Of Mount Ijen
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I woke up very early to see the famous blue fire at Mount Ijen. The volcano is also known for its beautiful turquoise crater lake. But the stories that I brought home with me were more than just about the mountain. It was about the people too. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
After hiking to its caldera, I made my way down to the crater and witness an otherworldly view of the blue fire. It was surreal.
Facing the Blue Fire
It was dangerous to get nearer because of the rocky crater walls and the acidic sulfur fumes. But hikers risked their lives to get the best picture of this majestic fire dancing before them. It was as if it lured us to get closer.
As the sun rose, the blue fire slowly disappeared. And Ijen showed another side of itself.
I talked to the miners who collect sulfur rocks from the crater. They hiked the mountain everyday to bring back with each of them 80 kg of rocks worth only $8. They told me that they do this to support their families. ^^^
They helped me to get the load on my shoulders. I felt the strain right away as they tried to let go.
+++ The hike was not easy for me, let alone carrying such a heavy load. I could not imagine doing both at the same time. The stories do not end there. The locals face health problems due to the acidic fumes they inhale everyday. Most of the miners do not reach the age of 70. +++
The friendly locals who I spoke to taught me to be thankful for what I have. I need to appreciate the smallest things more.
Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.
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