Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Note If You Want to Visit Ijen

The journey to Ijen as far as three kilometers can be achieved by all people, adults and childrens with healthy bodies. The journey starts at a small path of Pal Tud­ing where many cottages managed by the Ministry of Forestry are available. The journey usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours walk to Ijen Crater.

Watching directly the mining activities are not al­lowed for public, especially those with physical problems and vertigo. The rule especially apply to those who would feel sick and dizzy easily if they inhale the sulphuric smoke.

The journey to the crater must apply extreme cau­tion. On your way up, never talk to the miners carrying baskets if you don't have to. They would later stop and talk with you which would slow their rhytms and forcing them to use extra energy located at the bottom of the mountain at Pal Tuding. What an extraordinary scene, yet gloomy for us.

About ten minutes later, the path ended at an open space with the sight of a beautiful valley on our right. Up here, we could see Rante and Raung Mountains in the distance. It was less than twenty minutes for us to reach the Ijen Crater from here as we could already smell sulphur indistinct. Although, the mountain was still active, still the picture of enjoying the Breathtaking crater that only few could enjoy -ad diminished their worries.

Ijen Crater was the final destination for the visitors, but actually it was a start for the miners. Yes, down below in the deep crater the mining was located.

The journey to the mining place was rocky and very steep. To reach it, we had to take a small path along the rocky wall on our right and 200-meter slope on our left. The path itself was very sloppy. What a startling outlook to see the miners had to carry up to hundreds kilo­grams of sulphur on their shoulders along the hard path. Yet, the picture was not complete unless we could see directly the mining activities on ground zero located on the side of a la ke.
(Appetite Journey, February 2007, Pg. 26)