What I did…
Bus to Bromo took 10 hours, music, read, done. Got to Bromo and booked a volcano trek for the next morning at 4AM! Not again! We got accommodation way up in the mountains and as we stepped out the van realised that everything was covered in ash! Bromo was erupting, and it was no further than a mile from where we were staying! Food, Bed.
Up at 3:45AM and into the van to go to the lookout point. As we walked up towards the lookout we all stopped and stared in awe. Bromo was throwing molten hot magma out the top and we watched it dance out the top, oranges and reds on a perfectly black background. WOW! We carried on to the top and visibility decreased until the sun came roaring up. The landscape was revealed and we could see and hear Bromo still giving it everything. The mushroom clouds coming from the crater were enormous! Hundreds of feet in the air, the wind carrying them away. We headed back and walked to the top of our street and were head on for the ash cloud. We could see now why everything was ash covered. Fields, trees, houses, cars and the street all black from ash. It cant be good for anyone living there!
We got took to our next hostel in the mountains where we would spend the night before more climbing to see Ijen, another active volcano but in a totally different way. We had dinner and headed to bed.
Up again at 3:45AM and into the van to the base of Ijen. It was 3KM to the crater, nothing compared to Merapi. But the fumes coming off made it hard to breath. Ijen is an active volcano producing sulfur. It spews out yellow smoke and over time it drops, hardens and becomes solid rock to be mined and sold.
It is the job of hundreds of miners to get this poisonous sulfur out from the bottom of the crater, to the top, and then the next 3KM down the other side to the bottom. This might not seem to bad when you hear they only do 2 runs a day. But then again they are carrying 90-100KG in weight on their shoulders each and every time. We all tried to lift an unattended basket, none of us could pick it of the floor. Add this to the fact that its poisonous and it knocks years off their lives doing it and its no wonder why the BBC recently ran an article on it being the most dangerous job in the world!
We went half way into the crater after the wind took to sulfur the other way. But it was soon back again and we had to get out as our scarfs were not doing the job.
We walked back to the van and got dropped off at the ferry port. We were about to approach the paradise that is Bail…
Share Bromo & Ijen, Indonesia, February 2011
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