Day 6 plan
At 05.00 a.m we will drive to Paltuding, the entrance point of Ijen Crater. It takes approximately 45 minutes drive from Sempol. From Paltuding to the top of Ijen Crater we have to walk for 2 hours. During the trip to the top of Ijen, we will meet the sulfur miners when they are carrying the sulfur down to the slope of Ijen. After we finish the program in Ijen, we will drive to your next destination in Bali.
Today’s our last day in Java Island and to end our wonderful Javanese experience, we would trek (once again) to Ijen crater. Call time was 4:30pm. Our home stay was 45mins away from Paltuding, the entrance point of Ijen Crater. It was another bumpy ride to go there. We had to trek 3km for about 2hours to the crater.
Going up, we walked with and pass by a lot of sulfur miners. The sight of them working tremendously hard humbled me. They had to trek back and forth to collect and deliver 60 to 95kg of sulfur to and from the base and crater. Despite this hard labor, they still could manage to smile and say hello to tourists. Most of them were willing to pose with tourists but we had to give them something in return, they would prefer cigarettes but since in their line of work, their health’s precious, our guide said we just needed to drop biscuits in their already heavy baskets.
According to our guide, the mining company is privately owned employing about 50 miners. Some of them have to stay near the crater at night to keep the fire low for the sulfur not to melt. Just looking at the miners, it’s already apparent how tired they are. We could see all the weirdly formed bumps on their shoulders, mostly unevenly formed. I always complain about my job, and for a while of looking at them, I felt blessed.
The trek was not that tiring. It was early in the morning thus still very breezy and cold. Ascending, the views of the surrounding mountains and fields were already amazing. There were designated toilets along the trail and I readily used one..hehe.
half-way, they weigh their baskets and receivs a coupon to be exchanged into cash at the base
Few meters from the crater, I started inhaling strong sulfuric smell that dries up my throat and nostrils. I started feeling for the miners. They’re stuck with it day in and out.
Crater was beautiful. Ijen lake kept on playing hide and seek with us, its longing expectants. Views of the lake and the rock or lava formation were beautiful. The magnificent turquoise sulfur lake view was breathtaking! It’s just worth the hike.
After the lake we had to drive for another two hrs to the harbor. That day, we were already heading to Bali. Ferry ride was 45minutes, and from north-west Bali, we had to travel another 5hr drive to the southern part of Bali, Seminyak. Traffic was bad just like in Manila. We reached the hotel at about 8pm.
It’s sad but we had to say goodbye and thanks to our Guide, Lyan and Driver, Mr. Mamat! We parted happy and satisfied with their service. Their company, Lyan and Mamat were very efficient, knowledgeable and worthy of their price, and of our trust! Once again, I’m promoting Sunrise Holidays (http://sunriseholiday.com/web/ )
Surprisingly, part of the regulations in Bali is, only Bali tour guides and companies can bring tourists around Bali. There’s no such rule in Java. Bali guides, can bring tourists in Java. Unfair, isn’t it?
That night was the beginning of our luxurious holiday. We planned to stay at Kubu Manggala Villa, in Seminyak. (http://kubumanggalavillas.com/index.php ). Rate was 200+sgd per night. The villa was surprisingly luxurious and huge. It’s a two storey building with private swimming pool.
After check-in, had dinner and a good swim.