THEJAKARTAPOST.COM, BANYUWANGI (8/7/2016) |“Wow!” “Amazing!” “This is really fantastic.” “So beautiful.” These were among the awed statements of foreign and local tourists as they observed the “blue fire” phenomenon at the crater of Mount Ijen crater in East Java.The crater is the site of sulfur mining. The melted sulfur is red, but after hardening becomes yellow. Incessant steam from the sulfur appears blue, and lights up the night sky like a spectacular fireworks display. This rarity of nature is only to be found at Ijen and in Iceland.

Tourists come from near and far to observe the blue fire. Usually, trekking to Ijen crater is permitted from 1 a.m. to noon, although occasionally all trekking is prohibited due to dangerous conditions, such as wind blowing sulfur gases toward the trekking trail.

In the middle of the night, tourists wait at Paltuding, Banyuwangi, site of an Environmental Protection and Forest Preservation post of state-owned forestry company Perhutani and the main gateway to the volcano.

The crater is located in two East Java regencies: Licin district in Banyuwangi regency and Klobang district, Bondowoso regency.

The distance from Paltuding to the crater is about 3 kilometers, but due to the trekking conditions in the night it takes them from two to three hours to reach the location. Many of them new to trekking, they walk in a long line, wearing headlamps and carrying flashlights; from a distance they appear to be a swarm of fireflies in the dark.

Any feelings of exhaustion are quickly lost when they arrive at the peak of Mount Ijen. While some choose to observe from the mountain, others descend closer to the crater for a better view. When dawn breaks, visitors can observe the turquoise-colored crater lake, although it is often shrouded by fog.

There is also the sight of traditional sulfur miners who haul baskets carrying their heavy haul of rocks up the narrow pathway on the crater wall.

With Mount Ijen’s designation as a World Biosphere Reserve in March 2016, the interest in the volcano, standing at 2, 443 meters above sea level, is sure to grow.

Tanggal : 8 Juli 2016
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