06/06/2014 – 337 days/29227 miles

The logical next stop if you’re heading east from Gunung Bromo is the Ijen Plateau.

In the crater of the Ijen Volcano is a 1km wide acidic (like 0.5pH acidic…) lake and a sulphur mining operation that employs the toughest men on the planet.
Molten sulphur is continuously spewing out of the ground, and as it solidifies, the workers break off chunks of it, fill a couple baskets, and carry it out of the crater (a steep hike up 300 meters) and then down the side of the volcano to the weighing point (3km away).
And the baskets they carry are typically filled with 70-90kgs of sulphur. Yes, KILOGRAMS…not pounds, ladies and gentleman!
Most of these guys haul down two loads per day, and after all that work make about $10…

We hiked up the mountain, then down into the crater, right up to the source of the molten sulphur. The air quality as you go down the crater is horrendous…a mask of some sort is pretty much necessary unless you want to inhale the massive amount of sulphur in the air.
Once you’re down there, you come upon these amazing blue flames from the burning sulphur.
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Looking back into the crater once the sun was up
And down the other direction

Not far from the hike up to the crater, there is a stream and some waterfalls made from some incredibly sulphury water. It’s very clear due to absolutely nothing being able to live in it, and a very bright yellowish-green from the high sulphur content.
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There’s more to the Ijen Plateau than just seeing the blue flames and a sulphur river, so I’ll leave you with a few more photos…
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