Day 383. 80km. Bondowoso – Ijen

Posted: June 6, 2016 in Cycling, Indonesia
Tags: , , , ,

They cheered and jeered from far and wide. ‘Tidak pakai baju’ (not wearing clothes). ‘En poile,’ cried the French couple. Amongst the cries of ‘DINGIN!’ – cold – I realised just how different my body is. It was 2am, and I could power up to the top of the volcano crater in the dark. I passed everyone, rugged up like they were going to the arctic, but, my clothes were already drenched in sweat. Hence my decision – tidak pakai baju – and hence all the (quite fun) attention. (I was still wearing pants.)

Sunrise at Ijen

Sunrise at Ijen

What a reward after the super-hard climb. Blue light making the sulphur fumes look like flames of blue fire. Miners knocking off blocks of solid sulphur and trapsing back up out of the crater, passing all the exhausted tourists. And then the most spectacular sunrise – one side looking out over the coast and across to Bali, and on the other side a volcanic lake. When the wind died, the volcanic fumes created a dense fog, and we could make angel shadows, playing with the morning sunlight. Everyone put on their gas masks and reminded me of my favourite Doctor Who story. It’s dangerous – I was told by the guys trying to sell gas masks. Most Indonesians weren’t wearing one though.

Sunrise at Ijen

Sunrise at Ijen

Angel

Angel

The fumes rise

The fumes rise

These volcanos are hard work – but so beautiful. As we climbed Ijen, we passed through so many different climate zones with different vegetation – from rice fields to sugar cane to coffee to forest. We climbed to 1600m, dropped to 1100m and climbed to 1900m. Totally exhausted we arrived in the dark at the camp-site and collapsed. I set up my tent – the first time I could use it for months. It’s not too hot at 1900m.

On the way up

On the way up

On the way up

On the way up

On the way up

On the way up

On the way up

On the way up

On the way up

On the way up

It’s nice to not be the one to stop demanding food. Clement is never hungry. Harry is – at about the same time that I am. We were crawling our way uphill through the forest. No sign of people. No restaurants. Time for cooking. We got quite some attention from the people coming past on their motorbikes on the way to the top of the volcano. It was good we ate – there was another 7km of steep climbing before the first big drop.

Before the drop

Before the drop

Tomorrow is Bali. Yay!

Comments
  1. valerievolk says:

    Spectacular photos. Really lovely.

  2. I envy you. I lived 17 years in East Java yet never explore it. Thank you for sharing this.

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