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Old 12-01-2014, 12:28 PM   #1
Sey hallo to my lille fren!
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 143
An encounter with the Blue Flames in Kawah Ijen Volcano

I always wanted to see the Northern Lights, being #1 on my bucket list. Truth is, I may never able to travel to the Northern Hemisphere in my lifetime. So seeing the phenomenal Blue flames of Kawah Ijen in East Java, Indonesia has become something of a must for me. But seeing it up close is no easy task. One has to climb a 3000 meter volcano with very steep and dangerous trails, almost freezing temperature and chocking sulfur smoke. The climb was the most toughest thing I've ever done in my entire life. Took me a grueling 4 hours for a supposedly 2-hour hike. But finally made it on top and it made everything worthwhile. The experience will remain as one of my most memorable solo-travel ever. Absolutely priceless..

1. Kawah Ijen contains the world's largest acidic crater lake, and is known for its turquoise color.

IMG_2451-2 by kelikoi, on Flickr

2. The glowing blue flames (only volcano in the world) are combustion of sulfuric gases, coming out from cracks in the volcano at high pressure and temperature (reaching a staggering 600°C). The sulfuric gas ignites when they come in contact with cold air and explodes of more than 10 feet high.

IMG_2451-1 by kelikoi, on Flickr

3. Miners working at extremely dangerous environment, breathing poisonous sulfur gases and traversing steep cliffs as deep as 800 meters with minimal or no protection at all, carries sulfur rocks for several kilometers to the weighing station. I learned from one of them that average loads can weigh from 70 to 90kg, and every miner will try to make as many as 3 trips in a day to earn approximately Rp80,000 (US$7.00). You think your job sucks?

IMG_2485 by kelikoi, on Flickr

4. The crater rim, at an altitude of 2,700 meters above sea-level.

IMG_2495 by kelikoi, on Flickr

5. It was very foggy when I went up so I couldn't get a decent clear shot of the picturesque yet dangerous crater lake.

IMG_2498 by kelikoi, on Flickr

I would have wanted to go down the crater lake to get closer to the flames but I didn't have the balls to do so. The path leading to the crater below are extremely dangerous. That's why I am so impressed with the miners going up and down carrying so much loads and making it look so easy.

That's all and hope you enjoyed the photos.
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:28 PM   #2
I took an IQ test and the results were negative.
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 50
That's AMAZING, congrats on such an awesome adventure!
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