volcanoes started to illuminate in the moonlight was such a unique experience. I immediately knew what Indotravelteam meant when they said we would feel the “volcano spirit.”
After watching the sunrise, we ascended to the Sea of Sand, a huge desert-like area around the volcanoes. Driving towards Bromo, you started to realize how small we are compare to these massive natural wonders. This realization became even more intensified as we walked up to the edge of the crater at Bromo. Hearing the roar from the volcano while smelling the vapors of sulfur, you knew that this was not just another spot on your to-do travel list, but much more than that. Again, I’m sure that Indotravelteam said that we would remember these moments for the rest of our lives.
We were now ready to continue our trip towards our next destination - Kawah Ijen. Some hours later, we arrived at a nice hotel near the basecamp of Ijen, much in need of a bit rest before conquering another volcano.
The last day of our trip started on day two at 11 pm. Driving for 2 hours through the night, we arrived at the basecamp at Kawah Ijen, meeting our local guides and getting our safety instructions. We were also given flashlights and gas masks before starting our ascend, making it easy and safe to navigate despite being in the middle of the night.
An hour of moderately intense hiking, we arrived at the top of Kawah Ijen, again barely able to see the volcano’s outlines in the moonlight.
It was now time to descend into the crater to watch an incredible natural phenomenon - blue fire. The route down is steep and rocky, but the guides knew precisely how and where to walk, getting us all down with no issues. As we arrived at the bottom of the crater, we started to smell the sulfur and put on our gas masks.
Shortly after, we saw the incredible sight of blue flames coming out of the crater, while workers were carrying big loads of sulfur, up the same steep crater we had just descended.
Just to the right of the blue flames’ site, we started to see the big acidic lake appear as the sun rose behind the walls of the crater. A truly incredible view that I still cannot quite compare to anything else I’ve experienced in Indonesia or the rest of the world.
Full of excitement, we headed up to the top of the crater again and back to the basecamp, where our tour leader and driver were awaiting us.
Falling asleep in the minibus back to Bali, I knew I had just created memories that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
by Oliver Kilde @okilde