It’s been 14 years since I last visit Indonesia and I was still in college back then when I first see the beauty of Indonesia. We were supposed to visit Jakarta back in 2002 however, for some circumstances, some part of it was bombed and we ended up visiting Batam – this place is few hours ferry away from Singapore.
14 years has passed and my eagerness to see Indonesia never fades. After receiving the good news from the Tourism Ministry of Indonesia that I will have an opportunity to visit their country, I immediately searched on google of what am I to expect in Indonesia. It’s an Asian country and I thought it may not have too much difference from my home country – Philippines. Yes, we may have few similar things like the coconut trees, crystal clear beach and red soil (which by the way is rich with IRON that’s why it’s red/orange, for some parts of Indonesia) but Indonesia has a beauty by itself. It’s culture and rich in history makes me excited to see and learn on my 12-day journey.
Thanks Sarah (www.fashioneggplant.com) for sharing me some of your great photos at Kawah Ijen.
We visited a lot of great spots in Indonesia and Mt. Ijen is by far the most anticipated part of our tour – why? because we will hike a mountain for 2 hours at midnight! On the 7th day of our trip, we are scheduled to hike Mt. Ijen which is located in Banyuwangi Indonesia.
Ijen plateau is very popular for hiker and mountain climbers. I am no way a hiker so 1 day before of the hike I stayed at Villa Ombak, slept several hours and had a good massage as a preparation for our hike and 2-hour hike became 3.5 hours for me, lol. Boo me but I conquer Mt. Ijen, I was able to climb up and see the magnificent active crater. Some bloggers from our group were able to see the phenomenal Blue Fire, my asthma is killing me so instead, I stayed at the plateau and take few good shots of the area.
Big thanks to my friend – Kenneth Surat (www.kennethsurat.com) for sharing me his Blue Fire photo. There’s only 2 in the world you will see this Blue Fire, here in Indonesia and in Ethiopia. The crater of Kawah Ijen is blue because of hydrochloric acid and its burning with blue fire because of sulphur. So a precaution before hiking at Kawah Ijen I/were given a 3M gas mask for safety. However, if you want to go further down to see the Blue Fire you have to rent a different kind of gas mask for 250.00PHP. Also, wear proper hiking clothes – thermal clothes, comfy clothes, hiking shoes (no snickers), hat/cap/bonnet, jacket and if you feel too cold, at the tourist office you can purchase a knitted hand gloves for less than 50.00PHP.
After less than an hour staying at the plateau and taking photos of the beautiful scenery, we went down the mountain for roughly 1 hour or 1.5 hr (if my memory serves me right). Everyone was happy and the hours of trekking is all worth it after seeing the crater.
Such a memorable experience for me and with no any help I was able to climb up 2,148 meters above sea level mountain. A place I never thought I’ll be able to see but thanks to the Tourism Ministry of Indonesia, I saw one of Indonesia’s magnificent tourist spot.
Lee Rosales is the woman behind the Lifestyle and Travel Blog http://ilovepaars.com and www.mommalee.com . Follow her adventures as a solo parent and a solo female traveler.