Category Archives: Indonesia

Hike up to see Ijen volcano

As we hiked up towards the peak of the Kawah Ijen volcano crater, visibility got worse with each step

Hiking up to see Kawah Ijen
Hiking up to see Kawah Ijen. Visibility declined rapidly – at one point I couldn’t see 5 feet in front of me!

So much for the amazing Kawah Ijen view of a turquoise crater lake surrounded by Volcanoes.

At least I’d soon discover the sulfur mining at Ijen.

The View – Kawah Ijen

After seeing this photo of Ijen I knew I wanted to visit:

Kawah Ijen

From the photos it looked gorgeous – a turquoise crater lake in the middle of a group of volcanoes. But after a red-eye road trip to the base, and a difficult 2-hour drive up the mountain, and a hike up, the overcast sky became nothing but fog. Visibility was only a few feet in some places. All we saw was this:

View from the top – you’ll have to use your imagination because this is all we saw. In theory, the view of the volcano is best from right here.

I’m 0 for 2 on attempts at seeing volcanoes on this trip to Java. I almost turned back but then we took a different hike to see the sulfur mining on the other side of the mountain.

Indonesian Military Escort

The plan was to meet up with Dina’s brother near the base of the mountain, since he has a more powerful car and you’d need it to get up the steep mountain.  Her brother said he’d have a friend drive us up. Again, exceptionally nice when you consider this is a difficult 2 hour drive. What I didn’t realize was that her brother was Indonesian military!  We pulled into an Indonesian military base that morning, and Dina’s brother’s friend drove us up in his military jeep.

Indonesian Military - enroute to the Ijen volcano in Java

Spontaneous 7-hour Road Trip

Time to move Plan B – Gunung Bromo trip is canceled. Ahhh!  Bromo’s an active volcano, and it’s been particularly active recently, so we were told it’s just not safe. Roads are closed off and you can’t get anywhere remotely near to see it.  [Note to Indonesia: please set up a website that gets updated with this sort of information. It would go a looooong way towards making you a tourist-friendly country. Thanks.].

Plan B was to go to Ijen, a group of stratovolcanoes on the same island of Java, in Indonesia.  Our target was Kawah Ijen, a beautiful volcano with a turquoise-colored acid crater lake.

At 11pm we – Nadya, her cousin Dina, and Dina’s friend Afit – all hopped in the car. Now there’s a slight language barrier so perhaps I didn’t completely understand. I thought we were heading out to get food, and it turns out we had started driving towards Kawah Ijen. It’s a 7 hour drive!  5 hours just to the base of the mountain where we’d change cars.