If You Travel Far Enough, You will Meet Yourself – David Mitchell
First of all, i would like to say, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you! wishing you a greater life ahead in 2015! New Hope, New Faith, New Joy! ❤ ❤
Few weeks ago, i went to Mount Ijen, Banyuwangi, Indonesia. A mountain that not as famous as Bromo, but it’s so challenging that i can put that quote on this entry. Me and 9 other friends were in the search of Blue fire. People said, there’s only 2 places in world to see the Blue Fire phenomenon. One is in Iceland, and the other one is in Bondowoso/Banyuwangi, Indonesia. Aren’t we supposed to be proud being Indonesian ?? haha.
We reached Surabaya (Juanda Airport) around 2pm, and immediately go to Bondowoso, East Java, Indonesia. The travelling time from Surabaya to Bondowoso took about 5 hours time, and from Bondowoso to Mount Ijen takes about 2 more hours.
Technically, it was one full day without sleep.. we reached to our Hotel at Ijen around 8.30pm, took some shower, grab some diner, and we must go again to Mount Ijen at 11pm. was thinking to take some nap in the van, but too bad.. the road was very bumpy and we couldnt sleep at all.
But the universe marveled us when we got down from the van, we saw myriad of stars that is so beautiful that makes all of us stand in awe. *udah kyk di tebar aja itu bintang2 sama Tuhan*. if only i know how to read constellations. haha.. Tried to capture the pretty stars, but too bad. our technology is not that advanced. haha.
We started the Hike at 1am. the guide said, if you are in your prime conditions, the hike will only takes about 1 hr..
and guess how long did we take ??
we took 3 freaking hours to go up there! just to see the Blue Fire..
me and one of my friend was not in the prime condition, so we stopped a lot of times to catch our breath. Well, as for me, im not an outdoor and sporty type of girl, even a 20 minutes hike was so darn tiring for me. haha. Anyway, i want to thank all my 9 friends who had been so patiently waiting for me when i was so exhausted.
The hike was crazy i may say.. the uphill is intense.. no lighting at all, so all of us use our phone torch light to light the way. the air is thin as we are going up. and high cliff on our left and right side.. *ngeri kan boo.. udah gelap. terus kiri kanan jurang* then when we are about to reach the peak, the sulphur smell was so strong that it hurts our throat.. and we made the biggest mistake that day.. we did not bring any water.. *goshh.. everyone was about to faint already.. only 1 person brought 1 bottles, so we just shared it among us.
*resting area in the middle of our Hike. there’s one small shop *warung*, but it only open at 5am in the morning. =( *
*the eeriness in the middle of the night* horror ya booo kalo pake flash, ga tau yg ke capture apa. haha.
Mas. Rofik, our guide was so calm and composed when telling us to be careful because our left and right was a 100 meters cliff which end at the some forest. so, if we misstep.. well.. it’s a goodbye then.
Thankfully the 10 of us can reach the peak of Ijen safe and sound that morning, but too bad the Blue Fire was not that light because too much smoke and only vaguely seen. Mas Rofik said, we must go down to have a clearer view of the blue fire..
picture source from here
We expected to see something like above pictures, but from up there, it’s just like Batman’s vague spotlight.. just a 2 blue dots appeared. All of my friends decided not to go further to the crater, because the trail is so crazily unbelievable.
But my heart said, GO! you are here already.. if you dont get to see the Blue Fire, at least you can see how far you can go.. how far that you can push yourself to reach for goal. Finally, only me, Bern who agreed to go down the crazy trail. and you know what??
It was the craziest thing that i have done in my life! it was still dark, and the trail was vaguely seen and rocky. it’s just like rock climbing i may say. i was very afraid that i will slip and fell down. Thank God there was Mas Rofik, our guide that hold my hand tightly so i didnt fell over. The trail was very very difficult to walk down. i was about to give up so many times, because i slipped a few times and i was super duper afraid that i will fell down, and cannot go up again to the mountain peak. it was no joke one of the scariest moment of my life.
Finally, in the middle of our way down, we can see more the 2 spots of the Blue Fire.. ya..ya.. i know it’s far from expectations. the thick smoke covered all the blue fire. =( But it’s okay! It’s the Journey, not the destination, right ?. =)
and below is what we saw when the morning comes. The Ijen Crater
*As mentioned, The very thick sulphur smoke that hinder us from seeing the Blue Fire =(.. This smoke is somehow poisonous, so we must use this ‘darth-vader’ mask to breath*
*The Ijen Crater, one of the most acidic lake in the world!*
After ‘relaxing’ a while at the crater, we went back up to meet our 8 friends. and this is how the trail looks like!
It was so crazy, right? and did you see the man in-front of us ? He is carrying 70-80kg of sulphur.. Yes.. he is a sulphur miner for one company. they got paid about 900 – 1000 rupiah for each kg.. so, their total income per day is only around 60.000 – 80.000 Rupiah.. ( 8-9 SGD) depends on how strong they can carry it up..
Tragic isnt it ? Rich land, yet so many unfortunate people that need to risk their life everyday to go up and down this dangerous trail just to get a living. They are selling the some small sulphur for souvenirs as well that range 10.000-15.000 Rupiah.
*di gandeng sama Mas Rofik. muahahha.. Btw, This Mas Rofik is just like God who is guiding your way. as described earlier that it was so dark and we only have minimum light from his small torch light. and the best part is.. he was walking down backwards while holding my hand and show me which rock to step.
see how rocky it is? it’s so much easier to climb up than to go down. Stories told that a HUGE rock about to fell down, but it never fall until that day. ahh.. cant imagine if it really fell and hit some people below. Also, we have been told that 1 week earlier, one French Lady slipped, fell, knocked her head, and passed away on the spot. Me and Bern heard this when we are already back at the mountain peak. Else, i think we would not be so brave to go down to the crater.
and we were up again at the Peak, we saw this breathtaking view! all of us so shocked to see the trail that we took last night. haha
and we Reunited with the 8 others!
and on our way down, we saw the sun just rise up! but still misty and smokey. so didnt manage to capture the sun well. =(
and saw this beautiful view as well.. so calming, right ?
and Finally, we reached the pit stop whereby they have the small shop or ‘Warung’. 1 bought 1 bottles of water, and finished it all in one shot. haha.. so thirstyyy..
*pardon my face. haha.. lagi minum pas di voto. haha*
After resting for a while, we continue our walk down that took us another 3 hrs.
Well, maybe this mountain is a very easy track for some people.. but definitely not for me.. haha. But i really learn something that day, that i dont easily give up for things. and im proud of that. haha.. hopefully this trip can be a good reminder for me to push harder in 2015 to achieve my life goals! cheers! ❤
We Dont Stop When We are Tired. We Stop When We are Finished!
Most Photos Credit to : Refocus Photos
** Took some videos when we were at the Ijen Crater.. sorry for the not-so-good video.. **