Sunday, August 14, 2011

Into the lungs of hell

Gawping into the halitosis mouth of Bromo felt a little redundant after I visited its bigger brother Ijen the following day and went right down its oesophagus.

Entering a volcano's crater was a predictably amazing experience, and like Yeliu in Taiwan and the mossy forest at Malaysia's Cameron Highlands, the weird and contradictory environment felt like being on an alien world.

An alien world that luckily had almost the same atmospheric composition as Earth, if perhaps a little heavy on the sulphur.

Ijen Crater,
East Java

I hear some people actually live under the clouds? The poor sods

A slightly more treacherous trek than Bromo.
I've had more exercise in the last two days than in the last two months combined

Ijen crater is way too big to fit in the frame, so here's some of the left...

And the right (human scum tastefully cropped out)

Is this sign really necessary?
What kind of idiot would even
want to go down to the crater?

I mean, look at it - what's appealing about that?
There probably isn't even a shopping mall down there. Right, Singaporeans?

These guys seemed like a nuisance at first, until I learned that those sulphur loads they're carrying weigh over 70kg. That's heavier than I am. That's a real job

Some nice, jagged rocks

Some extraterrestrial, yellow rocks

Some... where the hell am I?

This water was very, very warm. I was almost tempted to swim in it, if not for the unpleasant death angle. Though it can't be much worse than swimming in Tembeling River

Volcano industry

Oh great, it's You again. Sun spoils everything

Farewell, you steamy bastard

Death makes way for new life. Sort of like the ending of The Wrath of Khan

Not more goddamn volcanoes?

Apparently, there are 121 active volcanoes in Java alone. That's too many, Java. Stop hogging all the volcanoes.

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